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Tropical Fruit

 

If any of you have a passion for growing tropical fruit, then this section should be of great interest to you. Most of these I have grown and many are quite ornamental as well as edible.

Annona cherimola
Cherimoya
n£

5 seeds £1.95   JS2955

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A native of the Andes, the cherimoya is quite similar to the custard apple and often considered one of the best-tasting fruits in the world. Seeds are toxic and when crushed can be used as an insecticide so please do not eat the seeds! The small tree capable of being pot grown starts to produce fragrant flowers in 3 to 5 years and will need hand pollinating for fruit. More cool tolerant than the custard apple it prefers winter temperatures of 5C to 15C and summer temperatures of 18C to 25C and dislikes high temperatures and dry atmospheres.

Annona squamosa
Custard Apple
n£

10 seeds £2.09   JS2360

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A small cool tolerant, deciduous tree to 15ft. Custard apples make excellent container specimens even grown from seed when they can come into fruit bearing age after just 2-3 years. The trees produce a small knobbly fruit with soft, creamy white flesh often having a minty or custardy flavour. Often called the sugar apple it is extremely popular throughout the tropics.

Averrhoa carambola
Star Fruit
n£

10 seeds £1.95   JS2101 

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Averrhoa carambola is a slow growing tree from Asia. In nature, the trees will reach about 30 feet but much smaller when pot grown and you can expect a 5ft tall tree after 5 years. The pinnate leaves are sensitive and the leaves fold together at night, much like mimosa and we believe also slightly sensitive to touch. The trees produce the well known star fruit, which is an astringent fruit with a sweet and sour flavour. The slow growing nature of these trees makes them an excellent container tree and flowers can be expected in the 3rd to 4th year from seed. In the greenhouse, these plants start flowering in late spring and will have up to 4 flushes of flowers throughout the year. Flowers form in the leaf axils. The variegated white and purple flowers are followed by yellow to golden brown fruits that are up to 5 inches (12.7 cm) long. Carambola needs a rich, moist, slightly acidic soil mix with full sun to partial shade and kept on the dry side over winter while the tree is dormant.

Carica Papaya Red Maradol
Dwarf Papaya
n£

10 seeds £2.13   JS3303 

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Red Maradol is a dwarf Papaya capable of fruiting within 7 months from seed when only 50cm tall in tropical conditions. A native of Mexico it has pink flesh rather than the normal peach. This plant will need to be kept between 15C and 30C to grow properly and the flowers will not set or will fall off outside of this temperature range. However it has to be a candidate for an autumn sowing in propagator conditions with lighting over winter and greenhouse pot grown to fruiting size the next spring/summer. This variety had a gender of 66% hermaphrodite and 33% female plants so two out of three should be self fertile.
 

Carica papaya Waimanolo
Paw Paw Fruit
n£

10 seeds £2.13   JS368 

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A plant that I have grown on and off for a number of years but so far I have not managed to get any to fruit. The plants look attractive though with a tall stem topped by a cluster of palmate leaves and it grows easily from seed. The small flowers are scented which I found a bonus when grown as an ornamental pot plant. This variety forms fruit on shorter 4ft plants.

Carica pubescens
Mountain Papaya
n£

10 seeds £2.99   JS2574 

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One of the parents of the Babaco hybrid this cool tolerant Papaya will tolerate short spells down to frost level but best grown in warm humid conditions. We think that like the Babaco it will be easier to over winter than normal Papaya in a heated glasshouse. The fruit is smaller and although it can be eaten raw is best cooked or made into jam. A small branching tree not more than 6ft in pots which will take a few years to achieve even in ideal conditions.

Carissa Carandas

New for 2014!
Kronda Berry
n£

5 seeds £2.95   JS3560

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This particular berry fruit is known in English as pickle berry and in India as Kronda or Kranda. The berry and plant parts have been used for over 1000 years in traditional medicine and is a rich source of Iron and Vitamin C (Antioxidants) useful against anticancer activities and anaemia. Another super fruit whose benefits we are missing out on! A tropical bushy small shrub well worth trying as a pot plant in a warm conservatory.

