Graviola

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Graviola – Annona muricata

Family:  Annonaceae

Common names

  • Soursop
  • Graviola
  • Brazilian pawpaw

Description

Annona muricata is a small, upright, evergreen tree that can grow to about 4 metres (13 ft) tall. Its young branches are hairy. Leaves are oblong to oval. They are a glossy dark green with no hairs above, and paler and minutely hairy to no hairs below.The petals are thick and yellowish. Outer petals meet at the edges.

Distribution

The exact origin is unknown; it is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and is widely propagated.

Cultural value

Annona muricata has been an alternative remedy to fungus , infections, cancer and other diseases along the century for the native indigenous people of Amazonia.

The principal interest in this plant is because of its strong anti-cancer effects. Although it is effective for a number of medical conditions, it is its anti tumour effect that is of most interest. This plant has been used as a cancer remedy for cancers of all types.

Growing Annona muricata

The soursop tree can reach height of 30 feet and is soil tolerant, although it flourishes in well drained,  sandy soil. A tropical specimen, this low branching and bushy tree does not tolerate cold or strong sustained winds. It will, however, grow at sea level and up to elevations of 3,000 feet in tropical climes.

A rapid grower, Annona muricata trees produce their first crop three to five years from seeding. Seeds stay viable for up to six months but better success is met by planting within 30 days of harvest and seeds will germinate within 15-30 days. Propagation is usually through seeds