Facts about Mountain Soursop

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Mountain Soursop Quick Facts
Name: Mountain Soursop
Scientific Name: Annona montana
Origin South America, Central America and West Indi
Colors Green turning yellow when ripe
Shapes Nearly round or broad-ovoid, about 15 cm (5.9 inches) long and 7–13 cm wide
Flesh colors Yellow
Taste Bitter or sour
Health benefits Beneficial for intestinal parasites, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, inflammation, diabetes, hypertension, fever, headache
Annona Montana, mountain soursop or wild custard apple, is a tropical fruit tree in the Annonaceae family which includes cherimoya (A. cherimola), soursop (A. muricata) and paw paw (Asimina triloba). Mountain soursop is native to South America, Central America and West Indies – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Venezuela, the Amazon, and islands in the Caribbean. In its native range, it grows at altitudes from sea level to 650 meters (2,130 ft.). Popular common names of the plant are Mountain Soursop, Wild Custard Apple, Wild Soursop, mountain sop and Fairchild’s Annona.

The name of the genus comes from the Latin word Annona which means aliment, foodstuff, with reference to the alimentary utilization of the fruits, after others, from the local name. The name of the species comes from the Latin word montanus related to mountains, mountain, with obvious signification, even if, actually, the plant grows up mostly at low altitudes (0-600 m).

Mountain soursop has several traditional medicinal uses in South American and the Caribbean. Fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and roots have all been used to treat intestinal parasites, coughs (including asthma and bronchitis), inflammation, diabetes, and hypertension. Research on extracts has recognized antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hyperglycemic properties. It has also been used as an anti-depressant and at least one study has found it effective against multi-drug resistant cancer cells.

Mountain Soursop Facts

Name Mountain Soursop
Scientific Name Annona montana
Native South America, Central America and West Indies – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Venezuela, the Amazon, and islands in the Caribbean
Common Names Mountain Soursop, Wild Custard Apple, Wild Soursop, mountain sop, Fairchild’s annona
Name in Other Languages Brazil: Araticú, Araticunzeiro
Cashinahua: Araxiku’y
Chinese: Shan Ci Fan Li Zhi (山刺番荔枝)
Cuba: Guanábana Cimarrona, Guanábana De Lama
Czech: Láhevník Horský
Dominican Republic: Guanábana Cimarrona
Dutch: Boszuurzak, Bosch-zuurzak
English: Mountain soursop, Wild soursop, mountain sop, Fairchild’s annona
French: Corossolier Bâtard, Cachiman Morveux, Cachiman Montage, Corossol Zombie, Corossolier Bâtard, Kachiman Montan
French Guiana: Busi Atuku, Corossolier Sauvage, Manigl
German: Schleimapfel, Schleim-Apfelbaum
Guarani: Araticu
Guayana: Busi Atuku, Corossolier Sauvage, Manigl
Haiti: Corossol Zombie, Kowosol Zombie
Honduras: Anona, Anona Cimarrona, Anone
Hungarian: Hegyi annóna
Japanese: Yama Toge Banreishi (ヤマトゲバンレイシ)
Martinique: Kachiman Montan
Persian: Anuna mawntana  (آنونا مونتانا)
Peru: Chirimoya, Guanabana, Guanábana, Guanábano Sirimbo, Huanabana
Philippines: Ponhe
Polish: Flaszowiec górski
Portuguese: Araticum, Araticum Açú, Araticum Apé, Jaca de pobre, Araticum de paca, Araticum-ponhe, Araticú, Araticunzeiro
Slovak: Anona
Spanish: Guanábana De Monte, Cimarrón, Guanábana Cimarrona, Guanábana De Perro, Guanábana De Lama, Guanábana De Las
Montañas, Taragus, Turagua
Suriname: Boszuurzak (Dutch), Busi Atuku, Manigl
Venezuela: Guanábana, Guanábana Cimarrona, Guanábana De Perro, Guanábana Brasileiro, Guanobano Cimarrón, Catuche Cimarron, Turagua
Plant Growth Habit Evergreen or semi-evergreen deciduous shrub or tree
Growing Climates Drought tolerant and will grow well in dry conditions but cannot withstand prolonged water-logging
Soil Tolerant of a wide range of well-drained, fertile soils, but prefers a moist, sandy loam
Plant Size 3 – 14 meters tall
Leaf Alternate, distichous, short petiolate, oblong or elliptic 7–18 cm long by 2.5–8 cm wide, with tapering apex and rounded base, leathery, dark green above and pale green beneath, glabrous and glossy
Flower Solitary or in pairs in older twigs, with stout peduncle. Sepals three, broad and pubescent; petals 6 in two whorls, inner three rounded; stamens numerous and crowded in rounded mass
Fruit Shape & Size Nearly round or broad-ovoid, about 15 cm (5.9 inches) long and 7–13 cm wide
Fruit Color Green turning yellow when ripe and covered with soft, 4 mm long spines
Flesh Color Yellow
Seed Light-brown, oblong plump seeds about 18 mm long
Propagation By seed
Taste Bitter or sour
Plant Parts Used Leaves, bark, roots, seeds
Precautions
  • Frequent consumption or large quantities can lead to severe neurological problems such as atypical Parkinsonism.

