Custard Apple (Anona Reticulata), a species of dicotyledonous plants belonging to the natural order anonacece or anonads, of which it is so typical as to have given to the whole family the common name of the custard-apple order or tribe. The custard apple properly so called (although the name is often given to several allied species) is a small tree, indigenous to the West Indies and South America. Like the other plants of its order, it has the calyx and sepals of its flowers arranged in threes; the seed largely consists of the albumen, which is ruminated or perforated. The fruit is large, dark brown, and marked with depressions like those on a young pine cone, looking as though it had been "quilted." The pulp is of reddish yellow color and pleasant taste; it is soft and creamy, like custard. The cherimoyer (A. cherimolia) of Peru is very similar to the preceding, but superior in flavor. The sour sop of the West Indies (A. muricata) has a larger fruit, sometimes reaching the weight of two pounds. It is of a light green color, with a prickly skin; the pulp is white and acid.
The sweet sop, the fruit of A. squamosa, a tree common both to the East and West Indies, is covered with thick scales, and the leaves of the tree have a disagreeable odor; but the pulp of the fruit is pleasant, though it is not so much relished by Europeans as by the natives. The anona palustris, a tree also indigenous to the West Indies, is valuable for the properties of its light, soft wood, often used instead of cork for a variety of purposes. .
Custard Apple (Anona reticulata).