ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cherimoya Tree

Updated on August 29, 2014

The Cherimoya Fruit Tree

Cherimoya Tree and it's Large Fruit.
Cherimoya Tree and it's Large Fruit. | Source

Ancient Chirimoya Bottle

Cherimoya bottle from the Cupisnique culture in the Pre-Columbia Art Museum, Santiago, Chile.
Cherimoya bottle from the Cupisnique culture in the Pre-Columbia Art Museum, Santiago, Chile. | Source

Origins of Cherimoya ~

The Cherimoya Tree is one interesting tree. Known also as cherimoya it is part evergreen part deciduous fruit producing tree that favors subtropical and temperate climates. It is said to be native to the South American interandean valleys of Ecuador, Bolivia and Columbia from where it spread in ancient times into Chile and Brazil where it currently thrives.

Peru remains a bone of contention with many claiming it was not until seeds were sent from one P. Bernabe Cobo in 1629 from Guatemala that the cherimoya tree was introduced. Other’s claim it belongs alongside the native countries.

Cobo was responsible for sending the cherimoya seeds to Mexico the same year where it continues to thrive at the high elevations of between 4,000 and 5,000 ft (1312 – 1640 m).

It became more widespread through South America and then Hawaii, Jamaica, Haiti, Spain and the first documented planting in Italy was in 1797.

Today it is more widespread and grows well in Australasia, Northern Africa, The Canary Islands, The Philippines, India and in California, notably San Diego County. Although it has been planted in Florida, cherimoya trees do not do well historically there.

Annona cherimola

bushy and wide spreading branches, cherimoya are predominantly an evergreen tree.
bushy and wide spreading branches, cherimoya are predominantly an evergreen tree. | Source

Leaves of The Cherimoya Tree

well defined leaves hiding fruit and flowers of a similar coloring make it difficult to spot the cherimoya fruit and flowers.
well defined leaves hiding fruit and flowers of a similar coloring make it difficult to spot the cherimoya fruit and flowers. | Source

Climate ~

The cherimoya tree loves the subtropical climatic conditions with a mild temperature and does not do well in lowland tropical areas.

They may grow at a height as low as 2,950 ft (900 m) all the way up to 8,000 ft (2,500 m).

The ideal temperatures for growing cherimoyas is 17C – 25 C in summer and while it may cope with light frost, it does not do well in heavy frost and snow in winter, favouring temperatures between 18C – 5C.

They have a relatively short season which is March to May, depending on the variety.

Cherimoya Tree ~

The Cherimoya is a tall but low branched tree which spreads out and ranges from 16-30 ft (5-9 m) in height.

The green leaves of the cherimoya range between 5 cm (2 in) to 25 cm (9.8 in) in length and 3 cm (1.2 in) to 10 cm (3.9 in) wide.

Young leaves will have rust colored fine hairs all over the leaf while in mature leaves these reddish brown hairs are only found on the underside of leaves along the veins.

The tree produces fragrant flowers that are visible along the branches in small clusters or as single blooms. They have 3 outer fleshy, green, downy petals with 3 inner white or pinkish petals.

Size of Fruit Seeds

phtographed next to a US 1 cent coin which measures 19.05mm or 0.75 ins.
phtographed next to a US 1 cent coin which measures 19.05mm or 0.75 ins. | Source

Cherimoya Fruit

the fruit is one of the largest and may only yield 25 fruits in its first fruit producing year.
the fruit is one of the largest and may only yield 25 fruits in its first fruit producing year. | Source

Cherimoya Fruit ~

This large heart shaped or conical fruit usually weighs between ½ - 1 kg (1.1 – 2.2 lbs) and has been cultivated up to a massive 1.8 kg (4 lbs) as a super fruit.

The thick green skin may be smooth, have a fingerprint pattern or even have slightly raised “nipple” like protrusions, depending on the cultivar. Inside it has a thick creamy flesh not unlike custard or an avocado.

Cherimoyas taste deliciously sweet with the flavor being described as a cross between a pineapple, banana, passion fruit, papaya, lemon, coconut and mango!

Not bad for a single fruit. It is not harvested until fully mature and should be stored at 10C to stop the fruit softening. At room temperature it is ripe for eating after 3-4 days and may be kept in the fridge if eating within a few days time.

Nutritional Benefits ~

Cherimoya fruit is relatively low in calories, bearing in mind the size of the fruit. As it is high in carbohydrates, it would not be a good choice for those on a low-carb diet but is an excellence inclusion for all sporting activities.

