Annona cherimola, originally called Chirimuya by the Inca people who lived where it was growing in the Andes of South America, is an edible fruit-bearing species of the genus Annona from the family Annonaceae. It is now widely cultivated mostly for its sweet fruits that share the name Custard-apple with others in its family. Other English common names include cherimoya, chirimoyo, momona, kelemoio.
- Stems and leaves
- Mature branches are sappy and woody; young branches and twigs have a matting of short, fine, rust colored hairs.
- Leathery leaves 5 centimetres (2.0 in) to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) wide mostly elliptic, rounded at the ends and pointed near the leaf stalk. When young, covered with soft, fine, tangled, rust colored hairs. When mature, hairs only along the veins on the undersurface. Tops hairless and a dull medium green with paler veins, backs velvety, dull grey-green with raised pale green veins. New leaves are whitish below.
- Leaves are single and alternate, 2-ranked attached to the branches with stout 6 millimetres (0.24 in) to 10 millimetres (0.39 in) long and densely hairy leaf stalks.
- Very pale green, fleshy flowers 3 centimetres (1.2 in) long, with very strong fruity odor, each with three outer, greenish, fleshy, oblong, downy petals and 3 smaller, pinkish inner petals with yellow or brown finely matted hairs outside, whitish with purple spot and many stamens on the inside. They appear on the branches opposite to the leaves, solitary or in pairs or groups of three, on flower stalks that are covered densely with fine rust colored hairs, 8 millimetres (0.31 in) to 12 millimetres (0.47 in) long. Buds 15 millimetres (0.59 in) to 18 millimetres (0.71 in) long, 5 millimetres (0.20 in) to 8 millimetres (0.31 in) wide at the base.
- Fruits and reproduction
- Large green conical or heart-shaped compound fruit, 10 centimetres (3.9 in) to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long, and diameters of 5 centimetres (2.0 in) to 5 centimetres (2.0 in), with skin that gives the appearance of having overlapping scales or knobby warts. Ripening to brown with a fissured surface from winter into spring; weighing on the average 150 grams (5.3 oz) to 500 grams (18 oz) but extra large specimens may weigh 2.7 kilograms (6.0 lb) or more. The ripened flesh is creamy white and contains numerous hard, inedible, brown or black, beanlike, glossy seeds, 1 centimetre (0.39 in) to 2 centimetres (0.79 in) long and about half as wide.
- Hand pollinated flowers give more fruits.
- Annona cherimola, preferring the cool Andean altitudes, hybridizes with the other Annona species and a hybrid with A. reticulata called atemoya has received some attention in West Africa. Along with other Annona species, Annona cherimola has been shown to possess antioxidant activity in its flesh and skin components 
Widely cultivated now, Annona cherimola is believed to originate from the Andes at altitudes of 700 metres (2,300 ft) to 2,400 metres (7,900 ft) although an alternate hypothesis postulates Central America as the origin of Annona cherimola because many of its wild relatives occur in this area. From there it was taken by Europeans to various parts of the tropics. Unlike other Annona species A. cherimola has not successfully naturalized in West Africa, and the Australasians have misidentified Annona glabra as this species.
- Current (naturalized and native)
- Palearctic: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, France, Italy, Spain(Almuñécar, Costa Tropical), Madeira
- Afrotropic: Eritrea, Somalia, Tanzania,
- Indomalaya: India, Singapore
- Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (1997-07-11). "Taxon: Annona cherimola L.". Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?3479. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Bioversity International. "Result set for: Annonaceae Annona cherimola". New World Fruits Database. http://www.bioversityinternational.org/Information_Sources/Species_Databases/New_World_Fruits_Database/qryall3.asp?intIDSpecies=86. Retrieved 2008-04-17.[dead link]
- Porcher, Michel H. et al.. "Annona cherimola L.". Sorting Annona Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database - A Work in Progress. Institute of Land & Food Resources, University of Melbourne. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Annona.html#cherimola. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- "Current name: Annona cherimola". AgroForestryTree Database. International Center For Research In Agroforestry. http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sea/Products/AFDbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=1728. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- EEB Greenhouse Staff, University of Connecticut (2008-04-10). "Annona cherimola Mill.". Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses. http://titanarum.uconn.edu/199500093.html. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) (2008-04-09). "Annona cherimola (PIER Species info)". PIER species lists. United States Geological Survey & United States Forest Service. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. http://www.hear.org/pier/species/annona_cherimola.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-17. "Wiggins, I. L.Porter, D. M. 1971. Flora of the Galapágos Islands. Stanford University Press. 998 pp."
- Flynn, Tim (2002-05-22). "Record Detail Annonaceae Annona cherimola Mill.". Herbarium Database. National Tropical Botanical Garden. http://ntbg.org/herbarium/detail.php?tempid=20352. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Aluka. "Entry for Annona cherimola Mill. [family Annonaceae"]. African Plants. Ithaka Harbors, Inc. http://www.aluka.org/action/showMetadata?doi=10.5555/AL.AP.UPWTA.1_227&pgs=. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Gupta-Elera G, Garrett AR, Martinez A, Robison RA, O'Neill KL (2010). "The antioxidant properties of the cherimoya (annona cherimola) fruit". Food Research International. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2010.10.038.
- van Zonneveld M, Scheldeman X, Escribano P, Viruel MA, Van Damme P, et al. 2012 Mapping Genetic Diversity of Cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.): Application of Spatial Analysis for Conservation and Use of Plant Genetic Resources. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29845.
- Aluka. "Entry for Annona glabra Linn. [family Annonaceae"]. African Plants. Ithaka Harbors, Inc. http://www.aluka.org/action/showMetadata?doi=10.5555/AL.AP.UPWTA.1_229&pgs=. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). "PLANTS Profile, Annona cherimola Mill.". The PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture,. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ANCH9. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Australian Plant Name Index (APNI). "Search results". Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS). Australian Plant Name Index (APNI). http://www.anbg.gov.au/cgi-bin/apni. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Landcare Research. "1 *A. cherimola Miller, Gard. Dict. ed. 8 (1768)". New Zealand Plant Names Database. Landcare Research Allan Herbarium and New Zealand Plant Names Database. http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Taxon.aspx?id=_9d7890ef-eee5-4d90-a490-1245f1f1e738&fileName=Flora%204.xml#_9d7890ef-eee5-4d90-a490-1245f1f1e738. Retrieved 2008-04-17. "Cherimoya is cultivated in warmer parts of the North Id, especially in the Bay of Plenty. Frs form regularly in the North Id but apparently never form on Raoul."