Tropical Fruit Photo Gallery

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    Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr

    Come along on a whimsical photo journey through the wonderful world of tropical fruits. From açaí to tamarind, there's sure to be a fruit for everyone. Learn their origins, basic growing facts, uses and more!

    Latin Name: Pouteria caimito

    Other Names: Luma, caimito, aboi, yellow star apple

    Type: Tree

    Native to: The Amazon area in South America

    Fruit: The fruit is round or oval and 1.5-4" long. The skin of abiu is yellow and the flesh is white. Each fruit can carry 1-4 seeds, and fruit must be fully ripened before using, as it contains latex until the ripened point.

    Height: Over 30 inches and can reach over 100 inches tall in the right conditions.

    Hardiness: This is a tropical tree and will be killed if temperatures fall below freezing.

    Propagation: Abius are grown from seed, grafted or budded.

    Uses: The abiu is eaten fresh. It can also be used in ice creams, ices, and sorbets.

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    Image by Ramesh Thadani/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Euterpe oleracea

    Type: Tree

    Native to: South America

    Fruit: Dark purple 1" berry. The fruit is produced twice yearly, and each tree may have thousands of fruits yearly.

    Height: In the wild, the acai palm will grow 40-90'. Cultivated varieties are somewhat shorter, especially if grown in pots. The palm will begin producing fruit once it is about 6' tall.

    Hardiness: Acai can be grown outside when the temperatures are above 70°F year-round in humid locations. Otherwise, these would work well in a greenhouse.​​

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: Acai juice and pulp is becoming a popular ingredient in health and diet products. The taste is berry-like with hints of chocolate.

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    Thu Thai Thanh/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Malpighia punicifolia

    Other Names: Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry, Cereza, Cerisier, Semeruco, Wild Crapemyrtle

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: Central and South America, Caribbean

    Fruit: The fruits are 1" and bright red. There can be 1-3 harvests per year, depending on the climate, although warmer is best. Each tree will produce 30-60 pounds of fruit.

    Height: The acerola grows up to 15'.

    Hardiness: Acerola does not do well in the cold. Full-grown trees can survive rare freezing periods, but they will lose their leaves.

    Propagation: Seeds, cuttings, grafting

    Uses: Acerola is often used as a Vitamin C supplement. It is also used in one flavor of Absolut vodka (Absolut Los Angeles) and Tic Tacs. The fruit is tangy and can be sweet or sour. The acerola tree is also a popular choice for bonsai.

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    Ackee Fruit Juice And Smoothie Recipe
    Roderick Chen/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Blighia sapida

    Other Names: Akee, vegetable brain

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Africa

    Fruit: The 2-4" fruits are an orange-red. The fruit needs to be ripe before eating or it may cause vomiting. Wait until the fruits split open before eating. The fruits are related to the longan, lychee, and rambutan.

    Size: The ackee grows 33-40' tall.

    Hardiness: Mature trees can survive brief freezing periods.

    Propagation: Seeds, budding, and cuttings

    Uses: Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and part of the national dish "Ackee and Salt Fish". It is said to have a flavor similar to eggs and nuts. In Africa, the ackee is used in soups or fried in oil.

    In some areas, ackee is used as soap. The ackee is in the Sapindaceae family, which means it contains saponins, a natural detergent. The strong wood is immune to termites and often used in small lumber projects.

    Medicinal uses include treating parasites, dysentery, headaches, ulcers, epilepsy, eye infections, and pain relief.

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    Close-Up Of Bananas
    Praween Pansuppawatt/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Musa spp.

    Other Names: Ornamental banana (Ensete spp.). Also see finger bananas and plantains.

    Type: Herb (The world's largest!)

    Native to: Indo-Malaysia, Australia.

    Fruit: The standard cultivar sold in the United States is the 'Cavendish'. Bananas may range from 2.5" (finger bananas) to 12" (plantains), with an average size of 6-8".

    Size: Banana trees can be up to 25' tall.

    Hardiness: The edible bananas do best in zones 9-10. There are ornamental varieties that are cold hardy if you want a tropical look for your temperate garden.

    Propagation: Pups (suckers and plant offshoots).​

    Uses: Sweet bananas are eaten raw or cooked. Plantains are starchy and should be cooked before eating.

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    Dethan Punalur/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Averrhoa bilimbi

    Other Names: Cucumber tree, belimbing, tree sorrel

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Indonesia

    Fruit: The fruits are 1.5-4" long and white to yellow-green when ripe. It is related to the carambola (star fruit).

    Size: This tree grows 15-30' tall.

    Hardiness: The bilimbi is hardy to the freezing point, 32°F.

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: Bilimbi is used to flavor fish and meat. It can also be found in drinks and jams. It is too acidic to eat fresh.

