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Custard apple 'African Pride'

Annona atemoya 'African Pride'

Custard apple (Eng.), Suikerappel, Vla-appel (Afr.)

With fruit that is very soft and smooth, tasting slightly sweet and a little tart, the Custard apple tree is planted in subtropical or tropical regions across the world for culinary purposes. This small tree produces large cobbled fruits with a soft creamy white pulp & toxic black seeds. Semi-deciduous. An attractive small to medium sized tree with an open, spreading canopy that is made up of long drooping branches that can often touch the ground. The African Pride tree, a cultivar of custard apple, is known to be very productive & produce medium sized fruit at a younger age that other cultivars.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn
Fruiting time
Winter, Spring

Harvesting

Fruit is ready for harvest when they have reached maturity. Do not harvest immature fruit -they will not ripen. Maturity is determined by a change in external colour from dark to lighter green, grooves between the carpels will widen, & carpels wil become bigger & more rounder, especially at the base of the fruit. The fruits must be clipped from the branch to prevent damage to the soft fruit.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in Spring about double the dept of the size of the seed. Germination time is about 1-3months.

Special features

Drought resistant
Drought tolerant, but prolonged drought stress may reduce the percent fruit set, fruit size, and crop yields.
Hedge plant
Can grow into an effective large hedge screen.

Geography

Origin
Originally the custard apple comes from South and Central America, but the African Pride is a selection from South Africa.
Natural climate
Sub-tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
The fruit is used to protect against anemia, promote good eyesight & a healthy cardiovascular system, improve digestion, treat arthritis & rheumatism and fight fatigue.
Edible
The fruit is eaten fresh, blended into ice cream, yoghurt or as a rich creamy drink.
Notes
Culinary

Personality

Family
Annonaceae
Flower colour
Greenish
Scent
Mild

Problems

Prone to root rot & collar rot (Phytophthora sp.). Pests include mealy bugs, the fruit spotting bug, scale & squirrels. Armillaria (Oak Root Fungus) and Verticillium are problematic.

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