Rare fruits for climates with relatively frost free winters

I’ve had cherimoya and don’t care for it in the least.

Have you tried nectaplum? Those are by far the best tasting, sweetest, juiciest stone fruit Ive had grown in the PNW. I grow one in the Willamette Valley on a citation root stock and it is prolific.

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Spice Zee nectaplum is an average nectarine in my greenhouse. Not something I need again. Many better nectarines. But then my greenhouse has a very long and warm season. Yesterday it only hit 78 in there. It was our first cold day of fall. It has been 90s nearly every day since February.

I think you were right to give mangos a try. I don’t think there is much else that can close to HQ stone fruit.


Wow, you are the first person I’ve ever heard say the nectaplum is average. The ones I’ve had grown on the west coast are sweet and juicy far beyond expectation of a nectarine.

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They are sweet and juicy. Other nectarines have more and better flavor.

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Different strokes for different folks. Nectaplum became my favorite after I discovered them growing in Fresno, California. Nectarines are my favorite stone fruit by far, so it’s really herd to go wrong with any of them. Nevertheless, nectaplum is my favorite. For peaches it’s the desert gold.

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A lot of these fruit I don’t eat anymore, but when I go to Hawaii, which is rare after COVID, I get a jar of guava jelly, coconut ice cream, and Hawaiian papaya. So I get my fix in Hawaii.

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can’t you get all of those in So.Cal? At least I can easily get them here


Yes but not good quality. Hawaii papaya is so good and fresh in Hawaii, same with pineapple, I’m not sure about the rest because I don’t look for them here.

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Having only tried guava as an adult–they’re one of my favorite fruits. I’ve not had the classic pink tropical guava, other than as guava paste, but I eat the smaller yellow ones that the Mexican grocery stores and Walmart (who in our area cater to Hispanics a lot) sell. Not sure what kind they are, I’ve seen conflicting reports of them being “Mexican cream guava” or “lemon guava.”

Raisin tree–yeah, sounds like a novelty item. Eat it once just to try it. Raisins are beyond cheap, keep super easily, and come in different flavors, why use precious space to grow raisin-flavored twigs?

Not sure how citrus counts are a rare fruit. Pretty much anywhere you can grow citrus, people grow citrus. Sure, some cool varieties might be less common then they deserve, but still.

If I can make the time and also get a suitable set up going, I’m going to start some Hawaiian solo papayas indoors in batches starting in late fall. Some of them I might lose to starting them too early and them getting big enough to need more light and heat then I can realistically provide come March or whatever, but I’m hoping one of the batches will be timed right that I’ll have big but still healthy seedlings once late spring arrives and I can plant them outside. Then, maybe, I’ll have enough time to get some fruit off of them before cool weather comes back. Don’t know if I’m going to succeed, or even have time to try, but we’ll see, I might be enjoying some garden fresh papaya in right about a year from now.

Passionfruit is definitely worth it. The native ones are very hardy and have great flowers and interesting fruit. The tropical stuff I’m less familiar with. Growing out some tetraploid tropical/native hybrids right now and, at least for my climate, they’re looking really successful. None have ripened yet, but I’ve got more than a dozen fruit set so far, and some really attractive and fragrant vines. I’ll make a dedicated post once I get to try the fruit.

Pineapple guava is probably going to steadily but slowly gain popularity. Might take a few generations, but the combination of flavor, ease of care, and ornament is a real winner (people are so reticent to try new stuff, even if it’s way better, they quantity of doomed apple and stone fruit trees destined to die before ever giving a single good fruit that nurseries ship out every year must be frightening).

Some other entries on that list were weird. Pineberries are pretty easy to find these days, even grocery stores have them. Ditto for interspecific hybrids. Wine palm could be cool though, and jelly palm, which I’ve thought about getting even though they’d be marginal here I think. Poha has a really destructive native pest that destroys the fruit… Makes me sad inside and angry outside. Love pepino dulce, was annoyed that I lost my pepino seedlings this year, hoping next year will be better. Nice to see eugenias making the list. Really don’t know why figs are on a list of rare fruit trees. Figs seem pretty common to me.


I would love to grow these, have fond memories eating them growing up in India.

CHERIMOYA Annona cherimola or I prefer Annona squamose which has thicker outer skin

Manilkara zapota - Chico - rich flavorful fruit best eaten with the skin.

