Unusual Fruits and Berries

Berries    -     Citrus    -    Melons    -    Miscellaneous


We gardeners have become accustomed to a limited array of choices when deciding what fruits, berries and assorted sweet treats we plant to grow from season to season. Strawberries, Appples, Peaches, Blackberries are all fine and dandy, but a little diversity is also welcomed.

There are many heirloom fruits and berries our great grand parents grew that have been almost forgotten. There are also exotic, rare and even bizarre agricultural delights from around the globe to experiment with.

Highly productive and delicious fruiting trees and plants are more common than you thought. Some are simply mistaken as naturalized plants or ornamentals when grown in pots or landscaping scenarios, others you've probably never heard of.

In addition to providing delicious produce. these plants also furnish aesthetic landscaping value that enhances the appearance of your property not only in the warm seasons, but year round.


Berries



Miracle Berries

Sour foods such as lemons and limes will taste sweet. This is caused by a carbohydrate found in the berry known as miraculin which adheres to your taste buds and creates the effect. It blocks the receptors which detect the sourness of some foods and in turn the receptors that detect sweetness are activated. The effect will generally last about 1/2 hour

Snotty Gobbles

Snotty Gobbles ??!! Also known as Manjack , neither name sounds too appealing but it is a tasty edible berry indigenous to India. Some variations are found in other parts of the world including the Caribbean and Australia. Other names it goes by include glue berry, anonag , pink pearl and Indian Cherry.

Cloud Berry

Cloudberries are an arctic berry similar to raspberries and other bramble. They are tart and juicy and not commonly cultivated, although they can be, they generally grow wild.

Arctic Raspberry

The Arctic Raspberry alias Nagoon berry or simply arctic berry is a Perennial Rasberry / bramble that grows in some pretty cold regions. It's range is not as far north as Cloud Berries, but it has other advantages.

Lingonberry

Lingonberry is a semi evergreen and another Cold Climate berry. It retains its green foliage all winter. The North American wild lingonberry blooms in the spring. The Eurasian variety blooms in the spring and then again in mid summer, sometimes producing two harvests of berries annually. It tastes like a cross between cranberry and blueberry.

Lingonm berry Plants

Goose Berries

Gooseberries come from several plant species, primarily the European gooseberry and the American gooseberry .The American Gooseberry is native to northeastern United States from the Atlantic Coast in through the Ohio Valley and southern Canada. The European gooseberry is the original gooseberry, European settlers brought their varieties with them and hybridized them with native cultivars. They are fast growing , reaching up to 3 feet tall and 5 - 6 feet wide. The average yield from a healthy and mature gooseberry bush is about 8 lbs. per bush, a good yield is 10 -12 lbs per bush.

Honey Berry

Honey Berry aka Blue-berried honeysuckle fruit is a tasty elongated prolific berry. It has a hint of Raspberry, blueberry and black currant. they make an excellent landscaping shrub and fit well into manicured yards.

Honey Berry Plants

Sweet Appleberry

Sweet apple berry grows on a small climbing vine native to Australia. It will grow well in North America in USDA Zones 8 and 9 but should be sheltered from winter winds and mulched well to protect root systems.

Eaten fresh it has a licorice like flavor, however when it ripens fully off the bush it develops a stewed apple flavor.

Goji Berries

Goji Berry is a perennial that can be grown in USDA Zones 3 to 10. It is considered a 'Super Food'. They are reputed to boost the immune system enhance brain activity, protect the heart, fight off cancer, and generally increase life expectancy and quality of life.

HIMALAYAN TIBETAN GOJI BERRY WOLFBERRY FRUIT Bush

They can survive winters well below zero.

They have a slight bitter taste which is balanced out by the natural sugars.

Chokeberries

Chokeberry actually comprises 3 different related species. They are grown as ornamental plants as well as a food source. The berries arecommonly processed in preserves and wines but can also be eaten fresh. The term "choke" is believed to refer to their tartness.

