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The Rose Apple is indigenous to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent and has been spread by human hand to most temperate climates world wide, zone 9 or up in North America. Although the tree will withstand temperatures as low as 25 F, 75 to 850 F is required to produce fruit and maintain a vigorous tree. The tree is a perennial evergreen that reaches up to 25 feet when grown wild, but is more commonly tamed to easily manageable heights. There are also dwarf and potted varieties. When in bloom the tree is highly fragrant as well as visually appealing. Young trees have a reddish tinge to their foliage, more mature trees lose that youthful zeal but still maintain an aesthetic quality. The white flowers grow in clusters and are also visually intoxicating.
The Rose Apple itself, the fruit, tastes similar to apples, with a crisp tartness and distinct perfumed rose aroma which melds into the flavor. Even though the flesh is described as crisp the fruit is softer than apples and highly perishable, which is one reason you rarely find them in the produce department. Fruit color varies somewhat amongst varieties from greenish yellows to pale pink and light reds. They are oval, generally pear shaped. They are generally eaten fresh but also work well in preserves.
So far as their health benefits - they certainly are nutritious. They have a high fiber content, healthy levels of vitamin A and C as well as calcium and iron. Its elevated antioxidant and potassium levels aid in maintaining cardiovascular health.
The trees are generally grown from seed, but starting with whips or seedlings will also work. Cuttings have an abysmal success rate and should be avoided with this species as should grafts.
Soil: Deep loamy is considered best but the tree will grow in just about any soil type so long as moisture is maintained.
Rose apples are easily damaged and highly perishable. They should be picked fresh and eaten or preserved asap.