Genera ca. 128, species ca. 2300 (3 genera, 12 species in the flora).
The family has particular importance in the tropics because of the edible syncarps of some species of Annona; in the eastern United States the fruit of Asimina triloba (pawpaw) was once much gathered and appreciated. Programs in breeding from selected stock of Asimina have been undertaken (G. A. Zimmerman 1941).
Currently, the Pawpaw Foundation is intensively researching means to develop commercially marketable fruits. Recent studies of the chemical properties of Asimina reveal its pesticidal possibilities, and its potential as an anticancer agent (E. M. Norman, pers. comm.) The warm-climate genera Cananga, Rollinia, and Artabotrys have been used as ornamentals.
|1||Petals of both or all whorls nearly equal; receptacle apically flat or slightly convex; stamens 10-20(-35) in flat-topped mass; pistils distinct; peduncular bracts absent.||Deeringothamnus|
|1||Petals of usually 2 whorls distinctly unequal in size and form; receptacle convex to ± globose or elongate; stamens very numerous, forming ball on elevated receptacle; pistils distinct or partially to completely connate; peduncular bracts or bracteoles present.||> 2|
|2||Pistils 15 or more, variously syncarpous, remaining adnate to receptacle at maturity; ovules 1(-2) per pistil; fruits fleshy syncarps.||Annona|
|2||Pistils 2-8(-12), distinct, falling independently from receptacle at maturity; ovules few to several per pistil; fruits pulpy, simple berries.||Asimina|