Jostaberry

Jostaberry, pronounced 'Yooster Berry' is a cross between 2 varieties of Gooseberry and Black Currants. The Jostaberry combines the best of both cultivars and produces a tasty tangy fruit on an easily grown bush.

Service-berries

Serviceberries are a native North American species that grow just about anywhere, there are many regional variations and adaptations, they can thrive from southern Canada to the Carolinas and Georgia, and from New York to California. A serviceberry can be extremely productive once it begins to bear.

Serviceberries bloom in the early spring across zones 2 though 8. The blooms are white, aesthetically appealing and fragrant. The berries are very similar to blueberries in taste and appearance, and are grown as an alternative to blueberries by some gardeners.

Seaberries

The Sea berry is a little known European Berry. It is very hardy and grows on almost any soil type. It is drought-tolerant once it is established. Seaberries grow well in zones 3 - 7. They are similar to citrus in taste and composition and are a tad tart. The berries are as big as a large blueberry. Europeans use sea berry juice as a substitute for Orange Juice.

Sea Buckthorn or Seaberry

Strawberry Spinach

Strawberry spinach is an annual edible plant that produces Spinach , as well as edible berries. It is more heat tolerant than common spinach. The berries are sweet, not quite as sweet as raspberry or strawberry, in fact they are somewhat bland. Their mild sweetness serves well in salads and as an ingredient in many recipes. It is not well suited to preserves.

Blue Strawberries

A GMO, genetically modified organism. Scientists have genetically modified Strawberries and created a Blue Strawberry. The actual goal was to allow the Strawberries to resist freezing temperatures. The "Blue" is a colorful side effect.

Arbutus Berries

Also sometimes called the Strawberry Tree, although it is not related to Strawberries. cylindrical berries have a mildly gritty to woody texture and taste somewhat like a bland mango or perhaps a cross between a guava and a unripened peach. One thing is certain,it doesn't taste like Strawberry and it certainly don't taste like chicken.

Wonder Berry

Wonder Berries are related to Tomatoes and eggplant, they are not true berries. The blueberry sized fruit is blueish-black, sometimes a little larger. The plants are bushy, and roughly two feet tall. They produce from early summer till autumn and take about 75 days to reach full maturity.

The ripe berries can be a let down in the taste department, if eaten raw they taste similar to an under ripe tomato. They are best used in preserves, pies and sauces.


Citrus



Dwarf Lime Trees

Key Lime and other dwarf Lime Trees are relatively easy to grow. Dwarfs generally only reach 2 - 3 feet in height and produce normal full size, green limes. In addition to being aesthetically appealing and pleasantly fragrant in an indoor setting, lime trees can provide years of tasty fruit.

Rangpur Lime

Rangpur Lime or Mandarin Lime is a citrus from India. It is believed to be a natural hybrid between mandarin orange and lemons. It has a radiant orange peel and flesh, a tad reddish but is very sour- lemony . It is called Canton Lemon by the Chinese, Hime Lemon by the Japanese, and sometimes Mandarin lime in North America.

Indoor Lemons

Most dwarf or indoor lemon trees are container-grown. They can be pirchased as is and can also be propagated at home, from cuttings, and seed. If you decide to grow Lemon Trees from seeds, allow the seeds to dry out for up to two weeks and try to avoid hybrids.

Kumquats

Kumquats are like little tiny olive sized oranges that can be eaten whole, skin and all. Some are as big as your big toe. They are not easily grown from seeds and so are usually propagated via rootstock or cuttings. Like most citrus they are self-pollinating .

Melons



Banana Melons

Banana melons have the appearance of a big banana but its actually a muskmelon, a relative of cantaloupe and cucumber. It not only looks like a banana but also has a hint of banana taste.

Jelly Melons

The Jelly Melon or the African horned cucumber tastes like a mix of cucumbers and pomegranate, some people say they taste similar to kiwi and bananas. This Melon thrives in mild climates, is resistant to most common plant diseases and pests such as powdery mildew, melon aphids and greenhouse white flies.

