English: biriba, wild sweet sop, wild cashina
Portuguese: biriba, araticum pitaia, fruta da condessa, catarro de padre, baba de moça
Spanish: anón cimarrón, anona, anón amazónico, anón de monte, fruta de la condesa, corosol, biribá, cachimán
French: cachiman crème, cachiman morveux
German: rotzapfel, schleimapfel
Origin and Distribution
Biriba is native to the Antilles, Central America and northern South America. It is grown sporadically throughout the tropics.
Annona deliciosa, Annona biflora, Annona obtusiflora, and Annona pterocarpa.
Biriba is a medium sized tree, growing to about 30 feet (9 m) tall, with open, spreading branches. The leaves are alternate, glossy green and large, 4-14 inches (10-36 cm) in length and 2-5 inches (5-12.5 cm) wide. The leaf blade is soft and pliable, and has prominent veins, sunken on the adaxial (upper) surface. The flowers are perfect, whitish, have a three lobed triangular form and occur singly or in pairs in the leaf axils. The fruits are spherical and large, around 2-6 inches (5-15 cm) in diameter, yellowish, and with slight or very prominent protuberances. The pulp is whitish, juicy, aromatic and flavorful, with a creamy texture and a delicious sweet-sour balance. Seeds are shiny, brown and elliptical, about half an inch (1.3 cm) long.
Propagation and Culture
Biriba is usually grown from seed, but superior cultivars may be propagated by grafting. It can be grafted onto rootstocks of Annona montana or Annona glabra, which causes dwarfing. Seeds remain viable for up to 3 years if they are kept cool and dry.
Grows well on acid soils in the wet tropics, and tolerates some shade, although it grows best in full sun. Biriba is fast growing, and begins to fruit at 3-4 years from seed. Flowers in July through September, and fruits from November through January in Puerto Rico. The fruits are attractive to birds and other animals, and should be harvested when they start to turn yellow, and ripened in a protected place. Mature fruits are soft and easily bruised.
Cultivars and Related Species
There is a lot of genetic variability for fruit size and shape, and presence or absence of protuberances, but named varieties are not readily available.
There are approximately 65 Rollinia species. The biriba is related to soursop (Annona muricata), cherimoya (Annona cherimola), sugar apple (Annona squamosa), and atemoya (hybrid of cherimoya and sugar apple).
Biriba is usually consumed fresh, but can also be used to make juices, milkshakes, ice cream and wine.
Nutritional composition per 100 g biriba fruit
More information on biriba
mucosa Baill. (Annonaceae)
Leaves of Rollinia mucosa (note the prominent leaf veins and large, soft leaves; the large leaf on the right is 14 inches long and 5.75 inches wide)
Gardens, Hwy 120 Km 18.9, Box 692, Maricao, Puerto Rico 00606 USA
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