All About the “Na Dai” Vietnamese Sugar Apple (Annona squamosa)

All About the “Na Dai” Vietnamese Sugar Apple (Annona squamosa)

The Vietnamese sugar apple, also known as the “Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple” or “Mang cau dai” in Vietnam, is a popular tropical fruit enjoyed for its sweet flavor and chewy texture. 

This fruit is a type of Annona scientifically known as Annona squamosa. This article explores the origins, characteristics, and cultural significance of the Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple.

If you want to purchase a “Na Dai Vietnamese Sugar Apple,” you can click here.

Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apples.

Origins of the Sugar Apple

The sugar apple is native to South America and was brought to Southeast Asia by Spanish and Portuguese traders sailing in the 16th century. 

Today, it is widely cultivated in tropical regions worldwide, including Vietnam and tropical Southeast Asia.

Characteristics of the Na Dai Sugar Apple

The Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple has a unique appearance, with a light green, smooth exterior that protects a white, chewy interior. 

The interior is smooth and contains pieces containing a sweet, custard-like flesh that encases non-edible seeds.

The Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple is a favorite in flavor and consistency. 

The fruit has a delicate sweetness hint of tartness, and a smooth, creamy texture.

This combination of sweet and chewy texture and its juicy, creamy pulp make it a popular choice among fruit lovers and Florida fruit growers.

Cultural Significance of the Na Dai Sugar Apple

In Vietnam, the Na Dai sugar apple holds a special place in the hearts of many people.

It is often consumed as a snack or dessert and symbolizes good luck and prosperity. It is nutritious and provides the body with a bountiful of nutrients.

In Vietnamese, “Dai” means chewy, referring to the chewiness of this delicious sugar apple variety.

Inside of the Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple.

Where to purchase a Na Dai Vietnamese Sugar Apple?

You can purchase a Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple online here.

Growing and Harvesting Na Dai Sugar Apples

The sugar apple is an easy tropical fruit tree to grow and is well-suited to the subtropical climate of Florida. 

The trees typically grow to around 10-15 feet, produce fruit from late spring to early fall, and even make a second crop that can be harvested in the winter.

When it comes to harvesting, the sugar apples should be picked when they are fully mature. 

The Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple will be sweet if it ripens appropriately on the tree. 

To determine if a sugar apple is ripe, give it a gentle squeeze – if it gives slightly as a ripe avocado does, it is ready to be picked.

If you are harvesting Na dai Vietnamese sugar apples to sell at the market or to ship to someone, it is advised that you pick them when they are still slightly hard but have distinctive white lines between the carpels of the fruit to ensure they will be sweet and not plain.

What is the best fertilizer for Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apples?

The best fertilizer for Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apples is Osmocote plus 15-9-12 slow-release fertilizer. 

This fertilizer will give your sugar apples the proper nutrients for 3-4 months and release nutrients every time you water your sugar apple.

Sugar apples and other Annonaceae, such as Atemoyas, thrive with organic compost, foliar sprays, and a proper fertilizing schedule.

Questions about the Na Dai Vietnamese Sugar Apple

Is the Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple the same as the Thai Lesssard sugar apple?

No, the Na dai Vietnamese sugar apple has a different exterior to the fruit and has a unique leaf compared to the Thai Lessard sugar apple. You can check out this article that compares different sugar apple varieties. 

Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple next to a Thai Lessard sugar apple.

Where can I purchase the Na dai Vietnamese sugar apple fruit?

Many vendors are at the Pinellas Park Flea Market at Icot Center – 13600 Icot Blvd. Clearwater, FL 33760, sells the Na dai Vietnamese sugar apple during the sugar apple season from May through December. 

The market is open from 7 am to 2 pm, but it’s better to arrive early as a significant community loves the sugar apples and will buy them out fast.

How much does the Na Dai Vietnamese sugar apple cost per pound in Florida?

In 2022, Na dai Vietnamese sugar apples were sold for around 14 – 20$ the pound plus at Flea markets in Florida, such as the Pinellas Park Flea Market. 

This means that one big fruit could cost you anywhere from 20-25$ alone.


The Na Dai sugar apple is a truly unique and delicious fruit and is an essential part of Vietnamese culture. With its sweet and creamy flesh, this fruit is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the rich fruit traditions of Southeast Asia. Whether you enjoy it as a healthy snack, a dessert, or a traditional natural remedy, there is no denying that the sugar apple (Annona squamosa) is a truly remarkable fruit.

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