Cyphomandra betacea
Tree Tomato 
n£

10 seeds £2.68  JS617

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A novelty plant from Peru that has good use both for its tomato like edible red fruit (assuming you have space to allow it mature) and large downy leaves making it a bold pot plant for terrace decoration in summer. Makes a sparse shrub with terminal 4” racemes of 1” pink flowers spring to summer. Recently shown on one of the gardening programmes used for large leaved ornamental purposes. Quick growing.

Cyphomandra White Egg

New for 2014!
White Tree Tomato 
n£

10 seeds £2.68  JS3537

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This Tamarillo bears greenish white fruits but otherwise can be grown in the same way as the normal Red fruited form. Quick growing.

Diospyros kaki
Japanese persimmon or Sharon Fruit n£]

10 seeds £2.87  JS2297

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The most widely cultivated species is Diospyros kaki or Japanese persimmon and cultivars are sold in supermarkets as Sharon fruit. These are sweet, slightly tart fruits with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. Native to China, it is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of east Asia, and was later introduced to southern Europe in the 1800s, and numerous cultivars like 'Hachiya' have been selected. Seed grown plants produce both male and female trees.

Diospyros kaki prefer a good deep loamy soil in sun or light shade disliking very acid or wet and poorly drained conditions. Dormant plants of Diospyros kaki are quite hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -14°C but they require warmer summers than are normally experienced in Britain in order to ripen their fruit and wood. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. A warm sunny wall improves the chance of producing ripe fruit and trees fruit freely when grown under glass. Fruits are frequently produced outdoors at Kew but not ripe until November or into December.

Diospyros lotus
The Date Plum n£]]]

10 seeds £2.87  JS2299

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The Date-Plum Diospyros lotus is native to southwest Asia and southeast Europe. It was known to the ancient Greeks as "the fruit of the Gods", but its English name is derived from the small 2cm fruit, which has a taste reminiscent of both plums and dates. Another hardy tree to -20°C. Seed grown plants produce both male and female trees.

Diospyros virginiana
American Persimmon n£]]]

10 seeds £2.87  JS2298

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The American persimmon, Diospyros virginiana is native to eastern North America. The small plum like fruits are very astringent and mouth numbing when green, but sweet and edible when ripe after a hard freeze; matures in late autumn. A small to medium sized tree to 60 feet with a round-topped crown of crooked branches and totally frost hardy. The glossy leathery leaves make this tree a good one for landscaping. Seed grown plants produce both male and female trees.
 

Eugenia uniflora
Surinam Cherry  n£
10 seeds £2.54   JS1502

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The Surinam cherry rarely grown outside of the Americas is a bush or small tree to 25ft in height. It has adapted to both subtropical and tropical climates and is hardy to -3°C when full grown. Plants like full sun and are drought tolerant, needing only moderate rainfall. Fruits develop and ripen in just 3 weeks from flowering and are usually grown from seed. Eaten fresh with sugar or used in preserves.

Eugenia floribunda

Out of Stock!
Rumberry
  n£
10 seeds £2.54   JS2441

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This is a beautiful small fruit tree native to Northern South America and Central Americas, that grows to 30ft but can be kept small in pots. Extremely popular edible fruit throughout its natural range which is eagerly consumed by children, birds, and wild and domesticated animals. Easy to grow from seed the fruits are used in making local wine and used for pies.

Feijoa sellowiana
Pineapple Guava  n]]£
15 seeds £2.87   JS349

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This interesting small shrub will take some frost to perhaps -8°C, therefore fully hardy in some gardens. In mid summer it bears unusual large dark red flowers and if you grow two plants together, they will cross fertilise to bear delicious “guava” flavoured fruits.