High in water, antioxidants, fiber, protein, vitamin C, potassium and calcium it has small quantities of trace elements, vitamins and nutrients and is low in fat.

Apart from health benefits, cherimoya fruit make an ideal natural ingredient for homemade skin care products as it is hydrating, nourishing and a gentle skin exfoliator.

For some tropical inspired skin care recipes that you could easily substitute or include cherimoya fruit in, check out some of my home spa treatments such as a banana scrub, papaya and pumpkin efoliating face mask or ripe mango face pack.

Eat Out of The Skin

great when you are on the move and need a tasty snack.
great when you are on the move and need a tasty snack. | Source

Sliced Cherimoya Fruit

keep it simple by slicing it and serve with a squeeze of fresh orange juice.
keep it simple by slicing it and serve with a squeeze of fresh orange juice. | Source

Do you know the Cherimoya fruit?

See results

How to Eat Cherimoya ~

  • For on the move eating, cherimoya is best eaten as it is out of the skin.
  • Another way is to cut lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon and eat it. Spit out or discard the seeds which are inedible.
  • Scoop out the flesh into a bowl, discard the seeds and cover the bowl with clingfilm or plastic wrap. Pop it into the freezer for a couple of hours and eat it as an ice cream.
  • Frozen cherimoya flesh is ideal to use in a healthy smoothie or as a sorbet alone or combined with other fruits.
  • Fancy it hot? Cut it lengthwise and put the fruit face sown on a cookie sheet (baking sheet) and bake in the oven at 400C for 10-15 minutes or until the flesh is a golden color. Eat straight from the skin or scoop out into a bowl. This could also be done on the barbeque for outdoor cooking.
  • Scoop out the flesh and cut into cubes. Add the cubes to savory or sweet salads for a refreshing change. For a taste of the tropics add it to papaya, mango, pineapple and banana.
  • In cubes you may use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles served with some Greek style natural yogurt, cinnamon and nutmeg. For a twist to your pancake batter you could puree the cherimoya flesh and add it to the batter mix.

Tropical Fruit Basket

spot the cherimoya amongst the other exotic fruits.
spot the cherimoya amongst the other exotic fruits. | Source

Introduction to Cherimoya

Sorbete de Chirimoya

Cherimoya Sorbet
Cherimoya Sorbet | Source

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

Cherimoya Tree Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Vicki 4 weeks ago

      I live in southwest Florida and believe I have this fruit bearing tree the Cherimoya tree. We don't know how it got in our yard or planted, but it is the second year it is bear fruit, not too tall, the skin looks more like a watermelon with the spikes and then in time the spikes disappear and becomes smooth.

      Thank you for the information,now we know the name of the tree and the fruit is edible. Just need to known the right time to pick the fruit.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi greatstuff,

      Thanks for dropping in! Your durian belanda fruit seems to be the soursop fruit another member of the Annona genus (Annona muricata) with it's spiky protrusions it tastes very similar to cherimoya. It also belongs to the same family as pawpaw fruit. Glad you enjoy this fruit and you are so lucky to have it growing naturally in Malaysia, unlike here! Cheers for dropping in!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 4 years ago from Malaysia

      This is one of my favorite fruits and we called it 'durian belanda', except that it has a longer 'thorns' on its skin. It is always plucked and sold unripe and we have to keep it at room temperature (or stored inside the rice bag, if we are in a hurry to ripen it). It has that sweet and sour taste that is great for juice.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Cherimoya Project,

      glad you popped in and appreciate the comment!

    • profile image

      Cherimoya Project 4 years ago

      Excellent information, thank you very much.

      The best for you. Warm regards from The Cherimoya Project.org - proyectochirimoya.org Tropical Granada - Trópico de Europa - Spain.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Peggy,

      Many thanks for your visit and lovely interesting comments as always! Hope you will source cherimoya in your Asian markets, they are the best places to try or any Mexican markets you may have locally. Appreciate your kind votes and shares Peggy!

      Peggy, I have linked to 2 of your hubs in my latest hub which I hope is okay?

      I sent you a mail to check with you.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I have heard the name cherimoya for some reason but to my knowledge I have never seen one and have for certain never eaten one. Will have to check out some of my favorite Asian markets to see if they have them available for sale. Would love to try one and from your description, I know that we would like it. Up, useful and interesting votes and will share.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Sweet Epistles,

      Thanks for stopping by. The soursop is of the same genus as cherimoya and both are in the Philippines. Hope you get to try cherimoya too, it is very similar. Thanks for your info and input, it is great to know! Appreciate your votes here!

