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Custard Apple

Custard Apple or the Ramphal, botanically Annona reticulata, is a fruit plant belonging to the Annonaceae family. Sitaphal or the Sugar Apple is often mistaken for custard apple.

The tree as such doesn't grow very high, but has many branches.

Common names:

Annona reticulata is known by various names, such as Custard Apple, Aathachakka, Bull's Heart, Bullock's Heart, Cherimoya,  Kamansi, Ramphal, Wild Sweetsop, etc.

Origin and natural habitat:

Annona reticulata is native to the tropical regions of the Americas, including Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It has also been introduced to several countries worldwide, including India, the Philippines, Thailand and Australia. In India, it's is grown in the southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and also in West Bengal and Maharashtra.

Growth type:

Custard apple tree is a small deciduous tree or shrub that can reach a height of 5-10 metres. It has an open and spreading habit with a dense leaf crown.

Suitable climatic conditions and soil types:

Custard apple grows well in hot and humid tropical climates with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. It prefers well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter and have a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. It tolerates some salinity and adapts to different soil types, including sandy loam, laterite and red soil.

Sunlight requirement:

Custard apple grows best in full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade.

Growing tips and planting distance:

Seedlings mature in 3-4 years. Budding plants mature within 1-2 years. It's good practise to prune the branches after harvest. This produces new branches that will bear fruit the next year. The recommended planting distance is 5 to 6 metres.

Water requirements:

Custard apple requires regular watering during the growing season, especially in dry periods. However, excessive watering can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.

Ease of Maintenance:

It is a low maintenance plant that requires little care once established. Occasional pruning can be beneficial to maintain shape and remove dead or diseased branches.

Once established, it'll grow without much care. It's also tolerant of draughts.

Description, taste, size and colour of the fruit:

The custard apple is heart-shaped or oval, 7-12 cm in diameter and 100-400 grammes in weight. The flesh is white or yellow, soft and sweet and has a custard-like texture. The fruit contains many black, shiny and hard seeds that aren't edible.

Edible uses:

Ramphal is often eaten fresh or made into juice, smoothies, ice cream or other desserts. The flesh is also used to flavour milkshakes, sweets and other candies.

Medicinal uses and nutritional value:

Custard apple has been used to treat various diseases such as fever, dysentery, diarrhoea and worm infestation. The pulp is also believed to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit is a good source of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants.

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Availability: 30 In Stock

Scientific name: Annona reticulata

Propagation method: Seedling

Plant size: Large


Custard Apple is known by various names, such as Bull's Heart, Bullock's Heart, Cherimoya,  Kamansi, Ramphal, Wild Sweetsop, etc. 

Its flesh has a soft and sweet custard-like texture. The fruit is a good source of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants.

See more about custard apple description and plant growing tips.