Poshte - Annona scleroderma Scaff.
Annona scleroderma
Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

New growth
Fig. 4
New growth

Scientific name
Annona scleroderma Scaff.
Common names
English: poshte; Spanish: chirimoya, anona del monte; other: cawesh, cahuex, poshté
A. liebmanniana Baill., A. testudinea Saff.
Ilama (A. diversifolia), Pond Apple (A. glabra), Manrito (A. jahnii). Mountain Soursop (A. montana), Soursop (A. muricata), Soncoya (A. purpurea), Bullock's Heart (A. reticulata), Sugar Apple (A. squamosa), Atemoya (A. cherimola X A. squamosa)
Native range is the Atlantic coast of Central America, from Mexico and Guatemala to Honduras
+50 ft
Growth rate
Pruning requirement
Very large tree that need hard pruning to keep the fruit accessible
Large, thick, glabrous, oblong leaves
Small cinnamon-brown
Are delicious - refreshing, lively pineapple-banana flavor; very smooth, creamy flesh, easily spooned out from the hard skin and effortlessly slipping off the shiny seeds 1thick, relatively hard shell 
December to April

Reading Material

The CAWÉSH by Har Mahdeem from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Annona scleroderma by H. Mahdeem from Neglected crops: 1492 from a different perspective


Its native range is the Atlantic coast of Central America, from Mexico and Guatemala to Honduras. It is not widely cultivated (except in certain parts of Guatemala).

A. scleroderma is a tall tree which reaches 15 to 20 m and has tough, lanceolate leaves measuring 10 to 25 x 5 to 8 cm. They are shiny on the upper side, slightly pubescent on the underside and have fragile, 3 cm long petioles. The flowers are greenish yellow, the outer petals have a longitudinal prominence which arises in the small branches or in groups in the old part of the thick branches. The fruit occurs in compact spherical groups, is 5 to 10 cm in diameter and generally falls off when ripe, without a noticeable colour change. 2

The mature leaves are long, stiff, thick, and waxy-shiny on top, and ever-so-slightly rusty underneath, this rustiness easily visible only on the midrib when the leaves are mature; the small, closed new growth is felty-rusty, but quickly turns a shiny light-green-yellow when it opens and expands. 1
"I have picked a leaf. It is dark green and shiny. The underside of the leaf is without the polished shine; it is of a paler green with a touch of browny-gold. The underside veins are greeny-yellow. The leaf measures from end to end 22cm long and 7.5cm wide (8¾ inches by 3¼ inches). The leaves look like soursop leaves, but the posh-té leaves are at least twice as large. (The soursop tree has lost many leaves, baring branches this winter; the posh-té has not lost any leaves)." Christine Gray

The flowers of the posh-té are much like a custard apple flower, but the petals are slightly brown-tinged, and seem to be longer than a custard apple flower. 4

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. 3
The advantages of A. scleroderma as a fruit for local consumption and export are its high productivity and the fact that the flavour and aroma of its flesh are not as strong as in other Annona species, but are different and pleasant. The abundant, cream-coloured or creamy grey flesh separates easily from the seeds and it does not have sandy grains or fibres that adhere to the seed membrane. The thick, leathery skin does not split and is very resistant to insect attack and ordinary packaging and transport. 2
When the fruit set, they set on branches in small clusters of two or three fruits. This causes smaller fruit to form. Thinning out the fruit would be a good practice to adopt, to encourage larger fruit. 4

The 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. 3

Unlike the seeds of many other Annona species, fresh cawésh seeds germinate readily - 90% in one month - without any pre-planting treatment.1 Seeds that have been stored for two to three months need about six months to germinate. Trees grown from seed begin to produce at around tour years when they reach a height of 4 to 6 m. 2 
In Australia, A. scleroderma grows well when grafted on to stocks of A. muricata and Rollinia mucosa. 2

When grafted material is planted. it must be borne in mind that the trees should be pruned so that a wide crown remains to facilitate fruit harvesting. This also reduces exposure to wind and bird damage. 2

Food Uses
Fresh out of hand

"Just got to taste my first poshte (Annona scleroderma). The trees have fruited a couple of years already but the fruits got stung by chalcyd wasp. I netted some of the fruits last year but too late as they get stung quite small. This year i managed to get a bag on one in time. The taste was surprisingly good. Really delicious. The fruit was already blackened on the outside and i thought it was probably over ripe.  But it was just perfect inside. The taste is like cherimoya, mixed with apple sauce, and a tiny bit of lemony taste. A perfect balance of sweet and a tad of tart, so that the taste is not overly sweet, like some cherimoyas. Much more juicy than cherimoya and the texture is softer. As you can see the pulp is yellowish. This fruit is probably smaller than normal." Oscar Jaitt, fruitlovers.com

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)
Biriba (Rollinia mucosa, A. mucosa)

Further Reading
Poshte by W. Popenoe from Manual of Tropical and Subtropicals Fruits
“Correct to a TE” from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
An Update on the Posh-Te from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
The Survival of the Posh-Te from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia

List of Growers and Vendors


1 Mahdeem, Har. "The CAWÉSH."  rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. May. 1990. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
2 Bermejo, Hernandez J.e. and Leon, J. "Custard Apple (annona spp.)." fao.org. Neglected crops: 1492 from a different perspective. 85-92 by H. Mahdeem. (FAO Plant Production and Protection Series, no.26). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 1994. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.
 Gray, Christine. "Correct to a TE." rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Mar. 1990. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
Gray, Christine. "An Update on the Posh-te." rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Sept. 1990. Update Feb. 2000. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.


Fig. 1 Annona scleroderma. 2015. fruitlovers.com. Web. 10 Feb. 2016.
Fig. 2,3,4 "Annona scleroderma." N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

Published 12 Apr. 2014 LR. Updated 26 July 2014, 13 Feb. 2016 LR
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