    • Sweet Epistles profile image

      June 4 years ago from From the Heart of God

      This is very interesting. We do have similar fruit like this in the Philippines and we called it Guyabano -"sour sop", Graviola in Brazil and Guanabana in Spanish.The benefits is almost the same from its leaves to its skin and seed and there were some who can make sour sop jam and ice cream and soup. It is said to be No.1 cancer killer and it's 10,000 stronger than chemo.

      Voted useful.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Thelma,

      Cherimoya will be available in The Philippines for sure and probably much cheaper than this side of the world! So many wonderful foods in your native country, this is definitely one of them! Many thanks for your comments, votes and for sharing on my friend! Have a great Easter!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      This fruit sounds familiar to me, but I´m not sure if I have eaten this before. I will definitely buy this fruit when I see one in our supermarket and try this. Thanks for SHARING. Voted up and useful;-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi PDXKaraokeGuy,

      I am a big fan of tropical fruits too and many are extremely hard to get here but I love trying these exotic fruits on my travels. Hopefully you will find this in an Asian or ethnic food store. Appreciate your comments :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi mr-veg,

      Thanks for dropping in! The sugar apple is another species in the Annona genus. So many are very similar. Delighted you enjoyed this trip down memory lane! many thanks for your comments!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Anginwu,

      How good to see you. Yes, soursop is another related fruit! Glad to hear you enjoy it and see the similarities and the difference to the cherimoya. Appreciate your votes as always!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rajan,

      Yes, the custard apple is related and quite often the name has been applied to the cherimoya fruit. There are a few similar species and custard apple is one. Looking forward to reading your hub and will link it to this too! Many thanks my friend for the interest and comments, your words are always much appreciated! Thanks for your votes and shares!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I've never heard off this tree of fruit, but I love tropical fruits so i'll have to give this one a shot. Thanks for sharing.

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 4 years ago from Colorado United States

      Wow this one reminded me of the Indian delicious fruit Sugar apple... thanks for taking me back to my childhood :D

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      This fruit looks very similar to one called "soursop." The inside looks the same but the one I'm familiar with is slightly elongated, with a sweet sour flavor that's decidedly pleasing. I wonder if they're from the same family? Interesting hub, as always and rated up.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Hi Suzie,

      the moment I saw the first picture I knew this fruit was related to the custard apple and yes they both belong to the Annona genus. I love sitaphal, as custard apple is known here. It's surprising I'm into completing a hub on custard apple.

      Excellent information as always and informative as well.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi summerberries,

      Hope all is good down Charleston way! Ecuador I believe is beautiful, as quite a few friends have been there. Good to know you were familiar with cherimoya from your travels there too. Appreciate your visit and comments!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Natasha,

      It is certainly one big fruit that looks weird but is also wonderful! Do give it a try if you come across it, you may be pleasantly surprised!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Eddy,

      Appreciate your comments as I always do! Thanks Ed!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi livingsta,

      So glad you enjoyed this and hopefully you will get a chance to savor this again! You may have even had the custard apple which can be taken for this one. Appreciate you voting & sharing, cheers!

    • profile image

      summerberrie 4 years ago

      I've tasted this fruit while we were in Ecuador. I think one of the neighboring missionaries had a tree in their yard. Oh, and about the paw paw- they are native to the woods of South Carolina but I've never come across one in the wild. We bought a few trees last year to plant on our farm and got one paw paw(fruit) to share among us. Very tasty!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I've never had this fruit. It looks totally crazy and like I'd have to work up some courage to give it a try! The combo taste sounds interesting, though, so I'll have to give it a chance if I ever find one.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub Suzie and voted up.

      Eddy.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Suzie, thank you for sharing this hub. I think I have tasted this fruit or something similar.

      Votes up and sharing!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi wabash annie,

      Many thanks for checking this out! Glad you found it interesting and yes it is similar to paw paw. Hopefully you will find the cherimoya available in your area and get to taste it. Cheers for your comments! :-)

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 4 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      What an interesting fruit ... thanks for sharing the information. It sounds similar in flavor and appearance to the paw paw, which is native to parts of the U.S.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks so much for dropping in. Good to hear you have seen this fruit in Germany, hope you give it a try as if you are a fruit lover you may never turn back!! Cheers for your interest and input!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 4 years ago from Georgia country

      A great hub! I have seen this fruit at the supermarket from time to time but I have never eaten it before. I should try it out.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vespa!

