Medium-sized tree with a trunk that usually branches fairly low. The bark is dark with light spots. Leaves are simple and alternate, displayed in a flat plane, very regularly arranged along the branchlet. The branchlet zig-zags between leaves. Deciduous in the dry season, losing all its leaves from December to April. Flowers from May to July, producing large, purple, solitary flowers along the branches; pollinate by beetles. It has hairy leaves and large, strong-scented flowers. From August to October, a large, green fruit with small spines develops. The fruit is rounded and 6-8", and is covered with a felt-textured brown skin. The surface of the fruit has hooklike projections. The pulp is similar in scent, appearance, and taste to that of the mango. It has many seeds.The soncoya requires a hot, humid climate.
The fruit pulp is edible and good but not marketed. In Colombia, the pulp is eaten raw or is strained for juice, drunk as a beverage or folk remedy. In Mexico, Soncoya juice is regarded as a remedy for fever and chills. Elsewhere it is given to relieve jaundice (probably because of its color). The bark decoction is effective against dysentery and a tea of the inner bark is administered in cases of edema.