Custard Apple or Seethaphal is a tropical fruit tree that grows easily. It was first cultivated in West Indies. Its botanical name is 'ANNONA SQUAMOSA'. It is very popular in India. The pulp of the fruit is mixed with milk to make custard. As it has the taste of custard it is called 'Custard Apple'. The fruit has a peculiar aroma. Custard Apple is used to make Jams, Jellies and sherbets.
The plant is propogated by grafting as well as through the seeds. Grafted plants produce fruits from the first year itself. The plant usually flowers between March and July. The fruits should be plucked before they are ripe and stored for ripening.
Custard apple promotes digestion and is used as a cure for vomiting, diarrhoea, dysentry and vertigo. The unripe fruit is dried and powdered and is used as a cure for treating lice. The fruit is low in calorie content and contains minerals like iron, phosphorous, calcium and riboflavin.
The plant is a evergreen shrub and reaches a maximum of 6 mts. The plant bears flowers in the mature branches and the fruits develop in the mature branches and are usually round. The flesh is white and creamy with a sugary taste. The seeds are black in colour with a shine. The seeds are not consumed for they are slightly poisonous.