Hibiscus sabdariffa Superior
The other Cranberry 
10 seeds £3.16   JS1150

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Originally native from India to Malaysia, H. sabdariffa, also known as ‘Red Sorell’, is now widely distributed and cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions round the globe. The attractive red or purple seed pods are edible and have an invigorating, astringent flavour. In the Caribbean, the calyx-covered fruits are brewed in water to make a refreshing, cranberry-coloured tea. They are also used in salads, jellies (such as Jamaica’s famous rosella jam), sauces, soups, beverages, chutneys, pickles, tarts, puddings, syrups, and wine. Powdered dried red sorrel is added to commercial herb teas such as Red Zinger for flavour and colour.

Hylocereus undutatus
Dragon Fruit 
10 seeds £3.20   JS1503

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The dragon fruit sometimes seen in supermarkets is actually the fruit of a cactus. We find the taste of supermarket fruit very bland compared with the taste of freshly harvested fruit in the tropics. However if you are into cactus this one might be worth trying. Pictures show fruit and commercial growing conditions.

Lonicera caerulea
Blue-Berried Honeysuckle  ]]]
10 seeds £2.95   JS3402

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Lonicera caerulea or honeyberry is a relatively new introduction into the UK and are edible forms of the honeysuckle also known as blue honeysuckle. The fruits are very similar to blueberries in taste and looks, and can be eaten raw or used in jams and jellies. Like blueberries they are high in antioxidants and vitamin C and make an interesting addition to your fruit collection. However they do not mind acidic or alkaline soil which makes them a great alternative for people who struggle to grow blueberries. Best grown in pairs or more for cross pollination.

Lycium barbarum

New for 2014!
Goji Berry or Wolfberry   ]]]
20 seeds £1.95   JS3563

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The two species of Goji berry or Wolfberry grown are Lycium Barbarum and Lycium Chinense, two very closely related species from China. They are perennial plants and will grow to a height of between one and three metres. They require a sunny position and a well drained soil and fairly easy to grow, are self pollinating, drought tolerant and are hardy plants. After being introduced into the UK many years ago they have already been seen growing wild in some locations.

The red berries which are small and plum shaped are very high in nutrients with many health claims. In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are often made into a tea that is said to work on the liver and other areas of the bodies. In food products, goji berries are often dried and mixed in with the other ingredients Marketers of goji berries have made the following health claims; improves the immune system; improves circulation; reduces inflammation; improves vision including macular degeneration; helps reduce the aging process.

Lycium chinense
Goji Berry or Wolfberry  n£]]
20 seeds £1.95  
JS2761

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The two species of Goji berry or Wolfberry grown are Lycium Barbarum and Lycium Chinense, two very closely related species from China. They are perennial plants and will grow to a height of between one and three metres. They require a sunny position and a well drained soil and fairly easy to grow, are self pollinating, drought tolerant and are hardy plants. After being introduced into the UK many years ago they have already been seen growing wild in some locations.

The red berries which are small and plum shaped are very high in nutrients with many health claims. In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are often made into a tea that is said to work on the liver and other areas of the bodies. In food products, goji berries are often dried and mixed in with the other ingredients Marketers of goji berries have made the following health claims; improves the immune system; improves circulation; reduces inflammation; improves vision including macular degeneration; helps reduce the aging process.

Manilkara zapota
Sapodilla 
10 seeds £1.99   JS2383

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The sapodilla is a very common fruit in the tropics, and can be grown easily from seed although the resulting fruit quality is variable. It has glossy green leaves up to 5 in long which have pointed tips, and white flowers which produce 5-8 cm fruits. Cool tolerant to just above frost level it might be worth a try as a pot plant. Fruit is not produced though until about the 5th year. This tree is also famous for initially providing the ingrediants for chewing gum which used the rubber like latex extracted from the tree trunks (chicle)

Morinda citrifolia
Noni Tree  n£
10 seeds £2.66   JS2565

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This small glossy leaved tropical tree is best known for its suggested but not proven medicinal properties and in particular the Noni Juice produced from its fruits. The tree is quick to mature in around 18 months in ideal conditions with small white flowers and strange smelly fruits. This has to be worth a try for its novelty factor! Seed slow to germinate but reliably.

