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Annona muricata


Annona muricata

Family Name: Annonaceae
Common Name: Soursop, Guanabana, Prickly Custard Apple, Durian Belanda, Graviola, Durian Europa, Durian Makkah, Durian Benggala, 红毛榴莲


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 10 m


Native Distribution Tropical America
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Shrub or small tree, 3.0 – 10.0 m in height. Annona muricata is a low-branching and slender yet slender as its limbs are upturned. Normally evergreen, the leaves have an offensive smell, alternate, smooth, glossy and is dark green on the surface, lighter beneath. Leaves are oblong, elliptic or narrowobovate, pointed at both ends and is 6.25 – 20 cm long and 2.5 – 6.25 cm wide. Flowers may appear anywhere on the trunk, branches or twigs and is borne singly. Flower, short stalk, 4 – 5 cm long, plump, in a triangle-conical shape, have 6 petals, with 3 yellow green slightly spreading fleshy petals as the outer layer and 3 pale yellow close-set petals as the inner petals. Ripe fruit is dark green, covered with soft, short spine and is pseudocarp, broadly ovoid or ellipsoid.Able to tolerate most soil condition but not waterlogged condition. Propagated by seeds, germinate within 20 – 30 days. Soil should be kept moist and seedlings, shaded. To avoid dehydration of the shallow root system, mulching is recommended during dry and hot weather. The tree will shed off its old leaves, before new ones appear, in too dry a situation. Fruits will appear after 3 – 5 years.Best harvested when the fruit is fully-grown and firm as if it is allowed to soften on the tree, it will fall and crushed. The fruits is considered as mature when their spines are far apart and the shiny green colour becomes dull-green or yellowish-green. Fruits are best eaten 5 – 6 days after harvesting and are used as an ingredient in ice-cream, dessert, drinks, etc.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Fruit & Vegetable) (Herb and Spice)
Others: Extraction from leaves is lethal to head lice and bedbugs. When grinded, the seeds are effective pesticides against head lice. The juice of the fruit is said to be able to increase the amount of urine, and treat urethritis and haematuria. Immature fruits are grinded and decocted as a treat for dysentery.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Butterfly Garden, Economic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Fruit, Low Crown / Clearance
SGMP Treatment
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Although the fruits have spines, it is rather short, 6 mm long, and is soft.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee), Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Diseases In humid condition, anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) is the principal diease. The infection will cause the flowers and fruits to rot and shrivel. Furthermore, the disease will affect maturing fruits, leaves and stems as well. Another pest that will attack the tree is the brown stem rot (Corticium sp) which will infects and cause decay of branches and might kill the tree. This will usually happened during a dry season. However, a thorough cleaning, which include burning of the infected parts, at the end of the dry season will help to minimize the condition during wet season. Large caterpillars, Meganotron rufescens and Papilio Agamemnon, are usually found eating the leaves.
Propagation Method Seed, Grafting


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Oblong)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green

Image Repository



Master ID 1966
Species ID 3258
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 05 August 2022.