Soncoya is a medium-sized deciduous tree, 7–12 m (23–39 ft) tall. Alternate leaves elliptic to oblong, 18–30 cm (7–12 in) long, with pointed apex. Blades brown, pubescent on both sides. Solitary flowers with 3 thick brown petals, yellowish-purple on the inside, and 3 thin, creamy-white inner petals. The fragrant flowers are pollinated by insects, especially beetles. Fruits round, 12–20 cm (5–8 in) in diameter with a thick stalk and surface covered with hooked spines. Soft orange pulp aromatic and sweet but somewhat fibrous. Taste reminiscent of mango.
Native from southern Mexico and Central America to northern South America. Very rarely cultivated outside its natural range. It is almost exclusively grown as a dooryard tree. The soncoya requires a tropical climate with or without a dry season and constant warm temperatures.
Food uses. The pulp of ripe fruits is eaten out of hand or used to make fruit drinks with water or milk. .