Soursop vs. Jackfruit: What Are the Differences?

Written by Nikita Ross
Published: November 27, 2022
© ChockdeePermploysiri/Shutterstock.com
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Soursop and jackfruit are often thought to be related due to their similar appearances. Both of these unique fruits share an ovaline shape and green to yellow spiny shell.

Despite the similarities in appearance, soursop and jackfruit are completely different. They come from different parts of the world, have distinct flavors, and have contrasting culinary applications.

Here are the notable differences between the soursop and jackfruit, and how you can enjoy each.

Comparing Soursop vs. Jackfruit

Jackfruit and soursop differ in classification, size, and origin.

©A-Z-Animals.com

SoursopJackfruit
ClassificationAnnona muricataArtocarpus heterophyllus
Alternative NamesGuyabano, Brazilian paw paw, Custard apple, GraviolaJacktree, Jaca, Kathal, Nangka, Chakka pazham
OriginThe Caribbean, Central AmericaAsia
DescriptionThe soursop tree grows up to 30 feet tall with a span of 8-10 feet. The bark is deep brown and smooth with occasional ridges. Leaves are deep green, waxy, and lanceolate in shape. Blooms are bright yellow and fruit is green. The soursop has a spiny exterior and a white, creamy interior. Fruit can grow up to 10 inches long and 13 lbs.The jackfruit tree grows from 35-65 feet tall with a span of 20-50 feet. The bark is reddish-brown and smooth. Leaves are deep green, waxy, and elliptical, growing up to 8 inches long. Blooms and fruit are light yellow-green. The jackfruit has a rough, pebbled exterior and a white, meaty interior. Fruit can grow up to 35 inches long and 100 lbs.
UsesSoursop is primarily used for culinary purposes and is a common ingredient in ice creams, desserts, and smoothies.Jackfruit is used in traditional medicine as a salve for injuries. Its modern use is culinary as a popular plant-based substitution for meat.
Growth TipsThis tropical tree grows in USDA Zones 9-11 and won’t resist cold climates. Soursop will grow indoors in full sun and well-draining soil. This low-maintenance plant will grow as a potted indoor tree.This tropical tree grows in USDA Zones 10-12 and won’t resist cold climates. Jackfruit will grow from seed indoors in full sun and well-draining soil with plenty of room for root spread but often die within a few years.
Interesting FeaturesSoursop’s texture is creamy like a banana, and often compared to yogurt.Jackfruit is the largest fruit to grow on trees.
Flavor ProfileFruity, sweet, tangySweet, meaty, mild

What Are The Key Differences Between Soursop and Jackfruit?

Beyond the visual similarities, soursop and jackfruit are entirely different. The first difference becomes apparent when looking at both fruits together. Soursop is significantly smaller than jackfruit!

While the coloration of soursop and jackfruit are similar, the textures could not be less alike. Soursop has a creamy texture that’s often compared to yogurt or a banana, while jackfruit is stringy and meaty. The flavors are also dissimilar, with soursop boasting a sweet, fruity flavor compared to a cross between pineapple and strawberries and jackfruit being compared to pork.

The differences in taste and texture result in contrasting culinary applications. Soursop is often used in sweet dishes, smoothies, and desserts, while jackfruit makes a fantastic meat substitute for plant-based eaters.

Soursop vs. Jackfruit: Classification

isolated soursop
By classification, soursop and jackfruit are unrelated.

©iStock.com/Photographer

Soursop is classified as Annona muricata. The Annona genus is home to several flowering tropical flowering trees and shrubs, many of which are edible. Soursop is a member of the Magnoliales order — a relative of magnolia flowers.

Jackfruit is classified as Artocarpus heterophyllus. The Artocarpus genus is home to trees and shrubs in Pacific South Asia. Jackfruit is closely related to mulberries and figs and is a member of the order Rosales — the rose family.

In essence, soursop and jackfruit plants are unrelated.

Soursop vs. Jackfruit: Origin

Soursop is native to the Caribbean and Central America. There are incidents of soursop growing in India and the surrounding parts of Asia as a transplanted tree that has become invasive.

Jackfruit is originally from Southern Asia, though it’s now grown and cultivated in tropical regions around the world.

Soursop vs. Jackfruit: Description

Young jackfruits growing in tree with sun in background
Jackfruit can weigh up to 100 lbs.

©ChockdeePermploysiri/Shutterstock.com

Jackfruit trees (and the attached fruit) can grow to extraordinary sizes. The jackfruit tree can reach 65 feet tall and 50 feet wide, with fruit growing to 2-3 feet long and weighing up to 100 lbs each. The bark is reddish-brown and smooth. The leaves are deep green, long, and shiny. The blooms and fruit are a similar light yellow-green shade. The jackfruit has a rough, scaly exterior similar to sanded-down spines or small pebbles. The interior is a creamy white with a stringy, meat-like texture.

The soursop tree can reach 30 feet and is 8-10 feet wide. The bark is typically deep brown and smooth, though it’s occasionally ridged in texture depending on its environment. The leaves are lanceolate (elongated with sharp, pointy ends) with a deep green color and waxy sheen. Soursop blossoms are a stunning bright yellow. The soursop has a green, spiny exterior and a white, creamy interior. The fruit can grow up to 10 inches long and 13 lbs.

Soursop vs. Jackfruit: Uses

Soursop is a delicious, hydrating fruit with a high content of vitamin C and water. The creamy texture makes it ideal for smoothies and fruit bowls.

Jackfruit has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its meat-like texture. It’s a great meat alternative for dishes like pulled pork or tacos. The mild, sweet flavor tends to pick up the spices or sauces used in cooking. This hydrating fruit is high in vitamin B6 and fiber, with moderate levels of potassium and vitamin C.

Soursop vs. Jackfruit: Growth Tips

Unless you live in a tropical climate, growing soursop or jackfruit outdoors isn’t an option. Soursop can be grown indoors as an ornamental tree, but will likely never bear fruit. Jackfruit trees don’t grow well indoors and often die within a few seasons after sprouting. Both plants prefer full sun and well-draining soil.

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The Featured Image

Young jackfruits growing in tree with sun in background
Jackfruits are larger than soursops.
© ChockdeePermploysiri/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Nikita Ross is a professional ghostwriter with a background in marketing and fitness. An aspiring plant parent and avid coffee drinker, you can often find Nikita watching her Coffea Arabica plant for signs of a single coffee bean (no luck yet) or giving her 30 indoor plants a pep talk about surviving the impending Canadian winter.

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