(Annona diversifolia — Family Annonaceae)
Ilama is the fruit of the tree native to Mexico, but it is also found elsewhere in Latin America at lower elevations.
The skin of these elongated fruits is uncommonly rough, but there are smooth varieties.
The colour may be anything from green to magenta pink, with a white bloom. If the skin is pink, the flesh may also have a pink tinge. The flavour of the pink fruits is pleasantly acidic, much like that of a cherimoya.
Those of the green varieties is sweeter and closer to a sugar apple.
The name is derived from the native Mexican name “illamatzapotl”, which translates as “zapote de las viejas” or old woman’s sapote.
In Mexico, ‘llama’ is also applied to a related Central American fruit Annona purpurea, generally known as “soncoya” or “cabeza de negro”. This is common in the region and cultivated on a small scale.
The fruit may grow to a large size, weighing as much as two pounds, but commonly only reach about six inches in length. It is gray-brown in colour, with hard protuberances on the skin.
The orange flesh tastes something like that of a papaya or mango.