Mulwo (Annona reticulata)

Common Name
Jamaican apple, bullock’s heart, custard apple
Description
Annona reticulata is a low, erect tree, with a rounded or spreading crown and trunk 25-35 cm thick. Height ranges from 5-10 m. The ill-smelling leaves are deciduous, alternate, oblong or narrow-lanceolate, 10-20 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, with conspicuous veins Annona reticulata is a pantropic tree that grows between 0-1 500 m in the areas of central America that have alternating seasons, and has spread to South America. The custard apple tree needs a tropical climate and it flourishes in the coastal lowlands of Ecuador to 1 500 m. In Guatemala, it is nearly always found below 1 220 m. In India, it does well from the plains up to an elevation of 1 220 m while in Sri Lanka, it cannot be grown above 915 m. Around Luzon in the Philippines, it is common below 800 m. Leaves are shed at the first onset of cold weather and the tree is dormant all winter. Fully grown, it has survived temperatures of 3º-2ºC without serious harm. This species is not drought-tolerant and prefers a more humid atmosphere.
Products
Food: In India, the fruit is eaten only by the lower classes, out of hand. In central America, Mexico, and the West Indies, the fruit is appreciated by all. When fully ripe it is soft to the touch and the stem and attached core can be easily pulled out. The flesh may be scooped from the skin and eaten as is or served with light cream and a sprinkling of sugar. Often it is pressed through a sieve and added to milkshakes, custards, or ice cream. A sauce is made by blending the seeded flesh with mashed banana and cream.

Timber: Custard apple wood is yellow, rather soft, fibrous but durable, moderately close-grained, with a specific gravity of 0.65. It is used to make yokes for oxen

Photo by Lauren Guttierez from Flickr

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Ricky Santoso 05-Jul-21
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