When time and funding permit, each flower (each plant species) will have its own page, and its own PDF, and eventually its own PPT so that professors and students have plenty of material on Guatemala (and Honduras, etc) to study.

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Guanabas and Annonas, fruits native from America Print E-mail

About 100 species, all natives of America. Several additional species grow wild in southern Central America. The generic name has often been written Anona. It is derived from "anon," an Indian name of the Greater Antilles.

Annona purpurea

Frequent in wet or dry forest, often in second growth or in thickets, common in cultivation, chiefly at low elevations but sometimes ascending to about 1,200 meters; Alta Verapaz; Izabal; Chiquimula; Jutiapa; Santa Rosa; Retalhuleu; San Marcos. Southern Mexico; British Honduras to Panama; Trinidad; Venezuela.

The Maya names "pox," "chacoop," and "polbox" are reported from Yucatan, and "oop" from British Honduras. The term for the fruit appears in the name of a caserio of Jutiapa, called Cincuya. The pulp is orange-colored, fragrant, and rather fibrous. The fruit is often eaten when nothing better is available, but it is poor in flavor and there is a popular belief that it is "unhealthy." It does appear at times in the markets.

Chincuya, Annona purpurea fruit notice the conical ridges on the outer surface. Photo by Jaime Leonardo, Guatemala, Guatemala
Chincuya, Annona purpurea fruit notice the conical ridges on the outer surface. Photo by Jaime Leonardo, Guatemala, Guatemala

Chincuya, Annona purpurea fruit at FLAAR photography studio. Photo by Jaime Leonardo, Guatemala City
Chincuya, Annona purpurea fruit at FLAAR photography studio. Photo by Jaime Leonardo, Guatemala City

Annona squamosa

Infrequent in Guatemala, but cultivated in Peten, also in Zacapa and well naturalizes in some regions of Zacapa, ciefly on low dry hills. Widely cultivated in tropical America, although usually rare in Central America; native region unknown.

The English name is “sugar-apple” or “sweetsop”. Among the various Central American anonas this is easily recognized by its distinctive fruit, always with more or less pale bloom, and consisting of incompletely fused, round-tipped carpels, wich give it an appearance quite unlike that of other species. Popenoe states that the fruit were yielding a heavy crop of fine fruit. Lundell reports that in Peten the leaves are placed in bath water of children to refresh the when they are fretful. In some parts of its range, leaves of this species are rubbed over floors or placed in hens nests to keep away vermin, and the seed are said to have insecticide properties.

Sugar apple, Chirimoya, Annona squamosa fruit from the tree with the distinctive pale color. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth.

Sugar apple, Chirimoya, Annona squamosa fruit from the tree with the distinctive pale color. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth.

Annona muricata

Not common in Guatemala but planted in the lowlands, rarely above 900 meters; occasional in the lower regions of Alta Verapaz and Izabal, and in the lowlands of the Pacific slope; not known wild in Guatemala unless occasionally persisting about settlements.

Generally cultivated in tropical America, the native region unknown.

Guanabana, Annona muricata unopened bud flower. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth
Guanabana, Annona muricata unopened bud flower. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth

The English name is "soursop." The Maya name of Yucatan is "tacob." No Indian name for the fruit is known in Guatemala; hence we suspect that it may be of comparatively recent introduction, perhaps from the Antilles after the Conquest. The rind of the fruit has an unpleasant odor, but the white flesh is agreeably acidulous.

Guanabana, Annona muricata recently opened bud flower hanging from the tree. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth, Guatemala
Guanabana, Annona muricata recently opened bud flower hanging from the tree. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth, Guatemala

Although sometimes eaten as a dessert fruit, the guanaba is used mostly for flavoring ices and beverages of various kinds, including bottled carbonated drinks. The flavor is a popular one and very agreeable. If quantities of the juice could be preserved and exported to the United States, there is every reason to believe that it would become popular there for the same purposes. While the trees are far from plentiful in Guatemala, the fruits often are available in quantity in the markets of Guatemala City, to which they are taken from the lowlands, and in smaller numbers in the market of Coban.

They often weigh five or six pounds or even more. The wood is light-colored and soft. It is used sometimes in Salvador for making ox yokes, because the wood is considered fresca, and does not cause the hair of the oxen's necks to fall out. In Salvador there are distinguished two varieties of the fruit: the Guanaba azucaron, that has sweet flesh and is eaten raw or made into refrescos, and the Guanaba acida, that is very sour and is used only for preparation of refrescos. A decoction of the leaves sometimes is applied to the hair to kill head lice. In the American Virgin Islands the fruit is said to be used as bait in fish traps.

Guanabana, Annona muricata fruit from a local market in Guatemal. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth, Guatemala.

Guanabana, Annona muricata fruit from a local market in Guatemala. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth, Guatemala.

Guanabana, Annona muricata fruit from a local market in Guatemal. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth, Guatemala.

Guanabana, Annona muricata photo taken in FLAAR studios, Guatemala.



Guanabana, Annona muricata fruit from a local market in Guatemal. Photo by Nicholas Hellmuth, Guatemala.

Guanabana, Annona muricata photo taken in FLAAR studios, Guatemala.

Most recently updated May 1st, 2012. First posted October 07, 2011.

 

Tobacco Ingredients of Aztec & Maya

Spices, condiments, food coloring

Dye plants for textiles

Plants and trees used to produce incense

Camera Reviews for Photographing Flowers and Plants

Trees with conical Spines

Flowers native to Guatemala visible now around the world

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Fruits (typical misnomer mishmash of Spanish language)

Fruits (vines or cacti)

Flavoring, herbs, and spices

Flowers, sacred

Plants which are sacred

Plants or trees that are used to produce incense

Most common introduced plants (not native)

We Thank Gitzo, 90% of the photographs of plants, flowers and trees in Guatemala are photographed using a Gitzo tripod, available from Manfrotto Distribution.
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