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Chakkapazham (Annona Reticulata)

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150.00

Annona reticulata is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree in the plant family Annonaceae and part of the Annonas group. It is best known for its fruit, called custard apple, a common name shared with fruits of several other species in the same genus: A. cherimola and A. squamosa. Other English common names include ox heart and bullock’s heart. In India, it is commonly known as Ramphal in Hindi and aater in Konkani (a regional language native to the state of Goa). The fruit is sweet and useful in preparation of desserts, but is generally less popular for eating than that of A. cherimola.

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Description

Annona reticulata is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree reaching 8 metres (26 ft) to 10 metres (33 ft) tall with an open, irregular crown.

The slender leaves are hairless, straight and pointed at the apex (in some varieties wrinkled), 10 centimetres (3.9 in) to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long and 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) wide. The yellow-green flowers are generally in clusters of three or four 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 3 centimetres (1.2 in) diameter, with three long outer petals and three very small inner ones. Its pollen is shed as permanent tetrads.

The fruits vary in shape, heart-shaped, spherical, oblong or irregular. The size ranges from 7 centimetres (2.8 in) to 12 centimetres (4.7 in), depending on the cultivar. When ripe, the fruit is brown or yellowish, with red highlights and a varying degree of reticulation, depending again on the variety. The flesh varies from juicy and very aromatic to hard with a repulsive taste. The flavor is sweet and pleasant, akin to the taste of ‘traditional’ custard.

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