From the Archives
of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Christine Gray
"Correct to a TE"
Scientific name: Annona scleroderma
It was about five years ago, a piece of wood was taken from a dying posh-té tree and was given to Don.
a last resort to keep the posh-té alive, Don did a quick graft
onto a vigorous seedling of a mexican soncoya. The graft took. Don's
enthusiasm for keeping the wood alive must have worked, as the young
grafted tree took off and grew into an attractive, bushy, evergreen
tree. The post-té is now 15 ft high.
Posh-té (Annona scleroderma,
Safford). This species, which grows wild in southern Mexico and
Guatemala, is scarcely known in cultivation. It is remarkable for its
thick, relatively hard shell, which makes it of possible value with
regard to the production of annonas suitable for shipping to distant
markets. This is a vigorous tree with large, thick, glabrous, oblong
leaves and small cinnamon-brown flowers. The fruit is roundish oblate
in form, about 3 inches in diameter, with a dull green surface divided
into areoles by small ridges, the shell being nearly ¼-inch
thick. The seeds, which are embedded in the white melting pulp, are
about the same size as those of the cherimoya.
O.F. Cook says:
"The texture of the pulp is perfect, the flavor aromatic and delicious
with not unpleasant aftertaste. It is much richer than the soursop,
with a suggestion of the flavor of the matasano (Casimiroa edulis)
The most fragrant pulp is close to the rind. The seeds separate from
the surrounding pulp more readily than in most annona fruits."
posh-té appears to be adapted to moist tropical regions, most
probably at elevations of less than 4000 feet. Here in Julatten, which
is 1200 feet above sea level, the climate must be suitable to the
post-té. Rainfall is approximately 40 to 100 inches per year,
varying from year to year, with winters sometimes going down to a
temperature of 6°C. The temperature dropped to 1°C one year,
which caused some frost, but it was before the posh-té was
planted. The posh-té has survived well through the winters so
The soil the posh-té is grown in is clay. Don has
enriched the soil with soil carted in from other areas, and this year
has top-dressed the soil around the post-té with mill mud.
fertilize the posh-té, Don has given it trace elements, chicken
manure and molasses. The molasses is put on full strength and dribbled
around the tree in a wide circle just out from the drip line. Don's
theory is to put the molasses on during the dry season and then by the
time the wet season arrives, the molasses is broken down to feed the
microorganisms, then in turn, the tree. The molasses is then harmless
to the tree. Watered down molasses given straight to fruit trees can be
harmful or can kill the tree.
The posh-té flowers in
January-February in Julatten. The flowers bud out from old and new
branches. The fruit is ready to pick in October November.
We were not impressed by the first posh-té fruit we tried in October 1989.
friend arrived and found a ripe fruit on the ground. He picked up the
fallen fruit and tasted it. He raved about the flavour. We had another
taste and had to agree. We had picked the first fruit too early.
skin of the posh-té fruit stays green. We have found it is best
picked when the fruit is well filled out and the markings on the skin
flatten out. Take inside and leave to ripen, similar to a custard apple.
posh-té is very pleasant to eat - a sweetish sourish taste. We
scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Popenoe's description is "correct to
We have had one problem with the fruit. Some of
the fruit split on the tree. We think it is a 'lack of water' problem
during the filling-out period.
The tree or the fruit does not
seem to have any disease problems to this date. The posh-té is
really a different type of custard apple. A very interesting fruit in
an "eat your landscaping" garden.
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