Alligator apple is a fruit that looks like an apple with yellow in color. They are considered tough plants which can survive some weather conditions than other species. The plant’s stem and leaves even have medicinal and several uses. They have several names like Pond apple, swamp apple, monkey apple, etc. Let’s see the characteristics of the fruit, their medicinal, facts, and other benefits.
The fruit belongs to the southern end lake of Okeechobee in Florida, Caribbean Mexico, South America, West Africa, and South Asia. They belong to the Annonaceae family. The seeds of the plant are used to be soaked in boiled water(should not be cooked!) to boost up the process of germination. They are soaked for half or full day to obtain a moist and bulged form which are ready to be sown. If the process is not effective then a small piercing in the seed and soaking in warm water helps it. The ready seeds are sown in the ground which should be moist, and moderately well-drained soils. They can able to withstand short-lived frost temperature and can tolerate salt water. They grow up to the height of 15-20m. They are evergreen plants with dark green leaves on top and pale green on the bottom side. They have pointy elliptical leaves that are 7-12cm long. Their flowers measure 2-6cm pale yellow or cream in color.
The fruit is 5-15cm in diameter in green color. They get a yellow and orangy color when they reach the ripening stage. The decaying can be known when the fruit turns black in color. They have a pleasant sweet aroma and the inside of the fruit is yellow/orange in color with some amount of dark seeds which are toxic. The moisture in the soil can boost the growing process. The plantation period starts around Dec-Feb.
The fruit is useful in medicinal and in other ways. Let’s see some of them in the upcoming points:
- The tree’s stem and leaf are boiled to make tea which is useful to destroy flatworms and nematodes.
- The seed of the fruit which is cooked in coconut oil can be used to get rid of lice in hair.
- They contain dietary fiber which helps in decreasing bad cholesterol.
- They have less calorie content.
- They are used to make tasty jams.
- They are a popular ingredient in fruit drinks in the Maldives.
- The fruit pulp can be made into jellies.
- Their seeds can be used as an insecticide.
- The plant’s rootstock is used for fellow Annona species to adapt to critical soil conditions.
- A little amount of phosphorus, calcium, and minerals is found in the fruit.
- The seeds contain anti-cancer compounds which may be used medically.
- They offer food to animals like birds, squirrels, raccoons, etc.
Precautions: The seeds should be handled carefully because if they got contact with the eye people may go blind.
The plant is planted in Florida lakes are destroyed because of the drainage of the habitat. But the trees are found large in number in Everglades wetland in Florida. These are the uses and facts of Pond apple.