Rare fruits for climates with relatively frost free winters

This writeup was pointed out to me by @Oregon_Fruit_Grow . I really like it partly because of all the great pictures of fruits I haven’t grown but could in my greenhouse.

My thought is, which are really worth the time and space?

MG 2017 #1 (ucanr.edu)


That was a pretty cool read, thanks for sharing. I’m particularly intrigued by the finger limes and the Che fruit. Looks like finger limes would have to be a container plant here in 7A, but for lime caviar I might give it a try! Imagine that on tacos? The Che watermelon berries sound tasty too. They apparently have seedless varieties.

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Really nice read thanks for sharing, anyone growing Che? Curious if it would fruit well enough to have a few in a mostly shady spot (as that is all I have left available haha)

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Che is hardy to -20F, drought tolerant, grows on poor soil, and sweet as a fig…!!. Only downside I see is male and female trees.

I wonder why it isn’t more popular?

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Very nice write up and interesting list. My opinions (so by definition, subjective) based on my limited tasting

Guavas - if you didn’t grow up eating it, less chance you’ll like the flavor or put up with seeds
Jaboticaba - The tree looks like a beautiful specimen but I’d take grapes over them for flavor
Raisin tree - yes, I get a flavor of raisin when I chew on the stem. Not much beyond the novelty factor
Miracle berry - cool fruit. Probably more than raisin tree in terms of novelty but I wouldn’t waste any premium green house spot
Citrus - Mandarins are worth a spot. GH has unique conditions for growing premium blood oranges. I hear Bream Tarocco is superb grown in ideal weather. I’m trying Valentine pomelo here
Papaya, longan, lychee - super market (specifically Asian/Mexican/Indian) ones are pretty decent. I’d taste them before planting one
Loquat - great for ripening time (May) or heat challenged areas where stone fruits are not possible. Not so great fruit to seed/membrane ratio
Passion fruit - I’ve tried Frederick here and is tart to be eaten fresh (still brix ~20) but very fragrant and make great juice when combined with citrus. I read the tropical ones have more sweet flavor but haven’t tried them yet
Dragon fruit - most of them don’t have enough sugar, more like cucumber. The yellow ones are interesting but not sure if its worth the trouble
White sapote - the few I tasted were interesting. I planted a tree. Need more to evaluate better
Chico sapote - One of my favorites growing up. Not easy to properly ripen and it’s sappy if not. I hear the varieties from Florida are selected for less grit and more sugar - Alano, ButterScotch, etc. Haven’t tried those yet
Starfruit - Refreshing and mildly sweet. I would plant it if I have a 2 acre farm in Florida. Not sure in a green house.
Rose apple, Wax Jambu - taste decent, but not sure if I’ll grow them myself
Pomegranate - I love it, kids love it and we can’t get enough of them. Not just the fruit and flavor, we love picking, deseeding, removing the membranes, everything. I want to plant more
Cherimoya - one of the best grown at home. I haven’t figured out hand-pollination but it has been proven to work here
Kiwis - need more shade and more water than I can afford. Many varieties have been grown locally but I haven’t had success
Pineapple guava - I tried many named varieties. I still get a medicinal flavor in the background


Not sure what’s going on there.

Thank you. That’s very helpful. My thought: these are mostly rare for a reason…most aren’t very good compared to the best stone fruits, figs, and grapes, etc that I already grow.

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Watch out, this thread will get derailed with the great che debate! Some people really really hate them, but @Luisport and a few others have said good things. A couple threads to check for both sides:



From the threads on here Che looks polarizing, with some liking it and others hating it. I wish I could find some locally to try…

I’m not sure if the male and female trees are needed - according to this site it depends on your climate, if it’s warm enough you may not need a male tree: Cudrania, 'Norris' female Che Chinese Melonberry – Cricket Hill Garden


True. Also, we are looking at them through the lens of growing them in a challenged environment with lot of effort. As the author says, apples can be considered “rare” in the tropics. If I have a greenhouse with enough chill and limited space in the tropics, will I plant apples? - probably not. I would rather choose best of the best in stone fruits.

On top of it, these fruits haven’t seen anything nearly close to the breeding efforts of pome or stone fruits. Probably mangos are an exception.


The Che thread featured a lot of talk about dropping fruits for 10 years and the need for Osage orange as a rootstock. But no firsthand reports of fruit taste. No thanks.

Very true. Seedling fruits aren’t very often that good. Even mango is in it’s infancy with regards to breeding efforts.

Whereas stone fruits are highly improved and it shows. Pluots are better than plums IME.


Luis posted his:


Didn’t try it yet this year… will report when i eat them. :grin:

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And the very next post said insipid. Adding somebody likes anything a lot.

More shocked at the guava comment. I didn’t grow up eating them but boy do I love them, regardless of the hard seeds. But I also kind of really dislike jackfruit, and im the first I’ve heard say that, so I guess we all have our own pállate


I love guava jelly, and baked goods that use guava paste (e.g., guava & cheese pastelitos), but I’ve never cared for the fresh fruit, either in crunchy stage (a la southeast Asian varieties) or fully ripe.

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There’s a productive cherimoya tree in Oakland not far from where I lived in Berkeley.


Never liked guavas very much. And I grew up eating them. Not sufficiently sweet and annoying seeds.

Feijoas are a far better guava than guava. I am one of those that actually likes the medicinal/myrtaceous flavor. But there are varieties that have far less of it.

Loquats are becoming a top tier fruit for me. Consistently high brix and far better than many stone fruit I can grow. It is important to thin them so they have better flesh to seed ratio.

Chico Sapote are really awesome but need a very warm climate so they are far outside my ability to grow.

Kiwis are awesome in high moisture climates (not California) I grow lots of varieties.

Never liked star fruit - too mild

Cherimoya are awesome. Far better than the pawpaws I can grow.

Not a huge fan of pomegranates— the seeds are intrusive.


That’s the most common response to guavas I’ve seen. Most people like the juice and flavor but not the fresh fruit.

Modern varieties either have imperceptible or almost imperceptible seeds. Wonderful probably has the most crunchy seeds among the best varieties.


I don’t like the seeds in a guava fruit either, but as juice and used to make membrillo guava is fantastic.

Pomegranate seeds don’t bother me at all. Though for people who don’t like them, pomegranates are excellent for juicing. I grow a variety called kazake that’s supposed to be excellent for juicing.

Cherimoya are excellent.