Know Your Fruit | Are custard apple and mullatha the same thing?

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The creamy custard apples known as Seethapazham, Ramapazham and Mullatha belong to the genus Annona. They could be classified as Annona Squamosa (Seethapazham), Annona Reticulata (Ramapzham) and Annona Muricata (Mullatha). A new variety called Annona Cherimoya also grows in the high ranges.

Seethapazham is usually called sugar apple or sweetsop while Mullatha is known as soursop. As sugar apple seeds contain an element found in organic fertilizers, they are widely used to make organic fertilizers. Meanwhile, Ramapzham stands out with its bright red color and heart shape. Thus, it is popularly known as beef heart.

The sweet flesh of the cinnamon apple has a creamy and soft consistency. They are believed to have originated in the tropical regions of the Americas and the West Indies. Most varieties of custard apples grow in the fertile soil and tropical climate of Kerala. Mullatha is also widely grown across Kerala given its medicinal properties. Both varieties need lots of sun to grow. Grafted seedlings of custard apple varieties that grow up to 15 feet tall are also readily available. These would begin to bear fruit within two years.

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