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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Annona muricata (Soursop, Guanábana)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > magnoliids > Order: Magnoliales > Family: Annonaceae > Genus: Annona

The Soursop is a tree of up to 8 m high bearing large thorny-surfaced 'custard apple' fruit, weighing up to 3 kg each. The flesh in these fruits can be eaten raw, but more commonly is used in fruit juices and softdrinks. It is also used in ice creams, sorbets and jellies. Soursop is native to the tropical lowlands of Central America and is now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. It is rarely encountered as a cultivated tree in southern Africa.

The name 'sour sop' is derived from the Dutch 'zuur zak' meaning 'sour sack'.


  • van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World - Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.