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The Pond Apple is so-called because of its preference for a swampy habitat of fresh or brackish water. It is native to south florida from where it may have arrived naturally from tropical America.
It is a medium sized tree or large shrub of varied height and spread in habitat. Depending upon the site; it may reach 30-40 feet in height and a 10-20 feet spread. Pond Apple is related to the sweetsop, soursop and custard apple, all grown in the tropics for fruit. Therefore, is deciduous or semi deciduous, bearing simple, glossy, leathery dark green leaves, 4 to 8 inches x 2 to 4 inches. As a result, leaf replacement is rapid and initiates flowering. Crushed leaves emit an Annona fragrance, often used to confirm identification.
Bark is variable, smooth to deeply fissured, light gray to reddish brown in color. And, flowers white to greenish yellow, night blooming and fragrant, attracting beetle pollinators. While, fruits are smooth, oblong to elliptical, 3 to 5 inches x 2.5 to 3.5 inches, flesh aromatic, not palatable to humans, but eaten by wildlife. Fruit rot is a major potential problem.
Seeds can be used for propagation; they are inedible contain a chemical used as fish poison. While, wood is spongy and has no uses.
Although, messy fruit drop is a disadvantage in landscape use, Annona Glabra is suitable for wet low-lying areas in gardens and parks. Pond apple is planted to rehabilitate degraded areas of the everglades.