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    Black Sapote

    Black Sapote or Chocolate Pudding Fruit
    ThitareeSarmkasat/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Diospyros digyna

    Other Names: Chocolate Pudding Fruit, Caca-poule, black persimmon

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Southern Mexico

    Fruit: Black sapotes are 3-4" long and green. The black refers to the pulp. It is related to the persimmon.

    Size: The tree can grow up to 80' tall.

    Hardiness: As long as the tree is mature, it can survive as low as 28°F.

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: Black sapote can be eaten raw or used in desserts.

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    Brazilian Cherry

    Martha MGR/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Eugenia uniflora

    Other Names: Pitanga, Surinam Cherry, Cayenne Cherry

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: South America​

    Fruit: The 1" lobed fruits are red-black when ripe.

    Size: Grows as large as 25' tall​

    Hardiness: When the Brazilian cherry tree is fully mature, it can survive down to 22°F.

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: Brazilian cherry can be eaten fresh or made into jams and jellies.

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    Oliver Strewe/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Artocarpus altilis

    Other Names: Breadnut (seeded kind)

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Malaysia, Indonesia, South Pacific

    Fruit: The yellow-green, round fruit is up to 8" in diameter. It is closely related to jackfruit and marang. The fig tree is a distant relative.

    Size: The breadfruit tree can be as tall as 90'.

    Hardiness: The optimal temperature for growth is between 60-95°F.​​

    Propagation: Suckers, root cuttings. The breadfruit is seedless.

    Uses: Just before the breadfruit ripens, it can be used as a vegetable. Once it is ripe, it is used in a wide variety of dishes.

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    Cacao tree
    Cyrielle Beaubois/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Theobroma cacao

    Other Names: Chocolate, cocoa

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Central and South America

    Fruit: The large brown pods are 5-12" long and 3-5" wide.

    Size: The cacao tree is small, about 10-20' tall.

    Hardiness: This fruit can only be grown in a tropical location. It will perish if temperatures are below 40°F or above 100°F.

    Propagation: Fresh seeds

    Uses: Almost all of us are familiar with the main use of cacao for chocolate. It is also the source of cocoa butter, and some eat it fresh.

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    star fruit in a bowl
    Narintorn Pornsuknimitkul/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Averrhoa carambola

    Other Names: Star fruit

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Likely Ceylon and the Moluccas

    Fruit: The star-shaped carambola is 2.5-6" long and orange-yellow when ripe. It is a relative of the bilimbi.

    Size: This tree grows from 20-30' tall.

    Hardiness: The carambola can grow in zones 10-11.

    Propagation: Grafting is preferred since the tree fruits much earlier (in 1 year) than in the 4-6 years it can take for a tree, from seeds, to bear fruit.

    Uses: The carambola is used in fruit salads and desserts for its star shape. It can also be eaten fresh.

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    Carob pods and seeds
    victoriya89/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Ceratonia siliqua

    Other Names: St. John's Bread

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Mediterranean region

    Fruit: The 4-12" pods are brown and contain 10-13 seeds. A distant relative is tamarind.

    Size: The carob tree is usually 30-50' tall.

    Hardiness: Can grow in zones 9-10, 8 with protection

    Propagation: Seeds. This tree is dioecious and both male and female trees will be needed.

    Uses: Carob is lower in fat than cacao, and it is often used as a chocolate substitute. Extracts from the seeds can also be used as thickeners in cooking. In Germany, a coffee substitute is made from the carob seeds.

    In ancient times, the carob seed was used to measure the worth of gems and gold since the seeds have a general uniform weight. This is where the word "karat" comes from.

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    Cashew Apple

    Cashew apples
    Philippe Lissac/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Anacardium occidentale

    Other Names: Marañon, Merey, Caju, Cajueiro

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Brazil

    Fruit: The true fruit is the gray nut (drupe) on top. The apple-like bottom portion is a swollen stalk, a false fruit also known as a pseudofruit, accessory, or receptacle.

    The cashew is related to the mango and both belong to the sumac family. The shell of the cashew is toxic, thus special roasting and shelling procedures must be followed for safety.

    Size: The tree grows 35-40' tall.

    Hardiness: Cashews will be severely damaged if the temperatures fall below freezing.

    Propagation: By seed, budding and air-layering.

    Uses: The cashew nut can be used after special processing. The cashew apple can be eaten fresh, juiced, preserved in syrup or dried. The juice contains tannin, which should be removed to prevent possible nutritional deficiencies.

    The cashew apple is used in some countries to treat a sore throat, dysentery, rheumatism, neuralgia, and as a diuretic.

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    cherimoya halved
    MirageC/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Annona cherimola

    Other Names: Custard Apple, Chirimoya, Chirimolla

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia

    Fruit: The cherimoya is large, green and heart-shaped and is often between 4-8" long and up to 5 pounds. It is generally described as having a pineapple or banana flavor. Mark Twain once declared it, "The most delicious fruit known to men." The cherimoya is related to the custard apple, guanabana, and sweetsop.

    Size: The cherimoya tree grows over 30' tall.

