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415. Forest Ice Cream “Cherimoya”

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The 15th Open House of the JIRCAS Tropical Agriculture Research Front (TARF) began on Monday, November 8.

Located on Ishigaki Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, TARF is taking advantage of the tropical rainforest climate, which is one of the few subtropical regions in Japan, to preserve and evaluate the genetic resources of tropical crops, develop breeding materials, and cultivate varieties. During the Open House, we explore the appeal of the tropical fruit tree "cherimoya".

The year 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, which was established by the United Nations with the aim of deepening global awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables. This is everyone’s chance to get interested in tropical fruit trees.

Cherimoya (scientific name: Annona cherimola Mill.) is a subcanopy tree in the Annonaceae family and is a tropical fruit native to the Andean highlands of South America.

The flesh of the fruit is soft and juicy like peach or pear, and the firm sweetness and refreshing sourness are so delicious that it is counted as one of the world's three finest fruits along with mango and mangosteen. It is also compared to the "ice cream of the forest" because of its sweet and smooth texture.

Its origin is the tropical highlands at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 meters, with a cool climate of around 20 OC throughout the year. It is often classified as a subtropical fruit tree because it is susceptible to high temperatures of 30 OC or higher, despite its equatorial origin.

With such characteristics, is it possible to successfully grow cherimoya in Ishigaki Island with its tropical rainforest climate?

The mini-lecture Cherimoya, Forest Ice Cream - Possibility of cultivation in Ishigaki Island (in Japanese) explains about the following:

  • Characteristics of cherimoya
  • The world's largest production area (actually not South America)
  • Cherimoya's relatives (Taiwan specialty with fruit that looks like Buddha?)
  • Weaknesses of cherimoya (summer fatigue is a problem)
  • Varieties of cherimoya (many are available)
  • Possibility of cultivation in Ishigaki Island
  • Benefits of growing cherimoya in Ishigaki Island

The 15th TARF Open House (Online)
Date:Nov 8 (Mon) - 14 (Sun), 2021
Link:https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/event/2021/tarfopenhouse

Contributor: MATSUDA Hiroshi (TARF)