Phyllanthus acidus
Otaheite Gooseberry  n£
10 seeds £2.95   JS3432

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A small tropical tree originally from Madagascar, to 20 feet but can be pot grown as a small shrub. The small 2cm fruits are borne in loose clusters in profusion hanging from the tree trunk and main branches. The fruit is generally too tart for fresh eating but are esteemed for jellies, preserves and pastries ripening midsummer. A possible warm greenhouse or conservatory unusual plant.

Psidium cattleianum var montana
Strawberry Guava
n£
10 seeds £2.47   JS2650

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A rare selected clone from mountains in China this is a slightly hardier form of the strawberry guava capable of up to -5C when established. This ornamental large shrub suitable for pot growing enjoys similar conditions to citrus trees with similar hardiness. The tasty red fruits have a sweet and aromatic flavour like a strawberry hence the common name.

Psidium guajava
Guava
n£
10 seeds £2.47   JS997

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A tough tropical small shrub that tolerates down to frost levels with small white flowers followed by “Guava” 1cm to 5cm fruits. Easy to grow from seed flowering in the second year.

Punica granatum nana
Dwarf Pomegranate n£
10 seeds £1.99   JS370

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You can eat the fruit from this plant but it is not exactly a feast from 2" fruits! However the flowers are an attractive red colour often flowering profusely on an 18" to 2ft shrub. Best grown in bright conditions and it will tolerate a slight frost when it will behave deciduously.

Solanum muricatum
Pepino fruit n£
10 seeds £2.21   JS647

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A small bush or shrub from South America much like the tomato in looks and habit. Usually fruits in 9-12 months, so a frost free environment is required. Pepino’s will stand a few degrees of freezing however. Our trial plants started flowering in August from a spring sowing and the fruit that ripened around Christmas was best described as a sweet melon flavour with the texture of a Kiwi fruit and quite delicious. One fruit shown in the picture was about the size of a grapefruit. Best grown like a pot tomato plant and in the same conditions although they have proved much hardier and continue to grow through our winter even in a cold frost free greenhouse.

Solanum quitoense
Naranjilla n£
10 seeds £2.21   JS824

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Medium sized shrub or small tree to 6-10ft from the Andes and a favourite of the Incas. The naranjilla is subtropical and enjoys slightly cooler than tropical temperatures so more suitable in the UK as a cool greenhouse plant. Leaf veins are generally a deep purple colour and attractive but often thorny! Naranjilla's like frequent watering and can stand brief temperature drops below freezing. It is easily container grown, the naranjilla is thought the be a short day plant, and may only set fruit when there are 8-10 daylight hours. The plant has bright orange fruits about the size of a large cherry tomato, covered with numerous fuzzy hairs that rub off when ripe. Pulp is green, acid, and of excellent flavour.

Solanum topiro
Cocona  n£
10 seeds £3.95   JS1483

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Closely allied to the naranjilla, and similar vegetatively but with a quite different fruit, the Cocona is much less known outside its natural range. The flesh has a mild flavour faintly suggestive of tomato, while the pulp has a pleasant, lime-like acidity. These plants are the cultivated thornless type.

Tamarindus indica
Tamarind Tree  n£
5 seeds £1.95   JS2086

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One of the most famous trees of the tropics. The large bean pods have edible flesh around the seeds, the pods can be cooked as a vegetable when young and even the bark is edible. The fruit is high in Vitamin C and cultivated all over the world. Before you get too excited though they are large trees not fruiting until 7 or 8 years old but the small trees with their soft downy attractive leaves make a good pot plant for a frost free environment.

 

Symbol Code

Germination --- Easy n, Moderate n and Challenging n

Backlog for Fresh Seed --- u    New Seeds not in Catalogue ---« 

Hardiness --- ] (To -5°C) ]] (To -10°C) ]]] (To -15°C) 

Growing Symbols ---  £ Sunny position £ Shady position S  Lots of Water