    Hardiness: Can be grown in zones 10-11

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: The cherimoya is eaten fresh.

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    Citrus Fruit

    Citrus fruits

    Latin Name: Citrus spp. and Kumquat, the latter which is very closely related and has been given the genus Fortunella spp.

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: Tropical and subtropical

    Fruit: The citrus fruits come in all sizes and shapes. There are about 14 common types of citrus found in U.S. stores.

    Size: Citrus can grow on large shrubs or trees. The size will vary by species.

    Hardiness: Many kinds of citrus can grow in zones 9-11.

    Propagation: Seeds, grafting

    Uses: Citrus can be eaten fresh or used in cooking. Some are too acidic to eat fresh. Citrus fruits are quite rich in Vitamin C and were used by sailors to ward off scurvy. Orange oil is used in many cleaning products.

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    Coconut Palm

    Low Angle View Of Coconuts Growing On Palm Tree
    Chatuporn Sornlampoo/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Cocos nucifera

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Unknown. The coconut palm can still germinate after months floating in the ocean, so it is difficult to determine the origin.

    Fruit: The coconut we know is actually the seed of a drupe, similar to the pit of a nectarine or cherry. The outside is covered in fibrous layers. Coir, which used in gardening, is taken from these outer layers.

    Size: The coconut palm tree is 20-50' tall under cultivation, and can reach as tall as 100' in the wild.

    Hardiness: Zones 10-11. Coconut palm trees are very tropical and cannot tolerate frost. It will also die if exposed to degrees under 50°F for too long.

    Propagation: Seed. It will take 5-6 months before it will germinate.

    Uses: A hole can be cracked in the coconut and the milk can be consumed fresh. The inside white meat, copra, is used in a multitude of recipes. Oil can be extracted for many uses.

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    Coffee Tree

    Coffee tree
    Jrme Servais/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Almost all commercial coffee is made from Coffea arabica, the "Arabian coffee". Coffea canephora is also used to produce the "robust coffee".

    Type: Shrub / Tree​

    Native to: Coffea arabica - Ethiopia. Coffea canephora - Liberia to Congo.

    Fruit: The red fruits are berries. The two seeds inside are roasted to become the familiar coffee bean.

    Size: The coffee tree will grow, on average, to 10-20' tall.

    Hardiness: Coffee is commercially grown in Hawaii and Puerto Rico as it is too cold elsewhere in the U.S.

    Propagation: Arabica - seeds. Robust - cuttings.

    Uses: Most coffee beans are used for coffee drinks, though some are used as flavorings. Coffee trees produce the second largest commodity product in the world.

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    Custard Apple

    Custard Apple fruit Images

    Latin Name: Annona reticulata

    Other Names: Bullock's Heart. The name custard apple is used for several related fruits. Relatives include the cherimoya, atemoya, soursop, and sweetsop.

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Caribbean region

    Fruit: The brown or red fruits are 3-5" long and contain many seeds. The flavor is usually not considered as good as its relatives.

    Size: The custard apple tree grows to 20-35' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 10-11.

    Propagation: Seeds, air layering and grafting.

    Uses: The custard apple is eaten fresh.

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    Date Palm

    date palm tree
    clearandtransparent/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Phoenix dactylifera

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Persian Gulf in the Middle East

    Fruit: The date palm is dioecious. Both male and female plants are needed to produce the 1-3" brown fruits (drupes).

    Size: The trees used commercially grow to 30' tall. In the wild, they can reach 60-100' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 8-10.

    Propagation: Suckers

    Uses: Dates can be eaten fresh or made into pastes, juices, and syrups.

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    Dragon Fruit

    Dragon fruit on white wooden table
    0livia/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Hylocereus undatus

    Other Names: Pitahaya, dragon fruit, strawberry pear, pitaya

    Type: Cactus

    Native to: Central America

    Fruit: The pink, round, scaled fruit can be up to 5" long. The flesh inside can be white or magenta. Other pitaya species may have golden skin and flesh. There are numerous tiny black seeds.

    Size: The cactus vines can be up to 20' long.

    Hardiness: Zones 10-11.

    Propagation: Seeds or stem cuttings

    Uses: The dragon fruit is usually eaten fresh and chilled. It can also be used to flavor desserts.

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    Durian fruit
    Westend61/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Durio zibethinus

    Other Names: Civet fruit

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Malaysia and Borneo

    Fruit: The oval, spiny fruits are 6-12" long and can weigh up to 18 pounds. The fruit is known as the "king of fruits" in Asia. People usually either love it for its nutty, caramel flavor or hate it due to its intensely unpleasant smell. Some businesses even ban the consumption of the fruit indoors.

    Size: 90-130' tall

    Hardiness: The durian is quite tropical and will be killed if the temperatures drop below 40°F.

    Propagation: Grafting and seeds

    Uses: The durian is mostly eaten fresh. It is also used in various desserts.

