The Guanabana Plant

When I visited Puerto Rico a couple of years ago, I wanted to bring back a little piece of the island with me.

As we were driving towards the airport, we stopped alongside the road to pick up seeds from pods that had fallen from the trees.  One seed was from the flamboyan tree.  It is a beautiful tree that I’ve seen in deep colors of red and orange. Unfortunately, the seeds I brought back with me did not sprout.

The other seed I brought back was from the guanabana tree. This seed did sprout and at two years old is still thriving — not very tall but still striving.

Guanabana Tree

Guanabana Leaves

In English, the guanabana is known as the Soursop Tree.  Click here to read the Wikipedia article.

This has been a very slow growing tree for me.  When I first planted it, I was in Seattle.  Then we decided to move to Minnesota so most of the plants I had were thrown out except for the guanabana and a cactus which I carefully put in a box in the car.  I thought for sure it would die along the way to Minnesota.  But I would carefully take it inside the hotel room with us each night that we stopped.

Today, the guanabana is starting to flourish again.  It turned halfway yellow when we first transported it but has adjusted to the new environment in our apartment.  Although, it is much too young to provide us with any fruit yet.

An interesting note about the guanabana.  It has a chemical called annonacin that recent reports have shown has caused brain lesions that are consistent with Parkinson’s disease.

Although, a different article talks about the benefits of the leaves of the guanabana helping with cancer.

As with anything, one has to do a lot of research to make sure they have the most current information on the benefits and disadvantages when trying something new.

For me, it’s just a pretty plant that I hope to someday have as a tree, uh, if not in Minnesota then in a more tropical environment.

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