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Brazilian Custard Apple – Rollinia spp.


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Related To: Soursop, Sweetsop, Cherimoya Main Uses: Fruit Growth Rate: Fast

Mature Height/Spread: Small tree, often understory. To 6m but usually smaller. Flowering/Pollination: Pendulous, 3-lobed, fleshy. Self fertile.

Tolerance: Moderately tolerant of drought, but is also quite tolerant of occasional flooding. Intolerant of salt.

Soil/Nutrition: Likes a well-drained soil, fertile, and constant mulching with light, moisture-retentive materials such as straw. This species is known to tolerate water-logging and flooding (provided shelter from high winds).

Light: Light shade to full sun.

Wind: Needs a location sheltering it from strong wind. The feeder roots are tender, and if severed, the tree will easily develop root rot, and can even die suddenly in some cases due to this.

Temperature: Can handle temperatures down to freezing once established.

Dangers: None. Diseases Prone: Root rot, often due to wind disturbance / damage.

Bearing Age: 3 years from seed.? Fruit: Large, rounded, covered in pointy protuberant nubs that begin to turn black as the fruit ripens. Fruit tastes sweet, pleasant, some compare it’s flavor to “lemon meringue pie.” Friuts are highly perishable, beginning to blacken slowly within hours of harvesting. For this reason it is not exported, and is only seen where trees are growing nearby.

History/Origin: This species is native to the Amazon, and is now found throughout central and south America.

The wood of this species is used to make the wooden sticks used in the Brazilian martial art capoiera.

Species Observations: This species is routinely confused with another closely related species, rollinia mucosa. The fruits of r. mucosa have much shorter protrusions, a more rounded appearance, and slightly more cold tolerance. Container Culture: Possible, but not ideal.

Preparation / Food: Eaten fresh, and chilled. Fruits are highly perishable and are only seen close to where they were grown.