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    fresh feijoa fruit
    dvulikaia/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Feijoa sellowiana

    Other Names: Pineapple guava, guavasteen

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: Southern Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay

    Fruit: Feijoa fruits are .75-3.5" long with green and blue-green waxy skin. The fruit tastes like combinations of guava, pineapple, strawberry, and mint. Both the flowers and fruit have a strong, pleasant scent.

    Size: The feijoa can grow 15-25' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 8-11.

    Propagation: Seeds, which may take weeks to germinate.

    Uses: The feijoa is often eaten fresh but is also used in many desserts

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    Fig Tree

    Close-Up Of Figs Growing On Tree
    Hilary Brodey/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Ficus carica

    Other Names: Higo, figue, feige, fico

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Western Asia

    Fruit: The fig is a type of fruit called a syconium. The thick skin can range from green to brown, to purple. The pulp inside has the texture of jelly. The fig is distantly related to breadfruit, jackfruit, and marang.

    Size: 10-30' tall, sometimes up to 50' tall

    Hardiness: Zones 8-10. There are varieties that can be grown as low as zone 5.

    Propagation: Cuttings

    Uses: Figs can be eaten fresh, dried, and used in desserts.

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    Finger Bananas

    Lady finger bananas
    Maximilian Stock Ltd/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Musa spp.

    Other Names: Lady finger banana

    Type: Herb

    Native to: Indo-Malaysia, Australia.​

    Fruit: Finger bananas are smaller (2.5" long) and sweeter than the standard banana.​

    Size: The finger banana variety grows to 15' tall.​

    Hardiness: Zone 9-10​

    Propagation: Pups (suckers and plant offshoots).​

    Uses: Finger bananas can be eaten fresh or used in desserts.

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    Latin Name: Fuchsia spp.

    Other Names: Sometimes misspelled as fuschia or fushia

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: South America, New Zealand, Tahiti​

    Fruit: The fruits are usually .25-1" long. They are red or purple berries.​

    Size: Most are shrubs from 4-13' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 6-9 that should be protected from frosts.

    Propagation: Seeds, cuttings

    Uses: Fuchsia fruits can be eaten fresh but can be tart. They are sometimes made into jams and jellies.

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    Latin Name: Phyllanthus acidus

    Other Names: Otaheite gooseberry, Amlak, Gooseberry tree, Malay gooseberry, Cermai

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: Madagascar

    Fruit: Each .75" fruit is green and round. They are drupes, having one seed (pit).

    Size: It can grow 5-30' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 10-11. It can handle some light frost with protection.

    Propagation: Seeds, budding, cuttings, air-layering

    Uses: The grosella fruits are generally too sour to eat but can be cooked for use in drinks, sauces, and jellies. It will turn bright red when cooked.

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    hand holding soursop fruit
    Mat Thatcher/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Annona muricata

    Other Names: Soursop, graviola

    Type: Tree

    Native to: West Indies

    Fruit: The green, heart-shaped fruit is covered in soft spines. It is 4-12" long and can weigh as much as 10-15 pounds. It is related to the cherimoya, custard apple, and sweetsop.

    Size: This tree grows to 25-30' tall.

    Hardiness: In the U.S. guanabana can only be grown in Southern Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

    Propagation: Seeds, grafting and budding

    Uses: The guanabana is made into ice cream, sherbet and drinks. Some varieties do not have fiber and can be eaten fresh. It is high in vitamins B1, B2 and C.

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    Urs Flueeler/Getty Images

    .Latin Name: Psidium guajava

    Other Names: Guayaba

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: Southern Mexico, Central America

    Fruit: The 2-4" are round with light yellow or green skin. They have a very strong, sweet smell. The pulp inside can be white, yellow, or light/dark pink.

    Size: The standard size is 10-15' tall, though it can grow as high as 30' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11

    Propagation: Seeds, grafting, air-layering, and root cuttings

    Uses: The guava can be eaten fresh or used in drinks, desserts, and more foods.

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    NNehring/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Myrciaria spp. There are four species whose fruit is called jaboticaba.

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Northern Argentina

    Fruit: The round jaboticaba fruits range in size from .25-1.5". They can range in color from green to dark purple. The pulp inside is white or pink.

    Size: These trees grow from 10-40' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9b-11

    Propagation: Grafting and seeds. Trees from seed can take up to 15 years to start producing fruit, so grafting is preferred.

    Uses: The jaboticaba is eaten fresh or made into jellies, jams, and juices. They should be peeled to lessen the amount of tannin.

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    jackfruit against white background
    Lee Chee Keong/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Artocarpus heterophyllus

    Other Names: Jakfruit

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Indian and Southeastern Asian rainforests.

    Fruit: The jackfruit is the largest edible tree fruit in the world. It is 1-2' long and can weigh as much as 75 pounds. The spiky skin is yellow-green. The pulp inside is yellow. The jackfruit will sometimes have an unpleasant smell. The jackfruit is related to the breadfruit and the marang. A distant relative is the fig tree.

