Annona glabra L.
Pond apple, alligator apple, swamp apple, corkwood, bobwood, monkey apple
Pond apple is native to Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and West Africa. In Sri Lanka and Australia it is considered an invasive. It is found in swamps and brackish water.
Plants: Trees are deciduous, up to 39' (12 m) in height and 10-20' (3-6.1 m) around, with a trunk 8-18" (20-45 cm) around. Seedling clusters often produce crowded clusters of trees that appear to be a single tree with multiple trunks. Older trees often become thicker, “buttressed,” at the base. Bark is highly variable, scaly or fissured, gray or brownish-gray.
Leaves: Ovate to oblong, simple, smooth-edged, hairless, and alternate. They are leathery and heart-shaped, 3-6" (8-15 cm) × 1½-2" (4-6 cm), with acute tips. Each leaf stem (petiole) is ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) long. Crushed leaves have a characteristic odor.
Flowers: Solitary, similar in shape to the fruit, hanging downward on thick stems, pale greenish-yellow to cream-colored, with triangular petals. A set of inner petals are blood red inside, or spotted with red near the base. They are ⅞-2" (2.5-6 cm) in diameter.
Fruits: Round, round but kind of squished, egg-shaped, heart-shaped, or even conical; up to 3½" (9 cm) around and 2½-6" (7-15 cm) in height. Each fruit is yellowish when ripe, and contains more than 100 caramel-colored seeds. Ripening fruits fall into water, where they float to new locations and sprout, unless they are eaten by alligators.
Edibility: Poisonous Fruits are technically edible, although mealy and unpalatable, and seeds are poisonous to people. (If you handle the seeds, wash your hands before putting them near your eyes—they can cause blindness.) The fruits provide important food to many birds, raccoons, squirrels, turtles, and alligators.
Annona glabra on Wikipedia
Annona glabra on www.eattheweeds.com
Annona glabra on the Encyclopedia of Life
Annona glabra description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 10a-12b: