English/Common Name- Bullock’s heart, Custard apple, Sugar apple,

Local Name- ರಾಮಫಲ (Ramphala)

Botanical Name- Annona Reticulata

Appearance- It is a small deciduous or semi-evergreen tree reaching 8 meters (26 ft) to 10 meters (33 ft) tall with an open, irregular crown. The slender leaves are hairless, straight, and pointed at the apex. The fruits vary in shape, heart-shaped, spherical, oblong, or irregular The size ranges from 7 centimeters (2.8 in) to 12 centimeters (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 flavour is sweet and pleasant, akin to the taste of 'traditional' custard.

Origin- Possibly a native of the Caribbean and Central America Annona reticulata is now pantropical and can be found growing between altitudes of 0 meters (0 ft) to 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) in areas of Central America that have alternating wet and dry seasons. It is cultivated in many tropical countries, and also occurs as feral populations in many parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, and Africa. It is cultivated and naturalized in many parts of the world including Southeast Asia, Taiwan, India, Australia, and Africa

Conditions required for growth- Although the tree grows optimally in tropic conditions, it is also found in subtropical regions. It requires humid conditions (medium to high rainfall). Compared to the other Annonas, it is less drought tolerant. The annual temperature necessary ranges from 17 to 27 °C. It tolerates light night frosts. It grows on many soil types with pH ranging from 5 to 8. It does not tolerate water logging or when the water table is too high.

Uses- Traditionally the plant has been employed for the treatment of epilepsy, dysentery, cardiac problem, parasite and worm infestations, constipation, hemorrhage, bacterial infection, dysuria, fever, ulcer and insecticide. The bark is a powerful astringent and used as a tonic whereas leaves are used for helminthiasis treatment.

 

 

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