After a trip to the local asian market, here they are good size markets offering a plethora of goods imported and also locally caught seafood and produce. Anyone experimenting with unusual fruit for North America? I am thinking about lychee, longon, louquat or other ?
I am trying to grow bananas, but we don't use enough water for the plants to grow large (they are in a grey water bed), so we certainly will never get bananas. Besides it's a little too cold here (Zone eight ) for the fruit to ripen even if they were able to get big enough to bloom.
Loquats grow well around here but I don't personally have any of them yet.
Close to the ocean here near Vancouver I saw a banana tree growing out in an open air courtyard , about 14 feet high with small bananas bunched on it. Obviously not going to ripen here but it was the first I actually saw fruit on it north of the 49th parallel. Maybe in a few decades of global warming we will have new additions to our horticulture.
Read Lee Reich's book about Unknown Fruits that deserve more attention. It goes through about 15-20 of them that are easy to grow and very rewarding. I am growing almost all of them. Another resource is the catalog for One Green World, Raintree, or Burnt Ridge Nurseries. They're all available on the web.
Here in British Columbia Bob And Verna Duncan offer hardy fruit trees from temperate climates the garden (actually a nursery) is the most famous for its subtropical fruit trees that they both grow and sell. The nursery offers over 200 varieties of apples, over 80 varieties of pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, figs, grapes, kiwi, quince and medlar and various relatively hardy subtropicals such as pomegranates, persimmons, loquats, feijoa, jujubes, olives and citrus trees. The garden itself has an amazing 300 plus of fruit trees in an area I believe no larger than 1 acre. It includes a number of citrus trees that receive winter protection depending on their individual hardiness. You can get more info regarding the nursery by visiting the following site:
I have a loquat tree that is probably 15-20 years old. It is a lovely tree, but has fire blight or something else that causes most of the fruit to turn black, shrivel, and fall off before maturing. Other trees in the neighborhood get 10x or 50x more than I do. Just got a cultivar that is supposed to have much larger fruit than the average loquat - will let you know in a few years if that works out.
Just got a nice book called "Florida's Best Fruiting Plants" (Charles Boning) that has pretty good coverage of 80 different types that can be grown in my state ... a few things are not so exotic (citrus, watermelon) but it does cover many less common and unusual plants. The lychee and longan are a bit too sensitive to cold for my part of the state, but there are many choices adapted to any part of the sunshine state.
I have figs, elderberry, pear, citrus, olive, feijoa, strawberry guava, muscadine grapes, persimmon, prickly pear, pittaya, and a few other things. My jujube tree didn't make it - was out of town for a while and no rain fell. Tried apples, too far south, were not reliable even though they are supposed to be low-chill types. Tried nectarines, too susceptible to disease.
Wishlist includes Cherry of the Rio Grande, jaboticaba, carambola, che; I might experiment with papaya as an annual, or with some of the cold sensitive plants later.
I am only an amateur horticulturalist, but when I am looking for a big satisfying meal in nature, without having to kill something, Paw Paws are the absolute best. Milk and paw paws would be a good way of life, tragic that they only come once a year.
Something worth noting that I have never heard mention is that Paw Paws are capable of drying whole and keeping for a very long time. The flavor is not quite as delicious, but it is very good and even similar to chocolate candies or carob flavor with raisin somewhere in there. I hope they grow well where I live, does anyone know of any very cold hardy Paw Paws?
Well just now I learned the chocolate vine I planted a decade ago will bear small fruit if I have another to cross pollinate it. It is very pleasing to learn i at least have one planted but now need to get a slip of another ...
My parents, in central Florida, have a volunteer cactus that just flowered this summer and now has developing fruit; it turns out to be Cereus peruvianus (syn. repandus). The fruit, known as Peruvian apple or sometimes pitaya, is grown as a specialty crop in Israel, and apparently tastes a bit like kiwi and a bit like dragonfruit (another pitaya). A neighbor's cactus colony is huge and bearing lots of the fruit, but picking them looks challenging—they're high up and protected by spines! But apparently a thornless mutation could be vegetatively propagated.
Here in S.Florida we grow lots of exotic fruit. On my property we have loquats, avocados, bananas, coconuts, papaya and carambola. We are planting jackfruit, atemoya, lychee, roseapple, and many more these coming years. I will try to get these dwarfed in order to prevent over crowding in our urban homestead.
PawPaws freeze well whole. just stick em in the freezer and store in freezer bags. very little flavor is lost. they are also not as messy to clean. peal the skin like a potato, slice down thru the fruit and pop out seeds.
I grow all kinds of "exotic" fruit. There are lots of fruits people are not familiar with because they don't see them in the grocery store.
I currently have "normal" fruits for my region in zone 7B-8A such as apples, pears, peaches, grapes,blueberries, cherries,figs but am also growing more unusual types like American Persimmon (diospyrus americana), Quince, Kiwi, Satsuma mandarins (in ground, but covered with greenhouse in winter), passion fruit, Citrangequat (cross between sweet orange/bitter orange/kumquat, very cold hardy) Chinese wolfberry (goji berry) and paw paws.
I am also growing a very cold hardy banana plant from the Himalayan mountains called Musa Sikkimensis- it hasn't fruited yet but I'm still trying.
I also have some very tropical plants that stay inside in the winter- Surinam cherry/ pitanga , Dwarf Cavendish banana, coffee plant,etc.
One thing that is not exactly a "fruit" but people may enjoy knowing about is the tea plant- Camellia senensis. This is a type of camellia that green/black/oolong/Earl grey type teas are made from. I started about 4 of these from seeds and plan to plant them in the yard in a year or so. (Nice being able to produce your own caffeine!)
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