Botanical name: Annona squamosa Family: Annonaceae (sugar apple family)
A small tropical tree, indigenous to the Amazon rainforest, growing up to 20' tall. The leaves are thin, oblong while the flowers are greenish - yellow. Flowers are oblong, 1 to 1 1/2 in long, never fully open, with 1 in long, drooping stalks, and 3 fleshy outer petals, yellow-green on the outside and pale-yellow inside with a purple or dark-red spot at the base. The avoid or conical fruit, with a purple knobby skin, is very sweet and is eaten fresh or can be used for shakes. The fruit is juicy and creamy - white; it may contain up to 40 black seeds. These seeds are poisonous. From delicious fruits of Sitaphal, jelly, jam, conserves, sharbets, syrup, tart and fermented drinks are prepared. The peelings and pulps contain oil that is useful in flavouring.
Medicinal uses: The bark and leaves contain annonaine, an alkaloid. In tropical America, a decoction of the leaves is used as a cold remedy and to clarify urine. A bark decoction is used to stop diarrhea, while the root is used in the treatment of dysentery.
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