Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Annona squamosa L.

Frost tender evergreen or semi-deciduous shrub or small tree with blunt, oblong leaves, to 12cm, and greenish-yellow flowers, spotted purple at the base inside, in summer, followed by edible, egg-shaped, scaly-skinned, olive-green fruit, to 10cm across, with white pulp.  To 8m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Cultivated throughout the Indies, but is very likely originally from South America, where it is also cultivated.’  [Don].  ‘The Sweet-sop or Sugar-apple has been mentioned by some authors as a native exclusively of South America, by others, as both of Asiatic and American origin.  St. Hilaire, however, has come to the conclusion, that it was imported from the East Indies to the New World. […] The plant is now abundantly cultivated in the New as well as in the Old world, and principally on account of the fruit.  Yet, in regard to its quality, there seems to be some difference of opinion.  Browne says that, “it is pretty much esteemed by many of the fair sex, though seldom served up at table.” […] The unripe fruit, according to Sloane, boiled with a little ginger in fair water, cures the vertigo; and “the leaves beaten, adding salt to them, make a poultess, which put on malignant tumours powerfully ripens them.” [Abcess is probably meant here.]  Annona squamosa was introduced to the stoves of this country in the year 1731, but it does not appear that it has ever produced fruit, nor even flowers in this country.’  [BM t.3095/1831].  van Nooten.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1850 catalogue.  Probably introduced to assess its potential as a fruit tree under Camden conditions.


Annona squamosa Delile = Annona forskahlii DC.

Annona squamosa Vell. = Annona obtusiflora Tuss., a synonym of Rollinia mucosa Jacq., a related species from tropical America.

Published Feb 23, 2009 - 03:47 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 11:32 AM

Illustrated are the ovate leaves, greenish scaly fruit, and details of the fruit.  van Nooten.

Annona squamosa L. | van Nooten | BHL

Family Annonaceae
Region of origin

West Indies

Common Name

Sweet sop, Sugar apple, Custard apple

Name in the Camden Park Record

Anona squamosa 

Confidence level high