Kajari Melon

An unusual and until fairly recently unknown melon from India. It is a colorful and tasty Heirloom. The rind is smooth and striped. The flesh is a pale green to yellow sometimes a little peachy in color. The taste is similar to honeydew but not quite as sweet it has a hint of green apple flavor.

Casabanana Melon

This melon is up to 2 feet in length with a hard deep red magenta rind. Some variations are shades of orange, yellow, black or dark purple. The sweet flesh is varying shades of yellow and orange and surrounds a core of large flat brown seeds which run the length of the melon. The fruit is sweetly aromatic even before being cut. - Hardiness zones 6 - 11.

Vert Grimpant Melon

The Little Green Climbing Melon, known as Vert Grimpant is a French heirloom. A vining melon that is generally grown on a trellis. They are small, about the size of a Grapefruit and weighing 1 - 2 lbs each. The flesh is a tad crisper than softer cantaloupe and honey dew but still manages to hold a juicy sweetness.

Pepino Melon

Pepino is the Spanish word for cucumber and pepino melons are called Sweet cucumbers or Pepino Dulce in South America. Sizes vary, anywhere from the ping pong size to as large as a boci ball. When allowed to over-ripen it is fruity sweet with a hint of banana and mango.

Tiger Melons

Tiger Melon, aka Tigger Melon is an heirloom that is similar to honey Dew in taste. Yellow and orange tiger stripes are its name source.The fruit ripens later in the growing season than similar melon varieties, it can be grown right up to early Autumn. It is more drought tolerant than most other melons. From seed set to harvest is about 4 months.

Babaco Melon

Babaco [Pronounced Bab-co] is a natural Papaya hybrid. It is native to South America where it grows in clusters. The Babaco tree slightly over a year to mature and produce fruits.

When fully ripe it is banana yellow and tastes sweet like a cross between strawberry and Papaya, some say pineapple and banana. It will continue ripening if removed from the tree.

Miscellaneous



Quince are not edible fresh, as they contain stone-like particles within the fruit. Related to apples and pears, quince should be cooked to bring out its cinnamony flavor and aroma. Quince is traditionally added to baked apple dishes to intensify the flavor, it is also cooked down to a concentrated preserve known as dulce de membrillo, or in many other jelly and jam recipes.Quince enlightens the landscape in early spring, it is highly ornamental. The fruits ripen in autumn and can be stored for several months.

Paw Paws are the largest edible fruit of any plant native to North America, each one nearly a pound . The tree’s natural range was from Northern Florida panhandle to Southern Canada, and from the East Coast USA to the Mississippi.

Pawpaws require very little care once planted . Be sure to have at least two different varieties for cross-pollination. Other than that , just a little patience as they take about 5 years to fruit. Pawpaw is considered hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 5.

The Paw Paw is fragile and doesn't ship well, which is why you won't find it on Supermarket shelves too often. Homegrown pawpaws are best. The pulp can be baked or used in a number of recipes.

Persimmons

Persimmons are a little known fruit , that have gotten a bad reputation over the years, primarily due to the terrible taste of the unripened fruits.

Persimmon fruit is very astringent, extremely tart before the fruit ripens. Once fully ripe, persimmons have a sweet honeylike flavor and smooth buttery texture.

Prickly Pears

The aesthetically appealing plant will grow well in drought plagued regions or anywhere else that is not endowed with much water. In cooler areas or the more moisture endowed regions it is best grown as a potted plant that can be easily moved about as need be. Prickly Pears grow on Cactus and are sweet tasteful treats.

Witch Finger Grapes

Witches Finger Grapes are a hybridized grape. They are elongated table grapes tightly clustered together on their stems. They have a crisp skin and a rich sweet flavor. Some say they have a hint of a plum taste.

Blue Sausage Fruit

Blue Sausages aka Dead mans fingers are fruit trees indigenous to China and the far east. The fruit itself is mildly sweet and is contained within a blue pod that splits open when ripe. The innards of the pod contain the edible fruits, which consists of a pulpy mass which encases the seeds. The edible innards of the pod are similar in texture to lychee or grapes.