    Size: The tree can grow over 90' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9b-11​

    Propagation: Seeds (which can take up to 8 weeks for germination). Grafting is also used.

    Uses: The jackfruit is often eaten fresh or used in food dishes. The seeds are also edible and may be boiled or roasted.

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    Jujube fruit
    Sino Images/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Ziziphus jujuba

    Other Names: Chinese Date

    Type: Tree

    Native to: China

    Fruit: The red drupes are about 1-2.5" long, depending on the cultivar chosen. Jujube can have a taste similar to apples or dates, depending on how ripe they are.

    Size: The jujube tree can reach 40' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 5-10. The jujube has a surprising tolerance to some cold.

    Propagation: Grafting, budding, seeds

    Uses: Jujubes can be eaten fresh, dried, or used as an ingredient in desserts.

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    Kei Apple

    Kei apple (Dovyalis caffra), umkokola. tropical fruit
    vainillaychile/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Dovyalis caffra

    Other Names: Umkokola, amaqokolo, umkola

    Type: Shrub/Small tree

    Native to: Africa

    Fruit: Kei apple plants are dioecious and often require both male and female shrubs. Sometimes fruit may be produced without pollination (parthenogenesis). The fruits are yellow, 1-1.5" and round, and are abundantly produced on the branches.

    Size: The Kei apple grows to 30' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11​

    Propagation: Seeds, hormone-treated hardwood cuttings

    Uses: The fruit is a great source of Vitamin C. It is often too tart to eat fresh, though some eat it with sugar. It is used to make jellies and desserts. Care should be taken when planting a kei apple as it has allelopathic effects on other plants.

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    Kiwi Fruit

    Kiwi fruit
    Michael Pole/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Actinidia deliciosa

    Other Names: Fuzzy-skinned kiwi, Chinese gooseberry

    Type: Woody vine​

    Native to: China (it was introduced to New Zealand by missionaries).

    Fruit: The oval fruits (up to 2.5" long) have a fuzzy brown skin. The inside is often a bright green color, though it can also be yellow, brown or off-white. The kiwi fruit is dioecious and both male and female plants will be needed for fruit.

    Size: The woody vines can be as long as 30'. They should have support, such as a fence or trellis.

    Hardiness: Zones 8-10

    Propagation: Seeds, cuttings

    Uses: Many kiwi fruits are eaten fresh. They are also used for drinks, desserts, and flavors. They are a good source of nutrients, being high in Vitamins A, C and E. They are also a good source of potassium.

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    Longan fruit
    Norman Hollands/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Dimocarpus longana, Euphoria longana

    Other Names: Dragon's eye

    Type: Tree

    Native to: China

    Fruit: The 1" longan fruits have a thin, leathery skin that is very easily removed. Inside, white pulp surrounds a single black seed.

    The longan is related to the ackee, lychee, and rambutan.

    Size: The longan tree can grow to 40' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11

    Propagation: Seeds, air-layering

    Uses: The longan fruit is usually eaten fresh and is also used in many desserts and drinks.

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    masahiro Makin/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Eriobotrya japonica

    Other Names: Japanese plum, Japanese medlar

    Type: Tree

    Native to: China and Japan

    Fruit: The 1-2" yellow/orange fruits grow in clusters. The skin can be either smooth or fuzzy. The flesh inside is either white, yellow or orange.​

    Size: The loquat tree grows 20-30' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 7-11

    Propagation: Grafting, seeds

    Uses: Loquats can be eaten fresh or used in desserts. If they are picked just before ripening, they will have enough pectin to make jelly.

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    Lychee fruit
    Pierre-Yves Babelon/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Litchi chinensis

    Other Names: Litchi

    Type: Tree

    Native to: China

    Fruit: The 1-1.5" pink/red lychees are borne in clusters of 4-50 fruits. The outer skin can be easily removed, revealing white flesh surrounding one brown seed.

    Size: The lychee tree grows 20-40' tall, and up to 100' tall in the wild. Lychee is related to ackee, longan, and rambutan.

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11

    Propagation: Air-layering, grafting, and seeds (will not be true to cultivar).

    Uses: Lychee can be eaten fresh, dried, or used in desserts.

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    Mamey fruits
    Enrique Monterrubio/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Mammea americana

    Other Names: Mammee, mamey apple, mamey de Santo Domingo, abricote, abricot d'Amerique

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Caribbean, Central America, and Northern South America

    Fruit: Mamey is 4-8" brown-skinned berry. The orange pulp inside has a strong, pleasant smell and tastes like apricots or berries.

    Size: The mamey tree can reach 75' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9b-11

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: Mamey is often eaten fresh, either alone or in salads. It is also made into many desserts such as ice cream.

