Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

February 16, 2016: Botany Photo of the Day will return this spring with a new format similar to the new UBC Botanical Garden web site. In the meantime, please enjoy the restored content!

Annona muricata

Annona muricata
Annona muricata

Thank you to sabagal of Kansas City, Missouri for today's photographs from her time on the Caribbean island of Saba (in the Netherland Antilles). sabagal has posted the original photographs of these and other tropical fruits in this thread in the BPotD submissions forum. Do keep the thought in mind while reading sabagal's commentary on the images that Saba is only 13 km2 (5 square miles)! Thank you for sharing, sabagal.

I particularly liked what sabagal shared about her experiences with this fruit: "Soursop is so popular that people will pick it too green and even steal it. If you knew of a bush in a corner you never told anyone about it. We made smoothies, ice cream and cheesecake with it." Sounds precious!

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but yet again, Morton's Fruits of Warm Climates provides the most detailed information about this species online: Annona muricata. As noted in that article, soursop isn't the most marketable of names for this fruit. Neither is the Dutch common name, zuurzak, which translates to "acid bag" (source: Wikipedia). Chinese gooseberry became popular once it began to be sold as kiwifruit--perhaps a similar effort will one day be made on the behalf of soursop.


Beautiful photos! For some more information on the plants and lichens of Saba Island, see

Excellent link, eashley - thanks!

This delicious fruit is known in Colombia as 'guanábana' and it is quite popular, as in Saba. I love to consume it fresh, enjoying the sweet-sour white pulp around the stones. It is mostly consumed as 'jugo de guanábana' in milk, though, or as icecream.

I think I may have heard of guanabano as a South American soda pop. I am always looking for new tastes in fruits since I think apples, oranges, and grapes are pretty boring after 50 years. Around here, the Mexicans have some interesting drinks made from Tamarind (said to be invasive here in Tucson), and Jamaica (I have no idea what plant this comes from, but it's kind of reddish-- hisbiscus, maybe?).

Yep, jamaica is made from the calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa.

hello every body if some one know we can i buy guanabana ( SOURSOP) please let me know I live in cancouver downtown and my boyfried has cancer so i read that frut is awesome but i could´t find it in the friut stores in vancouver, if some one know where can i find it please let me know ( thank yoou so much

While working in Costa Rica (gulf of Papagayo), I had my first taste of Guanabana in a fruit drink they call: guanabana con leche. Wow! Not only was it the most delicious drink I've ever had, it had some property I believe that made your hair healthy & shine. During my stay, there was an issue with guanabana growers & the Gov't. I recall truckloads of the fruit dumped on the roadside. On my subsequent trips, I again went for my favourite drink, but this time it was different. Turned out the bars / restaurants were using bottled/processed guanabana juice instead of the fresh product. What a disappointment. Just wasn't the same. Didn't do anything for the hair either. =)

Would also love to know where it can be purchased in the lower mainland. Was told Fruiticana was the best chance, but so far haven't found it. On another subject though, my wife and I are quite addicted to 'custard apples' (aka sweetsop), which is similar to the guanabana. Excellent, but unfortunately seasonal, so it's a hit 'n' miss. Chinatown fruit markets always seem to have them in season, but they certainly don't compare to the Australian grown, in size or in taste.

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