What is a Cherilata fruit? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a cherilata?

The Cherilata is a red hybrid fruit from the Annonaceae family that is crossed with Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) and Custard apple (Annona reticulata).

The Cherilata was created by John Painter on Pine Island, Florida. The John Painter Cherilata is crossed with the ‘Spain’ Cherimoya (A. cherimola) crossed with the ‘Tikal’ Custard apple (A. reticulata).

What is a cherilata fruit
Cherilata fruit grown in Bradenton, Florida, zone 9b/10a.

Who invented the cherilata fruit?

The cherilata fruit was created by John Painter in Pine Island. It is a delicious and beautiful red Annona fruit.

What does the cherilata fruit taste like?

The cherilata fruit taste like a sweet raspberry cream with a smooth texture similar to a cherimoyas texture.

What does the cherilata fruit look like?

The cherilata fruit is a smooth red Annonaceae fruit that resembles a red custard apple on the outside with a raspberry cherimoya flavor.

The cherilata fruit, when first set, starts off a dark brown/red color, but as it grows and matures, it begins to turn a bright red color.

Young Cherilata Fruit
Young cherilata fruit
Mature cherilata fruit almost ready for harvest

What does the Cherilata fruit look like when it first sets?

The cherilata, when the flower is pollinated and sets its fruit, appears green/grey and is small, like a marble.

Baby cherilata fruit just set
Young cherilata fruit that was successfully pollinated.

Are cherilata trees grafted?

Cherilatas are grafted onto pond apple (Annona glabra) rootstock in Florida. The pond apple is a Florida native Annonaceae fruit tree that is compatible with grafting the ‘John Painter Cherilata’ scion excellently while having the ability to produce fruits in wet conditions.

All the cherilata fruit trees I’ve purchased from Fruitscapes LLC have been grafted onto pond apple (A. glabra) rootstock.

What does the cherilata tree look like?

The John Painter Cherilata tree is a small to medium, open-spreading tree with long, slender branches that grows about 15 to 20 feet (4.6-6.1 m) tall and often with a spread of up to twice their height; these trees are hardy and easily grown in the Central and South Florida climate.

Cherilata tree planted in the Florida garden landscape
‘John Painter Cherilata’ Tree planted in Bradenton Florida zone 9b/10a

What do Cherilata flowers look like?

Cherilatas flowers have three fleshy pedals similar to flowers of its parentage, custard apple (Annona reticulata) as well as cherimoya (Annona cherimola).

Cherilata flowers flowering in Bradenton
John Painter Cherilata flowers

What do the Cherilata leaves look like?

Cherilata leaves are slender, long, and ovate, similar in appearance to the custard apple (Annona reticulata) leaves. The leaves are also thick, similar to a custard apple (A. reticulata).

Cherilata leaves at night
Cherilata leaves close up in Bradenton, Florida zone 9b/10a.

What does the inside of a cherilata fruit look like?

The inside of a cherilata fruit is white in the center with a red outer coating layer. Its texture is smooth, similar to a cherimoya (Annona cherimola).

Cherilata cut in half close up white center with red border smooth center
Cherilata fruit cut in half.
Cherilata fruit close up of the seeds inside the cherilata flesh
Close-up of the cherilata fruit.

How can I tell when the Cherilata is ready to harvest?

You can tell when the cherilata fruit is ready to harvest when the cherilatas color is bright red and soft to the touch.

Is a cherilata a custard apple or a cherimoya?

The cherilata is a hybrid between custard apple (Annona reticulata) and cherimoya (Annona cherimola), so it’s technically neither a custard apple nor cherimoya but a mix between the two – a cherilata.

Cherilata fruit split in half sitting in hand
Cherilata fruit ready to eat.

Which is better, cherilata or sugar apple?

Cherilata has a more complex flavor than sugar apples (Annona squamosa), but both Annonaceae fruits are delicious and highly nutritious.

Where can I purchase a cherilata fruit tree?

The John Painter cherilata is still a relatively newer Annona hybrid that is making its way to more growers over time.

I purchased my cherilata trees from Fruitscapes LLC in Pine Island. Fruitscapes is said to get their cherilata bud wood directly from Mr. John Painter, so you can guarantee that it is the real deal when buying through Fruitscapes LLC.

What fertilizer should I use for my cherilata tree?

A fertilizer like Osmocote plus 15-9-12 slow release works excellent for fertilizing cherilata trees.

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lb.
  • OSMOCOTE QUALITY: Osmocote is the original slow-release plant food. Decades of rigorous field testing confirm product effectiveness with hundreds of plant species in a variety of climate and soil conditions.
  • OSMOCOTE’S BEST FORMULA: Each homogeneous granule contains 15-9-12 NPK plus micro and secondary nutrients and feeds up to 6 full months.
  • OSMOCOTE’S SECRET: Soil temperature controls how Osmocote releases its nutrients, and more importantly how nutrients are taken up by the plant. Replenishment and feeding are in natural harmony.
  • OSMOCOTE’S DIRECTIONS FOR USE: 1 pound of Osmocote covers 37.5 sq. ft. (approx. 6’ x 6’). Works best when mixed into 1 – 3 inches of soil. Package includes applicator. In containers, mix 1 pound with 19 gallons of potting soil.
  • OSMOCOTE IS MISTAKE-PROOF: Even if over-applied up to 3x the recommended rate, Osmocote does not ‘burn’ the plant.

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