Atemoya is a tasty crossbreed between two fruits: sweet apple and cherimoya. The fruit is frequently used in sweets and is also used to produce ice cream. 


 Exotic fruits Atemoya isolated on white background


The atemoya, Annona atemoya, or Annona squamosa Annona cherimola is a cross between two fruits native to the American tropics: the sugar apple (Annona squamosa) and the cherimoya (Annona cherimola). 

Various names in distinct countries 

In Queensland and New South Wales, it was once known as the custard apple or cherimoya. In Venezuela, the term “chirimorinon” is used. It is popular in Taiwan as the “pineapple sugar apple”. The fruit is known as achta in Israel and Lebanon, but it is more commonly referred to as annona in Israel. It’s known as stafeli dogo in Tanzania and annon in Cuba.

 Ripe rare hybrid tropical fruit Red Israel Atemoya growing on the tree ready for harvest


Atemoyas are often heart-shaped or spherical, with pale-green skin that is readily damaged and rough. It ranges long from 8 to 12 inches. The skin is bumpy towards the stem, like the sugar apple, but smoother near the bottom, like the cherimoya. The flesh is not segmented like the sugar apple’s, but rather resembles that of a cherimoya. The meat of the atemoya contains several inedible, poisonous black seeds. When the fruit is ready, scrape it out of the shell and consume it cold. 


Atemoya is juicy and smooth, with a sweet and tart flavour that will remind you of a pina colada. The flavour is similar to vanilla from the sugar apple parent.


P.J. Wester, a horticulturist at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Subtropical Laboratory in Miami, created the first cross in 1908. The resulting fruits outperformed the sweetsop and got the name “atemoya,” a mixture of “ate,” an old Mexican name for anon, and “moya,” from cherimoya.

The atemoya is a hybrid fruit that is obtained through the crossing of the cherimoya (Annona cherimola) with the pineapple fruit (Annona squamosa), both belonging to the family of anonáceas

In 1917, Edward Simmons of Miami’s Plant Introduction Station successfully cultivated hybrids that survived a temperature dip to 3.1 degrees Celsius, demonstrating the atemoya’s hardiness, which was inherited from one of its parents, the cherimoya.


Although the atemoya is harder than the sweetsop, it’s  still restricted to tropical or near-tropical lowlands. It is supposed to thrive near the coast in New South Wales, where rainfall and humidity are high and winters are mild. During the ripening season, however, rainy conditions may cause the fruits to split. 


The atemoya bears protogynous, hermaphrodite blooms, similar to those of other Annona trees, and self-pollination is uncommon. As a result, artificial hand pollination virtually invariably results in higher quality fruits. Without hand pollination, one variety, Geffner, yields well. Without human pollination, Bradley produces good yields, although the fruit has a tendency to split on the tree. Inadequate pollination can cause Atemoyas to be deformed and undeveloped on one side.


Atemoya flower of Sugar-apple or known as Annona Squamosa and Custard Apple

The female stage of an atemoya flower blooms between 2 and 4 pm, and the male stage blooms between 3 and 5 pm the following afternoon.


There are many different atemoya cultivars, but only a few have been thoroughly tested over time. Gefner has been shown to be the most successful cultivar in Florida as it does not require human pollination and yields high quality fruit. Page produces a lot of fruit, but it splits on the tree when it ripens. Without hand pollination, African Pride and Bradley produce little fruit. When the African Pride fruit ripens, it may develop internal problems. Other variations such as Bernitski, Caves, Chirimorion A, Chirimorion B, and Chirimorion C, Hette, Island Gem, Mammoth, Lindstrom, and Kabri, because of the large number of seedlings being evaluated in public and private collections, the selection of superior variations in the future is very likely.


  • Proteins, Fat, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Ash, Sodium, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Thiamine, Niacin, Riboflavin, Cryptoxanthin, and Ascorbic Acid are among the nutrients found in it. 
  • The sweetest fruit varies in quality; some are eaten raw, but most are used in preserves, beverages, ice cream, and puddings, among other things. 

Simran Jain

23 May 2022

Tags: atemoya

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