Form: semi-deciduous tree
Status: not present in WA
Pond apple is native to the Americas and West Africa and was introduced as a rootstock for the closely related custard apple. It can tolerate salt water and inundation. Pond apple is a Weed of National Significance.
Trunk: Up to 15 metres in height, though usually three to six metres, with grey bark. Usually with a single trunk though multiple stemmed trees are common, may have swollen or slightly buttressed bases.
Leaves: The leaves can be light or dark green on the upper surface, depending on age, and are paler underneath. They turn yellow and drop in the dry season.
Flowers: The flowers are inconspicuous, 20-30 millimetres across, and cream, white or light yellow in colour, with red inside at the base. They have three leathery outer petals and three smaller inner petals.
Fruits: The fruits grow in the summer and look like smooth-skinned custard apples, up to 150 millimetres in diameter. They mature after being dropped, with the skin turning from green to yellow to black (the flesh is orange).
Seeds: Similar to pumpkin seeds. Can remain viable for some time in fresh, brackish or sea water.
It reproduces by seed, with the seed being spread by animals. The fruits and seeds also float so can be spread by water. Under favourable conditions, millions of seeds can germinate, excluding other species.
Agriculture and economic impact
Pond apple invades wetlands and mangroves aggressively and now infests a large area including more than 2000ha of the Wet Tropics Bioregion in north Queensland. It is mainly an environmental weed but also threatens the cane and cattle industries by spreading along creeks, fence lines and drains.
Declared pest category
The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the area(s) in which this pest is declared and the control and keeping categories to which it has been assigned in Western Australia (WA). Search for pond apple in WAOL using the scientific name Annona glabra.
Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons
Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons if this pest is found can be sourced through the declared plant requirements link.
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Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the pond apple control link.