The Florida Pond Apple
The Pond Apple
Photo credit: Christopher Hind



The Endangered Plants of Florida


The Pond Apple
Annona glabra


Florida, La Florida, as it was named by Spanish explorer

Ponce De Leon, in the early 1500's, means Land of the Flowers.

We certainly do attempt to live up to the name!

The Pond Apple

Also called the Alligator Apple, Custard Apple,

or Monkey Apple, by any name,

the Pond Apple seems to be enjoyed

by the Alligators in the Everglades.


The tree is a favorite resting place for the Wood Stork,

Snail Kite, Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets and other

large water birds who occupy the tops of the tree,

while the smaller birds sit on the lower branches.

Is this a swamp pecking order?


This very hardy tree ranges between 25 - 35 feet and

the fruit, which does resemble an Apple, is about 5 inches.

Although the Fruit is edible, it has a strong narcotic taste.

The flower is a beautiful, tulip shaped yellow blossom.


The Pond Apple, which grows wild in the Everglades, is quite

aggressive and is often referred to as an invasive weed.

It grows best in swamps and likes sea water,

and obviously cannot tolerate dry soil.

Everglades Pond Apple
Everglades Pond Apple
Photo credit: State Archives of Florida
Mary Lou Norwood - 1980


The Ancestral Habitat of the Pond Apple was

the South Shore of Lake Okeechobee,

where it again may find a place to call home,

as thousands have recently been replanted in

multiple locations hoping to give a Florida

Native on the brink, the chance at a new life.


Overseas, the Pond Apple has become a huge

problem for Australia's Mangroves.

Yet, in Florida, this so-called weed, provides food

and shelter for so many, like Raccoons, Birds

and Squirrels, as well as a safe haven for

the critically Endangered Okeechobee Gourd.

Meanwhile, its seeds are in medicinal studies for

potential benefits in Leukemia and other Cancers.

Pond Apple
Pond Apple
Annona glabra
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr


There are over 55 Endangered or Threatened plants in Florida,

and they are all conveniently listed here:

Florida's Federally Listed Plant Species


Places to learn more:


Exchange Law/

Pond Apple Wetlands Restoration


Florida Native Plant Society

Ecosystems of Florida



Pond Apple


SFWMD Newsletter

Greater Everglades


50 Common Native Plants



Walking with the Alligators

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amberziek6 at



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Educating Visitors About Florida's Wildlife Since August 10, 2008

Last edited September 11, 2022

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