The atemoya, Annona × cherimoya, or Annona squamosa × Annona cherimola is a hybrid of two fruits – the sugar-apple (Annona squamosa) and the cherimoya (Annona cherimola) – which are both native to the American tropics. This fruit is popular in Taiwan, where it is known as the "pineapple sugar apple"
The atemoya, Annona × cherimoya, or Annona squamosa × Annona cherimola is a hybrid of two fruits – the sugar-apple (Annona squamosa) and the cherimoya (Annona cherimola) – which are both native to the American tropics. This fruit is popular in Taiwan, where it is known as the "pineapple sugar apple" (鳳梨釋迦), so is sometimes wrongly believed to be a cross between the sugar-apple and the pineapple. In Cuba, it is known as anón, and in Venezuela chirimorinon. In Israel and Lebanon, the fruit is called achta, but in Israel, it is more common to call the fruit Annona as Latin. In Tanzania it is called stafeli dogo ("mini soursop"). In Brazil, the atemoya became popular and in 2011, around 1,200 hectares of atemoia were cultivated in Brazil.
An atemoya is normally heart-shaped or rounded, with pale-green, easily bruised, bumpy skin. Near the stem, the skin is bumpy as it is in the sugar-apple but becomes smoother like the cherimoya on the bottom. The flesh is not segmented like that of the sugar apple, bearing more similarity to that of the cherimoya. It is very juicy and smooth, tasting slightly sweet and a little tart, reminiscent of a piña colada. The taste also resembles vanilla from its sugar-apple parent. Many inedible, toxic, black seeds are found throughout the flesh of the atemoya. When ripe, the fruit can be scooped out of the shell and eaten chilled.
Atemoya (Annona cherimola × squamosa) was developed by crossing cherimoya (A. cherimola) with sugar-apple (A. squamosa). Natural hybrids have been found in Venezuela and chance hybrids were noted in adjacent sugar apple and cherimoya groves in Israel during the 1930s and 1940s.
The first cross was made in 1908 by P.J. Wester, a horticulturist at the USDA's Subtropical Laboratory in Miami. The resulting fruits were of superior quality to the sugar-apple and were given the name "atemoya", a combination of ate, an old Mexican name for sugar-apple, and "moya" from cherimoya. Subsequently, in 1917, Edward Simmons at Miami's Plant Introduction Station successfully grew hybrids that survived a drop in temperature to 26.5 °F (−3.1 °C), showing atemoya's hardiness derived from one of its parents, the cherimoya.
The atemoya, like other Annona trees, bears protogynous, hermaphroditic flowers, and self-pollination is rare. Therefore, artificial, hand pollination almost always guarantees superior quality fruits. One variety, 'Geffner', produces well without hand pollination. 'Bradley' also produces fair crops without hand pollination, but the fruit has a habit of splitting on the tree. Atemoyas are sometimes misshapen, underdeveloped on one side, as the result of inadequate pollination.
An atemoya flower, in its female stage, opens between 2:00 and 4:00 pm; between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm on the following afternoon, the flower converts to its male stage.
V 10 AAC (3 S)
Handpicked seeds ?
Organic Seeds ?
Germination rate 85%
Pretreatment of sowing ?
Soak in water before sowing: 24-48 h
Sowing depth ?
Sowing depth 2 cm
Perennial plant : Yes
Resistant to cold and frost ?
Resistant to cold and frost : -3° C
Plant is suitable for growing ?
The plant is suitable for growing on a balcony-terrace