Annona reticulata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Annona reticulata L.

Family: Annonaceae

Vernacular names

  • Custard apple, bullock's heart (En)
  • Coeur de boeuf (Fr)
  • Indonesia: buah nona (Malay), kanowa (Java), serba rabsa (Aceh)
  • Malaysia: nona, nona kapri, lonang
  • Philippines: sarikaya (Sulu)
  • Cambodia: mo bat, mean bat
  • Laos: khan tua lot
  • Thailand: noinang (peninsular), noinong (central), manong (north)
  • Vietnam: binh bat, qua na, mâng câu dai.


Native of the West Indies, but early introduced, naturalized, and often cultivated, in most tropical regions, also in South-East Asia.


The fruits are eaten out-of-hand or prepared into juices, ice- cream, puddings, etc. The leaves are employed in tanning and also yield a blue or black dye. Young twigs provide good fibre. The yellow wood is soft, fibrous but durable, and used to make utensils. Medicinally the leaves are applied internally against worms, and externally against abscesses. Unripe fruits and the bark are used against diarrhoea and dysentery. The seeds, leaves and young fruits are insecticidal.


  • Erect tree, up to 10 m tall, trunk 35 cm in diameter.
  • Fruit a pseudocarp, rather variable, globose to heart-shaped, 8-16 cm in diameter, yellow-brown, usually reticulated.
  • Flesh cream-white with numerous seeds.

The species needs a tropical climate, although it can survive light night frosts to -2(-3)°C; it is less drought-tolerant than the sugar apple and prefers a humid atmosphere. Propagation is normally by seed. Mature trees produce up to 45 kg fruit per year. The hard seeds are very toxic, but can be swallowed whole with no ill effects. All non-fruit parts are quite toxic.

Selected sources

  • Morton, J.F., 1987. Fruits of warm climates. Creative Resource Systems Inc., Winterville, N.C., USA. 503 pp.
  • Ochse, J.J., Soule, M.J., Dijkman, M.J. & Wehlburg, C., 1961. Tropical and subtropical agriculture. 2 Volumes. The Macmillan Company, New York. 1446 pp.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen