Overview of Sugar Apple (Annona squamosa) Varieties and Cultivars
The sugar apple, or Annona squamosa, is a tropical fruit from the Annonaceae family. It has many different cultivars and varieties that vary in sweet flavor and texture. In this article, we will check out the various types of sugar apples grown worldwide and their unique characteristics. Furthermore, we’ll discuss how to identify them so you can learn more and one day grow them.
Types of Sugar Apples (Annona squamosa)
Many different types of sugar apples are available on the market to grow and buy. Some of the more popular ones include
- Na Dai Vietnamese – A custardy sweet and chewy Vietnamese sugar apple variety
- Thai Lessard – A green sugar apple variety from Thailand that is known for its big and sweet sugar apples
- Kampong Mauve – A Purple sugar apple variety that develops a beautiful purple and red blush and is said to have a sweet berry custard flavor
- Thai Purple – A purple sugar apple variety that develops a purple blush and is very productive
- Thai Golden – A sugar apple variety that is yellow instead of green from Thailand. This sugar apple is sweet and chewy and has a unique yellow or golden appearance.
Each type offers a unique sweetness and flavor profile, making them perfect for those who enjoy sugar apples and want to grow different varieties.
Identifying Different Types Of Sugar Apples
It can be difficult to identify different types of sugar apples as they all look pretty similar on the outside but can have very distinct flavors coming from within.
However, there are some general features that you can use to identify each type, such as the color and shape of the Annona fruits and leaves.
Na Dai Vietnamese Sugar apple
A variety of sugar apple from Vietnam that has excellent eating characteristics such as a low seed-to-meat ratio, chewy delectable flesh, and sweet and juicy flesh.
Its leaves are smaller than other green sugar apple cultivars, with more segmented flesh and skin that easily peels off.
Thai Lessard Sugar Apple
A variety of sugar apple originating from Thailand. The Thai Lessard sugar apple is a high-producing sugar apple tree that makes big and delicious sugar apples.
Thai Lessard sugar apple scales are much more prominent, more stuck out, and somewhat pointed.
This is much different from the ‘Na Dai Vietnamese’ sugar apple scales, which are fused together and make peeling easier than the Thai Lessard.
The leaves are much larger on the Thai Lessard compared to other green variety sugar apples.
Thai Golden Sugar Apple
A variety of sugar apple that comes from Thailand and produces yellow sweet sugar apples.
This variety also produces yellow leaves, making it easy to distinguish amongst green variety sugar apple cultivars.
Thai Purple Sugar Apple
A variety of sugar apple that comes from Thailand and produces purple/red sugar apples. This variety of sugar apple is sweet and is a pretty tree to have due to its beautiful purple sugar apples that grow from it.
A variety of sugar apple that is known for its stunning purple-colored sugar apples is the Kampong Mauve. It produces sugar apples with a low seed count and excellent-tasting sugar apple pulp.
This variety of sugar apple produces purple sugar apples from the moment the sugar apple is the size of a marble.
It is important to note that the Kampong Muave starts to produce purple fruits when the sugar apple is the size of a marble. Other purple varieties of sugar apples may stay green until the fruits are about one to two months from maturing.
Other cultivars of purple sugar apple, such as the “Thai Purple,” make purple sugar apples but start green color up until they are about the size of a golf ball.
There are reports of the Kampong mauve sugar apple being a shy bearer compared to other purple and red sugar apple cultivars.
Varieties & Cultivars
Each of the sugar apple varieties still all classifies as a sugar apple (Annona squamosa) and, although unique in their fruit characteristics, are all referred to as sugar apples.
More sugar apple cultivars and varieties are out there, and new hybrids are constantly being bred and developed every year as more Annona enthusiasts are pollinating and mixing pollen to create new cultivars.
With sugar apples, mixing the pollen from different varieties is done in nature by the sugar apple pollinator, the nitulid beetle – and is also done by Annonaceae fruit enthusiasts wanting to create a new cultivar of sugar apple.
In conclusion, sugar apples offer a wide range of exciting cultivars filled with nutritional benefits, making them an ideal choice for anyone looking to grow a tropical fruit tree that is both sweet and healthy!
With expansive varieties, it’s hard to decide which sugar apple is best suited for you. By identifying specific characteristics and growing conditions such as shape, color, and flavor, choosing between varieties or cultivars is much easier!