Cherimoya ( Annona cheirimola P. Mill. ) is an absolutely wonderful fruit which is becoming better known in the United States . It is now produced in limited amounts in Southern California . It is thought to be native to southern Ecuador and northern Peru , and is related to some fruits in the same genus which grow in more tropical areas. Cherimoya was probably taken to other parts of the world hundreds of years ago, so it is especially well known in Asia as well as throughout South and Central America . It is produced rustically in many parts of the world, but it is produced in commercial plantings only in semi-tropical areas of Spain , Chile , Peru , California , New Zealand , Australia , and Israel .
Some closely related species are produced in more tropical areas. Atemoya is an interspecies hybrid of cherimoya and sugar apple ( Annona squamosa ). The fruit has some qualities of cherimoya, and grows in hotter, more humid areas where cherimoya cannot be grown, in Florida , Hawaii , Australia , and Israel . Guanabana ( Annona muricata ) is grown throughout tropical South and Central America . It is larger than cherimoya, but has more fibrous flesh, and a very tart flavor. It is better suited to processing, especially into drinks, than to eating fresh. Paw paw ( Asimina triloba L.) is the only Annonaceae species native to North America, in valleys in the middle and eastern U.S.
Cherimoya has the following taxonomic classification.