The Annona glabra (Pond apple tree) is a small tree with an open, spreading habit that can reach a height of 10-20 ft. It grows well in full sun and semi-shade and requires regular water during the growing season. The tree loves heat and is drought and flood tolerant, making it resilient and adaptable to various growing conditions.
The tree produces fragrant, yellow-orange flowers and edible fruits. The fruit is round, 1-2 inches wide, with a green, waxy skin and a creamy, yellow pulp. Rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants, the fruit has a sweet and tart flavor with a musky, pineapple-like taste. The fruit can be eaten out-of-hand, cooked, or made into drinks or jellies.
The pond apple tree is a great choice for home gardens and landscaping in USDA zones 9-11. In colder regions, it's best to grow the tree in a pot and bring it indoors when the temperature falls below freezing. The tree does not require pruning to produce abundant fruits, and depending on the season and the number of trees around, it can produce up to 20 fruits at a time.
Pond apple also has a wide range of medicinal benefits. The juice of the fruit is believed to be effective in treating rheumatism and various skin diseases. The bark is composed of triterpenes, which have anti-inflammatory properties, and the leaves are used to treat diarrhea and colic. With its numerous uses and health benefits, Pond apple is an excellent addition to a home garden and a great way to bring a piece of the southeastern swamp to your yard.
Pond apple is native to swamplands and provides an important food source for wildlife in this region. Although not as tasty as its tropical relatives, pond apple can stand flooding and spend weeks at a time with its roots under water.