|DESCRIPTION: It is a deciduous broadleaf tree or shrub reaching 4-12 m in height, with short trunk to 45 cm in diameter, and spreading branches. The leaves are alternate, short-petioled, undulate, oblong-elliptic or oblong-lanceolate to oblongobovate, 20-30 cm long and 10-14 cm wide. The flowers are solitary, fleshy, large, conical, usually enclosed at first by a pair of bracts, they have 3 parted calyx, 3 very thick outer petals and 3 smaller, thinner inner petals. The fruit is ovoid or nearly round, 15-20 cm wide, set with hard, conical protuberances. The pulp is agreeably aromatic, abundant, yellow or orange, soft and fibrous. USE: Eaten raw or strained for juice. Extracts from the seeds are poisonous and can be used as an insecticide. The fruit juice is regarded as a remedy for fever and chills. Elsewhere it is given to relieve jaundice (probably because of its colour). The bark decoction is effective against dysentery and a tea of the inner bark is administered in cases of edema. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: Soncoya. FURTHER INF: The native range is from southern Mexico through Central America to Columbia and Venezuela. It is grown in dooryards and the fruit is sold in local markets, though it is of mediocre quality and not popular because it is outwardly so hard. It needs a very warm, wet climate to flower and fruit. Fruits usually ripen towards late summer and early fall.