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Family: Annonaceae

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > magnoliids > Order: Magnoliales

A tropical family with 129 genera and 2220 species. Ten genera and 24 species are native to southern Africa and a further two genera and seven species are cultivated in the region. The genus Annona contains a number of species that are cultivated for their fruit, including Custard apple and Soursop.

Genera native to southern Africa

Information from Jordaan (2000).


About 110 species, native mainly to tropical America but with four species native to tropical Africa of which two occur in southern Africa. An additional four species are cultivated in the region.


About 100 species, native to the tropics and subtropics of the Old World. Two species are native to southern Africa and a further species is cultivated in the region.


One species: Cleistochlamys kirkii, native to southeastern Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


About 50-60 species, native to tropical Africa and Asia with one species, Friesodielsia obovata (Northern dwaba-berry), native to southern Africa.


Five species, native to tropical Africa with one, Hexalobus monopetalus (Baboon's breakfast, Shakama plum), extending into southern Africa.


About 60 species, native to tropical Africa and Madagascar, with four species native to southern Africa.


About 15 species, native to tropical Africa, with two species, Monodora junodii (Green-apple) and Monodora stenopetala (recorded from Mozambique, see Flora of Mozambique), occurring in southern Africa.


One species - Sphaerocoryne gracilis - native to tropical Africa (including Mozambique).


About 110 species, found mainly in tropical Asia, Australia and Africa, with three species native to southern Africa.


About 100-160 species, pantropical in distribution. Five species are native to southern Africa.

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

Information from Glen (2002). Species are listed because each genus has only a single species cultivated in southern Africa.

Cananga odorata (Ylang-ylang)

Native from India through to the Philippines.

Polyalthia suberosa  

Native to India through to China.


  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Jordaan, M. 2000. Annonaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 59-62. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.


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