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    Elizabeth Fernandez/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Mangifera indica

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Southern Asia

    Fruit: The 2-9" mango fruits have a skin that is either green or yellow/red when ripe, based on variety. The mango is related to the cashew apple, both of which are in the sumac family. The mango skin can cause allergic attacks in some people.

    Size: The mango tree can grow to 75' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 10-11

    Propagation: Grafting. Seeds can work, but will not be true to variety.

    Uses: Mango is eaten fresh, usually after peeling, as the skin is toxic for some people. It is also used in a wide variety of dishes.

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    Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Garcinia mangostana

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Malay peninsula

    Fruit: The mangosteen is 1.33-3" wide with purple skin. Inside are 4-8 segments of white pulp. Many call this the most delicious fruit of all and name it as the "queen of fruits".

    Size: The mangosteen tree grows 20-82' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 11

    Propagation: Mangosteens are difficult to propagate. They reproduce asexually as the "seeds" are a kind of embryo instead of a true seed. They should be planted right after removal from the fruit. Other methods of propagation usually do not work.

    Uses: Mangosteen is called the "Queen of Fruits", and is said by many to be the most delicious fruit of all. The mangosteen is usually eaten fresh. It is said to have many health benefits but research is inconclusive.

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    Buah Tarap or Artocarpus odoratissimus
    photograph by dorisj/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Artocarpus odoratissimus

    Other Names: Tarap, Johey oak

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Borneo, Phillipines

    Fruit: The marang is yellow-brown, 6-8" long and covered with spines that harden as it ripens. The flesh inside is white. The fruit, as the Latin name suggests, smells pleasant. The marang is related to the breadfruit and jackfruit and is distantly related to the fig tree.

    Size: The marang tree grows about 80' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 10-11

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: The marang is eaten fresh. The seeds can be boiled or roasted.

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    Miracle Fruit

    Miracle fruit
    tang90246/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Synsepalum dulcificum

    Other Names: Miracle berry

    Type: Shrub / Small Tree

    Native to: West Africa

    Fruit: The 1" red berry has no taste. It is eaten for its effect on the taste buds.

    Size: The miracle fruit can grow to 15' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 10-11

    Propagation: Fresh seeds

    Uses: The miracle fruit is in high demand because of a curious property it possesses. When it is eaten, the taste buds are changed. Sour and bitter fruits can be eaten and they will taste sweet. The effect lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours or more.

    In Japan, the miracle fruit is made into tablets that can be eaten with sour or bitter foods. They say it is a way that diabetics can have sweet foods without the sugar.

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    Monstera deliciosa (banana ananas or ceriman)
    John Lawson/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Monstera deliciosa

    Other Names: Windowleaf, ceriman, split-leaf philodendron, monstera, Mexican breadfruit, Swiss cheese plant

    Type: Perennial

    Native to: Central America

    Fruit: The 8-10" monstera is covered in green hexagonal "tiles" that will fall off when it is ripe. The fruit needs at least 1 year to ripen. Until then it contains too much oxalic acid, which is quite harmful. The flavor is described as a combination of banana, pineapple, and mango.

    Size: The monstera can grow over 40' tall.

    Hardiness: Outside, zones 10-11. It is a popular houseplant in other zones.

    Propagation: Cuttings, seeds

    Uses: It can be eaten fresh or used in ice creams and drinks.

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  • 43 of 61

    Mysore Raspberry

    Mysore Raspberry
    Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr

    Latin Name: Rubus neveus

    Type: Shrub / Bramble

    Native to: India and Myanmar​

    Fruit: The .5-.75" dark purple fruits are a type of fruit called aggregate drupes. In the botanical world, all raspberries and blackberries are not true berries.

    Size: The Mysore raspberry grows 8-15', taller than the common raspberry.

    Hardiness: A full-grown shrub can survive temperatures as low as 20°F or even a bit lower. This is a tropical raspberry that is able to grow in higher heats than the common raspberry.

    Propagation: Seeds (can take some time to germinate), cuttings

    Uses: The Mysore raspberry can be eaten fresh and be used in many desserts.

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    Natal Plum

    Natal plums
    Inga Spence / Getty Images

    Latin Name: Carissa macrocarpa

    Type: Shrub

    Native to: South Africa​

    Fruit: Natal plums are 2" red berries.​

    Size: The natal plum shrubs grows 2-8' tall.​

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11. Use protection in Zone 9 winters. It will usually come back in Zone 9 if it freezes.​

    Propagation: Cuttings, seeds​

    Uses: The natal plum can be made into jams and jellies.

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    olovedog/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Morinda citrifolia

    Other Names: Indian mulberry

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: Southeast Asia, South Pacific

    Fruit: The 4-5" white fruits have white, smelly pulp.

    Size: The noni grows 10-20' tall.

    Hardiness: Needs tropical location. Can withstand 35-40°F temperatures for short periods.

    Propagation: Seed

    Uses: The noni is used in a variety of juices and nutritional products for its medicinal properties. Some are scientifically proven, with many others unproven.