ROSE APPLE Syzygium jambos - Probably my favorite among the three posted here. the fruit is has a seed and no pulp. Not very sweet, but has distinct rose like flavor/aroma. Easy eating fruit as a snack.


I am growing my first Satsuma Mandarin. There were 12 on the tree but down to one. Its still hanging in there. Cannot wait to eat it. Still green.


I read an old exerpt from some nursery trade publication like 100 years ago in CA that said basically the same thing. But it was partly correct, in that I’ve seen them planted pretty often throughout CA and even all over Seattle. I think part of the problem is they’ve been mostly marketed for ornamental use, so many of the nurseries that sell them are just selling unimproved seedlings rather than cultivars selected for fruit quality. I tasted the fruit of a landscape specimen in the SF Bay area that was small, sour, grit, nothing redeeming about it. If that’s someone’s first taste of the fruit, they probably won’t seek out high quality cultivars.


Satsuma in the ground (not sure about when grown in pot) takes a bit of time to get to peak quality. The first year fruits from my tree were horrible and slightly better next year and then it got much better. Just setting the expectations :slight_smile:


That’s a good point. That to me it seems like there also just weren’t very many good cultivars until fairly recently anyway.

But yeah, I’m probably too optimistic.


Good little write up- I enjoyed reading it. Id recommend Cyphomandra. Theyre pretty carefree and well adapted to container and greenhouse culture. Thats true of many Incan fruits too IME. Ive had an orange fruited tree tomato for years. This is my first year having it in the high tunnel and its loving it! So many more fruits and so much bigger. Grown against my south wall in a pot, Ive usually gotten about 2-3 quarts of egg sized fruits. Planted in the ground in the high tunnel, The fruits are 50% larger and there must be 2-3 times as many! Grown outside, they’ve ripened a bit late for me. This year, they should hopefully ripen in mid-October or so.

Im also growing the distantly related dwarf tree tomato. My first taste was pretty bitter but theyve grown on me. Man are they prolific- I started them in mid-March from seed, and now they are over 10 ft tall. They started bearing a few fruits about a month ago, and now theyre really hitting their stride. Im not sure I need so many plants, but I plan to dig a crown or two to overwinter.


Tree tomato…hmm?? Does it matter that I don’t like regular tomatoes? Tomatoes are too sour for me and I don’t like the tomato flavor.

How is the tree version different? How sweet are they?


Guavas - if you didn’t grow up eating it, less chance you’ll like the flavor or put up with seeds

There are alot of seedless variety that’s completely seedless or few seeds <5. They are sweet, tart and crunchy. They are low maintenance with alot of health benefits. Look up Taiwanese seedless guava, Thai seedless guava, Thai ruby seedless guava, Taiwanese ruby seedless guava, crystal guava.

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

You have to know how to pick it from the tree. No sap if done correctly. It’s one of the least low maintenance tree in my yard and attractive plants in my yard

Rose apple, Wax Jambu - taste decent, but not sure if I’ll grow them myself

There are over a dozen variety - red, green, pink, white, etc. More and more variety are being imported from Taiwan, Vietnam. It’s definitely one of my top tree in my yard.

If you try Thai jumbo and you don’t like it, you can skip all wax jambu together. It’s not the best variety, but it’s already damn good. Vietnamese have alot more variety that’s imported that are bigger and sweeter. I have 7 trees for a reason and I don’t bother to grow any loquat, avocado, or cheap fruits under $5/lb that can be easily bought at the stores

Cherimoya - one of the best grown at home. I haven’t figured out hand-pollination but it has been proven to work here

Cherimoya is one of my favorite tree. I prefer atemoya more since it’s sweet, tart, and chewiness. It’s the closest to sugar apple that can be grown in SoCal and that’s why I have over 15 mature trees with dozen of variety - Geffner, AP2, Lisa, Lisa Pride, Red Geffner, Dream, Lindstorm, Pink Mammoth, Sweet Green, Page, Tropic Sun, SSA, etc. They are coming out with new variety that taste like soursop too.

I haven’t seen anyone mentioned mango. I have 3 and it’s very low maintenance trees if you know its requirements and delicious especially with SE and Florida variety.


Which rose apple variety would you recommend to grow in a pot and overwinter inside the house.

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