Know about Atemoya

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Atemoya Quick Facts
Name: Atemoya
Scientific Name: Annona atemoya
Origin Native to South America. It is also found in Central American countries, Caribbean islands and United States (especially in Florida).
Colors Pale bluish-green to pea-green
Shapes Conical or heart-shaped, 8–12 cm long by 9–10 cm wide
Flesh colors White
Taste Similar to fruity vanilla
Annona atemoya is originated as a cross of Annona squamosal and Annona cherimola in Florida. P.J. Wester made the first cross at the United States Department of Agriculture’s subtropical laboratory, Miami in 1908. In 1910, seedlings were planted. Other crosses was made in 1910 and fruited in 1911. Then seeds were taken to the Philippines and other by Wester. The plant does well in the lowlands in warm tropical to subtropical areas. The optimum growth occurs at the minimum temperature of 13–20°C and a mean maximum of 22–32°C. For the fruit maturation, it requires the optimum temperature from 22°C to 26°C. It cannot tolerate frost and young trees are damaged by low temperatures of 4°C and subzero temperature causes the fruit splitting and discoloration. It thrives well in areas with 70 to 80% relative humidity and with adequate rainfall that occurs during the growing period. It is vulnerable to strong winds due to shallow rooting system and wind break is essential. It prefers sandy and loamy soils but grows on red basalt or well-structured and well drained clay loams.

Plant description

Atemoya is a small tree which grows to the height of 8 meters with short trunk and low drooping branches. Leaves are alternate, deciduous, leathery, elliptical and slightly pubescent measuring 15 cm long. Flowers are solitary, axillary which forms in clusters of 2 to 3, triangular, yellow and 6 cm long by 4–5 cm wide. Flowers has convex or cone shaped receptacle which contains numerous carpels at the top half and androecium in the lower circumference of the receptacle which is encased by 3 to 4 sepals. Fruit is a fleshy syncarp formed by fusion of carpels and receptacle. Fruit is heart shaped or conical, 8–12 cm long by 9–10 cm wide weighing 2–2.5 kg. Fruits are pale bluish-green to pea-green and slightly yellowish between areoles. Rind is 3–4 mm thick which consists of fused, prominent and angular areoles having rounded and slightly upturned tips, pliable, firm and indehiscent. Flesh is fragrant and solid divided into segments having few seeds than sugar apple. Seeds are hard, smooth, cylindrical and about 2 cm by 1 cm.


Leaves are hairy and green when young and become smooth when mature. It is elliptic, ovate or lanceolate in shape. Leaves are 4 to 8 inches (10-20 cm) long and 1.5 to 3.25 inches (4–8 cm) wide.


Flowers arise during mid to late spring. Flowers form singly or in 2-4 clusters from leaf axils on one year old shoots or new growth. Flowers are green with fleshy petals and 3 small and inconspicuous sepals and unicarpellate pistils on common receptacle.


Fruit is conical to ovate and about 3-5 inches in diameter weighing 8 to 32 oz (227–908 g). The surface of the fruit is smooth, bumpy and possesses pronounced protuberances. The color of the fruit changes from green to yellowish green as the fruit matures. Pulp is white or creamy with custard like consistency and sweet or pleasant flavor. The fruit has 10 to 40 small, shiny and dark brown seeds.


The first cross was formed by P.J., a horticulturist in 1908. In 1917, the hybrid fruit was grown at the Plant Introduction Station in Miami, Edward Simmons. The tree survived at 26.5ºF temperature showing the hardiness.

Health Benefits of Atemoya

  1. Cure the cold

Atemoya lowers severity of cold symptoms and antihistamine that lowers unpleasant effects of common cold that includes inflammation, pain and runny nose. It controls allergy that causes cold. It lowers histamine level and lowers duration of cold.

  1. Digestive health

 The fruit is rich in fiber that assists proper functioning of intestines that facilitate digestion process.

  1. Repel Insects

Mix crushed atemoya dried pulp with water and let it remain for few days.

  1. Relieve stress

Atemoya has Vitamin C in it which assist the body to cope with stress by lowering high stress levels, cortisol and hormones.

  1. Antioxidant activity

Atemoya has antioxidant in it which protects the body from oxidative stress and cellular rust that could lead to various severe medical conditions such as atherosclerosis which could result stroke and heart attack.

  1. Hypertension

The fruit reduces blood pressure and lowers the chances of hypertension and serious health problems that could result high blood pressure.

  1. Fiber Supplier

Fruit has high content of fiber which decreases sugar absorption.

  1. Intestinal health

Fruit comprises many fibers which is effective for constipation. It supports intestinal functions providing the feeling of satiety after ingested.  The fruit has positive effects on the body lowering absorption of fats and sugars.

  1. Reduce cholesterol

Atemoya has diuretic fiber and niacin which is helpful in lowering cholesterol.

  1. Fight Anemia

Atemoya has iron in it that helps in preventing anemia.

  1. Manage diabetes

Atemoya has fiber which causes sugar to get absorbed slowly by the body and also prevents the onset of type 2 diabetes.

  1. Regulate Blood Pressure

The pulp has potassium that helps in lowering blood pressure. The body uses this mineral to balance water and potassium which is necessary for muscle contraction.

  1. Supplies vitamins

Atemoya is rich in vitamins namely Vitamin B1, C, B2, potassium, calcium and iron.

Culinary uses

  • Pulp is consumed fresh.
  • Use the pulp to make sherbets, juice, yogurt, shakes and ice cream.
  • Add the pulp slices to fruit cups, salads and various dessert recipes.
  • Blend with lime juice, orange juice, cream or frozen as ice cream.

Side effects

Seeds have toxins in it so discard it before consuming. The seeds when damaged, the toxins may reach the flesh.

Other facts

  • The trees produce fruit in 3-5 years.
  • Initially the fruits are green or light green which turns yellowish green when ripened.
  • Fruits are round or oval shaped and about 7.5 to 12 centimeter in size.






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