Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 537. 1753.
Shrubs or trees , to ca. 15 m; trunks commonly buttressed at base. Principal leaves late deciduous; petiole 10-20mm. Leaf blade ovate to elliptic, 5-15 × 6(-8) cm, base broadly cuneate to rounded, apex acute to short-acuminate; surfaces glabrous. Inflorescences from leaf axils on new shoots, solitary flowers; peduncle stout, linear, club-shaped, to 2cm, becoming enlarged. Flowers: sepals reniform-cordate, 5-6 mm, glabrous; outer petals cream-white, ovate-cordate, adaxially concave, 2.5-3 cm, apex acute; inner petals cream-white, inside base deep purple, oblong-ovate, 2-2.5 cm, base cupped, incurved-cuneate, at least 2×3 length of outer petals, corrugate; stamens linear, 3-4 mm; connective thickened above anther tip; pistils conically massed, connate. Syncarp pendulous on thickened peduncle, dull yellow blotched with brown, ± ovoid, 5-12 cm, smooth with reticulate pattern formed by pistil boundaries. Seed ellipsoid to obovoid, 1-1.5 cm. 2 n =28.
Flowering spring-early summer. Wet substrates, brackish to fresh, in pond borders, tidally influenced stream banks, banks of estuaries and lakes; 0-50 m; Fla; West Indies; Mexico; Central America; South America; w Africa; South Asia (Sri Lanka).
Annona glabra ( Annona sect. Phelloxylon Safford) has edible although scarcely desirable, yellow-fleshed fruits. The sectional name (Greek phellos , cork and xylon , wood) is descriptive because small sections of the very light wood have been used as floats by fishermen. Forms with smaller leaves and fruit have been considered a species referable to A . palustris (J. K. Small 1933); W. E. Safford (1914) considered them to be of no taxonomic consequence.