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    Sliced papaya
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Latin Name: Carica papaya

    Other Names: Tree melon. In Australia, it is called pawpaw, though it is not the same as the pawpaw found in the U.S. and elsewhere.

    Type: Tree-like herb

    Native to: Central America

    Fruit: Hawaiian papayas have yellow skin when ripe and orange or pink flesh, while Mexican papayas have green skin and can have yellow, orange or pink flesh. Mexican papayas are much larger than the Hawaiian papayas and can be over 15" long. The seeds are edible.

    Size: The papaya plant grows 10-12' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11

    Propagation: Seeds, cuttings

    Uses: Papaya can be eaten fresh or used in many kinds of foods. The fruit and leaves contain papein, which can be used to tenderize meat.

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  • 47 of 61

    Passion Fruit

    Passion fruit
    Michael Grimm/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Passiflora edulis, Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa' (lilikoi)

    Other Names: Lilikoi, granadilla, purple granadilla, yellow passion fruit

    Type: Vine

    Native to: South America

    Fruit: The fruit is 1.5-3" long with a tough purple or yellow skin, and bright orange pulp. The yellow variety (Passiflora edulis 'flavicarpa') is called lilikoi. The lilikoi is larger and tarter.

    Size: The vines can grow 15-20' a year (average life: 5-7 years) and should be supported with a fence or trellis.

    Hardiness: Zones 8-10

    Propagation: Seeds, which can take weeks-months to germinate.

    Uses: The fruit can be eaten fresh or used in a variety of drinks and desserts.

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    Pepino Melon

    Pepino melon
    Michael Davis/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Solanum muricatum

    Other Names: Pepino melon, pepino dulce, melon pear​

    Type: Subshrub

    Native to: Andes mountains

    Fruit: The fruit is 2-5" long and shaped like an egg. It is a cream color with purple streaks. The pepino is related to fruits like the tomato, pepper, potato, and tamarillo.

    Size: The pepino grows 4-6' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11

    Propagation: Seeds, cuttings

    Uses: Pepino is usually eaten fresh. It has a taste similar to melons, which is why they can be called pepino melon.

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    biffspandex/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Ananas comosus

    Other Names: Pineapple, Ananas, Nanas, Pina

    Type: Bromeliad

    Native to: Brazil and Paraguay

    Fruit: The pineapples, up to 12" long, are what is called a multiple or compound fruit. It is made up of many smaller fruits that have fused together. Make sure the pineapple is ripe before eating as it is poisonous when immature.

    Size: The pineapple plant is 2-5' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9-11. Can be a houseplant in other zones.

    Propagation: Suckers. You can also cut off the top of the pineapple and plant it.

    Uses: The fruit is used fresh or in a variety of foods. The pineapple plant and fruit contains bromelain, which can be used as a meat tenderizer. The bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory, so you may eat fresh pineapple before dental work or surgeries to reduce swelling.

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  • 50 of 61


    StockFood / Getty Images

    Latin Name: Musa spp.

    Other Names: Platano. There is also an unrelated family of herbs/weeds (Plantago) that are called plantains.

    Type: Herb

    Native to: Indo-Malaysia, Australia​

    Fruit: The plantain is the largest banana, at up to 12" long. They also have thicker skins which will turn brown/black when ripe.​

    Hardiness: Zones 9-10​

    Propagation: Pups (suckers and plant offshoots)​

    Uses:: The plantain is much starchier than the standard banana and is used in cooking, often as a vegetable.

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  • 51 of 61


    Canan Czemmel / Getty Images


    Latin Name: Punica granatum

    Other Names: Granada. Misspelled as pomegranate

    Type: Shrub

    Native to: Middle East/India​

    Fruit: The pomegranate is 2-5" wide with a leathery, red skin. Inside are white, spongy compartments, each containing the red pulp. Inside the pulp is one hard seed.​

    Size: The size ranges from 3-20' depending on the variety chosen. The dwarf pomegranate shrubs are good patio plants.​

    Hardiness: Zones 7-10​

    Propagation: Seeds, cuttings, grafting​

    Uses: The seeds and pulp are eaten fresh. They can also be made into juices, desserts and other dishes. Syrup made from pomegranates is called grenadine. The pomegranate is also used for its nutritional and medicinal properties.

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    Rambutan in natural conditions on a beautiful tropical background. Exotic fruits
    Mariana Mikhailova/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Nephelium lappaceum

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Malaysia

    Fruit: The fruit is 1" wide. The red skin is covered in soft, hairy spines. The skin slips off very easily to reveal white pulp surrounding one brown seed. The texture and flavor are reminiscent of a sweet grape. It is related to the ackee, longan, and lychee. 

    Size: The rambutan tree grows 50-80' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 11. It is not frost-hardy at all.