Description

Mountain soursop is an evergreen or semi-evergreen deciduous shrub or small tree that normally grows about 3 – 14 meters tall. The tree slightly resembles that of the soursop but has a more spreading crown and very glossy leaves. It is slightly hardier and bears more or less continuously. The plant is drought tolerant and will grow well in dry conditions but cannot withstand prolonged water-logging. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of well-drained, fertile soils, but prefers a moist, sandy loam.  It is harder than many other tropical fruit trees, capable of tolerating temperatures below freezing for brief periods.

Leaves

Leaves are alternate, distichous, short petiolate, oblong or elliptic 7–18 cm long by 2.5–8 cm wide, with tapering apex and rounded base, leathery, dark green above and pale green beneath, glabrous and glossy.

Flowers

Flowers are solitary or in pairs in older twigs, with stout peduncle. Sepals are three, broad and pubescent; petals 6 in two whorls, inner three are rounded; stamens numerous and crowded in rounded mass.

Fruits

Fruits are nearly round or broad-ovoid, about 15 cm (5.9 inches) long and 7–13 cm wide.  Its dark-green skin is studded with numerous short, fleshy spines and dark brown hairs. Fruits are initially green turning to yellow and very soft when ripe and fall down. Fruits have a yellow, fibrous flesh that is aromatic, sour to bitter, and contains many light-brown, oblong plump seeds about 18 mm long. Fruits are considered inferior to the soursop, so although it is occasionally cultivated, commercial production is not frequent.

The fruit of mountain soursop is edible but many people consider it tasteless, although some varieties produce better quality fruits. It has bitter or sour flesh but it is otherwise similar to the normal soursop, better known as the guanabana. Mountain soursop trees bear fruit more or less continuously starting two to three years after planting.

Traditional uses and benefits of Mountain Soursop

  • Decoction of the leaves is drunk in the evening before retiring for its calming effect on the nerves and sedative effect which promotes sleep.
  • Leaves are also used to treat fever and headache.
  • Fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and roots have all been used to treat intestinal parasites, coughs (including asthma and bronchitis), inflammation, diabetes, and hypertension, among many uses.
  • Research on extracts has documented antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hyperglycemic properties.
  • It has also been used as an anti-depressant.
  • An infusion of the leaves have some pain-relieving qualities for pregnant women.
  • The mountain soursop plant is known to kill cancer cells due to compounds found mostly in the bark and the leaves.
  • Fevers and head pain can be relieved using the plant’s leaves.

Culinary Uses

  • Yellow, aromatic pulp is eaten fresh in desserts but is used more for juice.
  • Its eating quality is inferior to soursop.
  • They are consumed fresh for dessert when fully ripe or mixed with ice cream or milk to make a drink.
  • Immature fruits are harvested when the seeds are still soft and are cooked as a vegetable in soups etc.

Other Facts

  • Trees can start to produce fruit when only 2 – 3 years old.
  • The plant is sometimes used as a rootstock for other members of the genus.
  • The sapwood is light brown, fibrous and soft. The wood is used only for fuel.
  • The tree is of minor interest to horticulturists as an ornamental and rootstock.
  • In southern Florida, exotic parrots eat the fruits and scatter the seeds, and a few trees are consequently occurring as escapes.
  • The tree is of minor interest to horticulturists as an ornamental and rootstock.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=18097#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=3490

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ANMO

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annona_montana

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Annona+montana

https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q311448

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/ANUMO

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2640939

https://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Annona_montana_(PROSEA)

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