      How great to see you! Wow, what a coincidence! From what I read it is extremely popular in Peru and you have just backed that up! Eating simply seems to be the best way. Glad you enjoyed this so much look forward to you using it in a recipe sometime! Many thanks for all your continued support my friend, hope all is good with you!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I'm eating a cherimoya as I read this Hub! It's one of my favorite fruits and is in season in Peru. The flesh is super sweet and the flavor is hard to describe, as you mention, but I always say it tastes like fruity vanilla pudding or custard. We just tear ours in half and then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. The only down side is some cherimoyas are very seedy. I hope someday they come up with a seedless hybrid. It does make a delicious sorbet. I never thought of using it for a facial scrub! Another great Hub...voted up and shared.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Many thanks for commenting! Delighted to hear you heard of his before and hopefully you will source it at a market, especially now as it is coming into season. Appreciate so much your interest always!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I think I have heard of this one time. A supermarket I used to go to had recipe cards for all sorts of fruits and vegetables, many very exotic, and this was one of them. Actually, I was eager to taste some of them, but could never find the fruit there (such a tease they were!). This is a great article with useful information about it, and if I ever have one I will know that it is a very versatile fruit. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rose,

      Many thanks for dropping by. Amazing fruit so i am glad you found interesting and something new. Maybe you will come across it and give it a try. Cheers for your input!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I had never heard of the cherimoya tree before! You learn something new everyday. Thanks for the comprehensive overview.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rebecca,

      Great to see you! Glad you found a new and interesting fruit in cherimoya! Hope you get to try it sometime, especially as it is cherimoya season now!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Wow! I learn something new everyday. This is so cool. Great job bringing us into the light on this lovely and unusual fruit.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Carol,

      Many thanks for your kind comments. I love finding new or unusual delights from around the world! The mix of flavors in this one fruit is amazing so hopefully you find it on your travels and try it out! Cheers for votes and sharing Carol!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      You should find it in USA as it is grown in some locations particularly California and Mexico. The Mexican and Asian food stores may stock it quicker than ordinary supermarkets. Glad you enjoyed this! On your next visit to Italy you will definitely find it! Appreciate your votes, shares etc. . .as always!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Never heard of this fruit or tree. Always enjoy learning something new. I have never seen this fruit in the stores. Great hub and well researched. Voting up and sharing.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very interesting Suzie. I had never heard of the Cherimoya tree or fruit. I often wonder why some of these interesting fruits never seem to make it to the US? I would certainly try this, it has many health benefits, so why not? I will have to ask about this next time I'm in the market. Another great job. Voting up, sharing, etc..

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vellur,

      Many thanks for visit and comments! Hope you manage to find this in the fruit markets there and get to try it! Appreciate your support as always :-)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Never heard of this tree, thank you for sharing. I will look out for the fruit, looks yummy and am sure it must taste yummier!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Careermommy,

      Thanks for dropping by! As you are in California, you should be able to find these pretty easy as they are grown there, particularly San Diego area. Mexican markets, Asian Markets and Farmers markets in your area. Mexican markets particularly should have them in abundance from now onward till early summer. Enjoy, when you find them as it should be pretty easy in CA.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow, this fruit sounds delicious! I too, have never heard of it. Where is this yummy fruit available in the United States?

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi faythef,

      Many thanks for commenting, so glad you found interesting! Hopefully you will get to taste it!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Dan,

      Great to have you visit, so glad you enjoyed this. It was new to me but it fascinating to find these wonderful exotic fruits becoming more available in the non tropical markets of the world! Unfortunately for us it comes at a price usually but it is worth tasting it if you can find it in an Asian market, Mexican food market or maybe a Farmers market. Thanks for dropping by!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Billicious!

      LOL . . . Glad you are wide awake for reading! I know the feeling only too well about the tropics! Springtime and it is freezing with snow due here. Rain, wind and sleet during the week, can you blame us moving to warm tropical southern Italy!! Glad you enjoyed my good friend! Have a great weekend too!

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

      very interesting..I have never heard of this fruit...

    • Dan Barfield profile image

      Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      never heard of it! Marvelous - This looks seriously tastey! Gotta find me some of these!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hooray! You posted a hub in the morning so I'm wide awake when I read it. Unfortunately, I have never heard of this tree or its fruit, and the subtropics and tropics is a myth as far as I'm concerned. I know people talk about areas where it is warm most of the time, but this morning I'm finding it hard to believe. :)

      Interesting stuff, Suzie! Much more interesting than how to put my eye liner on correctly. LOL Good job! Have a wonderful weekend my friend.