    Propagation: Air-layering, seeds

    Uses: Rambutans are eaten fresh and in desserts

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    Rose Apple

    Rose apples
    John & Lisa Merrill/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Syzygium malaccense. The name "Rose apple" may refer to any number of Syzygium fruits

    Other Names: Jambu, Malay apple, Mountain apple, and many more. Varies by species.

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Malaysia

    Fruit: The 2-4" fruits are red and bell-shaped. The flesh inside is white. There may be 1-2 seeds, or it may be seedless, depending on variety.

    Size: The rose apple tree can grow over 60' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 11

    Propagation: Seeds, cuttings

    Uses: Rose apples are eaten fresh or used in wines.

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    simonlong/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Salacca zalacca, Salacca edulis

    Other Names: Snake fruit

    Type: Palm tree

    Native to: Java and Sumatra

    Fruit: The salak is a 2" fruit with brown scaly skin, earning it the name "snake fruit" The skin peels away easily to reveal white lobed flesh. The seed is inedible.

    Size: The salak palm tree grows 12-20' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 10b-11

    Propagation: Seeds

    Uses: The salak can be eaten fresh or preserved.

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    sliced santol fruit on wooden background
    kwanchaichaiudom/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Sandorium koetjape

    Other Names: Sentul, kechapi, lolly fruit

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Cambodia, Laos​, and Malaysia

    Fruit: The round 2" fruits have a tough brown skin. There are 5 segments inside of white pulp.

    Size: The santol tree grows anywhere from 50-150' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 10-11

    Propagation: Seeds, air-layering

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  • 56 of 61


    sapodilla plum or chiko on the tree with green leaves
    Oat_Phawat/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Manilkara zapota

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Yucatan, Guatemala, and Belize

    Fruit: The sapodilla is 2-4", has brown skin, and can be round or oval, depending on variety. The flesh inside can be varying shades of brown. It is said to taste like a mix of brown sugar and root beer.

    Size: The sapodilla tree grows 60-100' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 10b-11

    Propagation: Seeds, grafting

    Uses: The sapodilla is eaten fresh. It also contains chicle, a latex that used to be used in chewing gum.

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  • 57 of 61

    Star Apple

    Star apples
    Nigel Noyes/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Chrysophyllum cainito

    Other Names: Goldenleaf tree, caimito

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Carribean and Central America

    Fruit: There are two varieties of star apple. Both are 2" long. One has purple skin and pulp. The other has green skin and white pulp.

    Size: The tree grows 25-100' tall.

    Hardiness: The star apple is quite tropical and only grows well in southern Florida, on the Florida Keys and Hawaii.

    Propagation: Seeds, grafting, budding

    Uses: Star apples are eaten fresh or used in drinks, salads, and desserts.

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    Sweetsop- sugar apple
    Jean Hosking/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Annona squamosa

    Other Names: Sugar apple

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Central America or the West Indies.

    Fruit: The 2-4" long fruit has creamy skin and pulp. The sweetsop is related to the cherimoya, custard apple, and guanabana.

    Size: The sugar apple tree grows 15-25' tall.

    Hardiness: Zone 10-11

    Propagation: Seeds, budding, grafting

    Uses: The sweetsop is eaten fresh or used in drinks.

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  • 59 of 61


    Pair of Tamarillo fruit
    PeterJSeager/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Cyphomandra betacea

    Other Names: Tree tomato

    Type: Shrub / Tree

    Native to: Andes, Peru, and Chile

    Fruit: The fruits are oval, 2-4" long and come in shades of purple, red, yellow and orange. The tamarillo is related to peppers, pepino, potatoes, and tomatoes.

    Size: The tamarillo can grow up to 20' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 10-11

    Propagation: Seeds, grafting

    Uses: The tamarillo is eaten fresh, made into drinks, or used in many dishes. You can use it generally like a tomato.

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    Roderick Chen/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Tamarindus indica

    Other Names: Tamarindo

    Type: Tree

    Native to: Northern Africa

    Fruit: The 3-8" brown pods are filled with sticky brown pulp. The tamarind is distantly related to carob.

    Size: The tamarind tree grows up to 80' tall.

    Hardiness: Zones 9b-11

    Propagation: Seeds, grafting, budding, air-layering

    Uses: Tamarind is usually used as a flavoring for drinks and desserts. It can also be eaten fresh if desired.

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    Asian Pear

    Asian Pear
    pjohnson1/Getty Images

    Latin Name: Pyrus pyrifolia

    Other Names: Nashi pear, Japanese pear, Korean pear, Taiwan Pear, sand pear, apple pear, bapple, papple, nashipati, nashpati and bae

    Type: Tree

    Native to: China

    Fruit: The round pome fruits are around 3" and brown.

    Size: The Asian pear grows 30-40' tall.

    Hardiness: The Asian pear can be grown in Zones 5-9.

    Propagation: Budding and grafting

    Uses: The Asian pear is crisp like an apple with the taste of a slightly tart pear. It can be eaten raw or cooked.