Mountain Soursop, Wild Custard Apple - Annona montana Macfad.
Tree is located in Gene Joyner's Unbelievable Acres Botanic Garden, West Palm Beach, Florida
Fig. 1 magnifying glass
Tree is located in Gene Joyner's Unbelievable Acres Botanic Garden, West Palm Beach, Florida

Opened fruit and seeds
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Flower buds
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Flower buds

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Leaf growth habit
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Scientific name
Annona montana Macfad.
Common names
English: mountain soursop, wild custard apple; Spanish: guanábana cimarrona, guanábana, guanábana de loma, guanábana de monte, guanábana de perro, taragus, turagua; French: corossolier bâtard
A. montana f. marcgravii (Mart.) Porto, A. sphaerocarpa Splitg., A. pisonis Mart., A. marcgravii Mart. 2
Cherimoya (A. cherimola) and soursop (A. muricata); paw paw (Asimina triloba) is also in the family
Central America (Costa Rica, Panama), western and south America (Bolicia, Colombia, Ecuador) and islands in the Caribbean (West Indies)
Consumed in their natural state, in juices
33 feet (10 m)
Glossy leaves; evergreen; papyraceous, brilliant, glabrous on the upper surface 4
Solitary, extra-axillary, large, slightly scented; carnose petals 4
Nearly round; 6in. (15 cm); compound (syncarp); dark-green skin studded with 'spines'; sour to bitter; pulp acidic and fibro-mucilagenous with strong aroma; lots of seeds 4
Soil tolerances
Adaptable to a wide range of soil types
Cold tolerance
Capable of tolerating temperatures below freezing for brief periods; hardy to 32°F (0°C)
Invasive potential *
None reported
Pest resistance
Few pests or problems
Known hazard
Like all annonas, the seeds contain potent toxins

Reading Material

The Mountain Soursop from W. Popenoe's book Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
Annona montana by Jacqueline Courteau, Encyclopedia of Life
The Mountain Soursop from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates


Mountain soursop is native to Central America, the Amazon, and islands in the Caribbean. In its native range, it grows at altitudes from sea level to 650 metres (2,130 ft, Wikipedia 2011). 3

The tree somewhat resembles that of the soursop but has a more spreading crown and very glossy leaves. It is slightly hardier and bears more or less continuously. 1
Mountain soursop trees bear fruit more or less continuously starting two to three years after planting. 3

The fruit is nearly round or broad-ovoid, to 6 in (15 cm) long. Its dark-green skin is studded with numerous short, fleshy "spines". It becomes very soft and falls when ripe. The pulp is yellow, peculiarly aromatic, sour to subacid and bitter, fibrous, and contains many light-brown, plump seeds. 1
The fruit is similar to the Soursop ( A. muricata ) but smaller, usually with highly scented but poor to mediocre flavored flesh, though some varieties are better.

Annona montanaFruit
Fig. 4 magnifying glass Fig. 5 magnifying glass

By seed

Food Uses
The quality is variable but generally very poor. The fruit is generally regarded as inedible but is referred to as "edible but mediocre" in Brazil. There, the firm core attached to the base of the peduncle is pulled out and eaten as a tidbit. 1

Medicinal Uses **
Contains small amounts of neurotoxic alkaloids, such as annonacin, which appear to be linked to atypical Parkinsonism and other neurological effects if consumed frequently or in large quantities (Sloan-Kettering 2011Champy et al. 2005, Caparros-Lefebvre and Elbaz 1999). 3
Has numerous traditional medicinal uses in South American and the Caribbean. Fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and roots have all been used to treat intestinal parasites, coughs (including asthma and bronchitis), inflammation, diabetes, and hypertension, among many uses (Taylor 2005). Research on extracts of graviola have documented antiviral, antiparasitic, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, and antihyperglycemic properties; it has also been used as an anti-depressant and at least one study has found it effective against multi-drug resistant cancer cells (Sloan-Kettering 2011, Oberlies et al. 1997). 3
Graviola has become popular as a nutritional medicinal supplement and is sold in health food stores and online. 3

Other Uses
The tree is of minor interest to horticulturists as an ornamental and rootstock. 1
It is used for rootstock for other annonas

In southern Florida, exotic parrots eat the fruits and scatter the seeds, and a few trees are consequently occurring as escapes. The tree is of minor interest to horticulturists as an ornamental and rootstock. The wood is soft, fibrous and useful only as fuel. 1

Other members of the family that are grown for their fruit are:
Soursop (A. muricata)
Sugar apple (A. squamosa)
Ilama (A. diversifolia)
Custard Apple (A. reticulata)
Atemoya (A. cherimola x A. squamosa)
Poshte (A. scleroderma)
Cherimoya (A. cherimola)
Biriba (Rollinia mucosa, A. mucosa)

List of Growers and Vendors


1 Morton, J. "Wild Custard Apple". Fruits of warm climates, p. 86-88. 1987. Web. 1 Apr. 2015.
2 "Annona montana." Web. 1 Apr. 2015.
3 Courteau, Jacqueline. "Annona montana." Enclyclopedia of Life. Web. 31 Mar. 2015.
4 Lorenzi, Harri, Bacher, Luis, Lacerda, Marco and Sartori, Sergio. Brazillian Fruits & Cultivated Exotics (for consuming in natura). Brazil. Instituto Plantarum de Estudos da Flora LTDA. 2006. Print.


Fig. 1 Ghosh, Asit K. Thaumaturgist. Tree is located in Gene Joyner's Unbelievable Acres Botanic Garden, West Palm Beach, Florida. 2008. Under  (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
Fig.2,3,7,8,9 Popovkin, Alex. Annona montana Macfad. 2012. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 3,4,10,11 Leao, Tarciso. Annona montana. 2004. Under (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Camaragibe, Pernambuco, Brazil. Web. 1 Apr. 2015.
Fig. 5 "Mountain Soursop, Wild Custard Apple, Guanabana de monte, Wild Soursop." N.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published 12 Apr. 2014 LR. Last update 16 Feb. 2016 LR
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