Guayabano, guyabano or soursop in English (Anona muricata Linn.) is a small tree about 5 to 7 meters in height. The leaves are alternate, oval in shape, pointed at both ends, smooth and shining, 7 to 20 centimeters long and with petioles about 5 millimeters long. The flowers are large, yellowish or greenish yellow and solitary. There are six large, fleshy or leathery petals in two series. They are heart-shaped, with pointed tip, and up to 5 centimeters in length and 3 centimeters in breadth. In the center of the flower is a cone-shaped mass of many carpels which will form the fruit, and below this are very numerous stamens.
A native of tropical America, was introduced into the Philippines at an early date and is no cultivated in all parts of the Archipelago.
Guyabano is a green, soft spine, pea-shaped fruit with a sweet-sour flavor. It weighs about two to five kilos. The skin is thin and its flesh is a white, soft fibrous pulp which has a very agreeable flavor but rather sour. Its mature, green fruit is used as vegetable and made into sweet meats, while the ripe fruit is eaten raw or for dessert.
A lot of concoctions can be made into guyabano like delicious sherbets, ice drops and fruit drinks. An assortment of punch and cocktail drinks can be made by mixing the nectar with wine rum or cola drinks or buko (fresh coconut) juice and ice.
There are two strains of guyabano: the sweet and the ordinary. Both have the same botanic description. The former, however, tastes sweeter than the ordinary. Belonging to the family Anonaceae, other familiar fruits beside guyabano are atis (Anona Squamosa or sugar apple), anonas (Anona reticulata or custard apple), and atemoya (Anona).
Nutritive Mineral Content of Guyabano
Guyabano fruit is an excellent source of vitamins B and C. However, it is deficient in Vitamin A, calcium and phosphorous. Below is the mineral content analyses of the fruit:
- Calcium (CaO)
- Iron (Fe2O2)
Soil and Climate
The plant grows in any kind of soil, but a fairly deep, friable soil of volcanic origin is conducive to growth & fruiting. It thrives very well from sea level up to 500 meters above sea level. It is best to plant them at the start of the rainy season.
Method of Propagation