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Author Topic: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers  (Read 2167 times)

Florian

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Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« on: April 12, 2018, 04:21:00 PM »
I live in Switzerland, most years we're in zone 8a. Winters are usually long and very damp and summers lack heat. Prolonged freezes are not unusual.
To give you an idea: I can grow figs succesfully although the second crop only ripens in good years.

I have acquired some early pomegranates and a Kaki "early fuyu" but they haven't flowered yet.

Any additional ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Patanax

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 03:33:17 PM »
A pawpaw maybe?

SoCal2warm

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 08:29:19 PM »
Maybe the varieties of quince (particularly Russian) that are better for eating out of hand?

Some rare cold hardy citrus varieties can survive where you are.

Have you considered Chinese Bayberry (Myrica rubra) or che fruit (Maclura tricuspidata) ?
The Osage Orange is an interesting ornamental (despite the name, not citrus).

There are some Russian varieties of pomegranate that can survive, but where you are the fruits probably won't get very ripe or sweet.

There are also of course persimmons and Asian pears, which should have no problem, although they are not really all that uncommon.

How about lingonberries or cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus), if you're going to look to the far North for something exotic. On that note, how about Brandywine raspberry, it's a hybrid between red raspberry and black raspberries native to North America. They have a somewhat blackberry-like taste and don't tend to spread out of bounds like regular raspberries.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 08:34:11 PM by SoCal2warm »

kernol

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 03:36:47 AM »
Pomegranates should work for you if you go for a cold-hardy and early riping variety since normal ones wouldnt ripe in time.

If you have a sheltered spot, Feijoa could work for you as well - maybe giving it some light protection (fleece) during winter months. Mine seems to be alive after this winter in zone 7a.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 03:39:54 AM by kernol »

Florian

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2018, 08:20:19 AM »
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. There are some that I have never heard of, i.e. the Chinese bayberry which I will definitely check out.

Regarding pomegranates, I have been recommended the variety called Agat which is said to be both very coldhardy and early-ripening and as a plus does have soft seeds. Does anybody have one and can tell me more? I've just planted a small 3 litre plant.

Feijia survives but rarely fruits outdoors here, works well in a polytunnel though.

Btw. the Swiss are rather conservative gardeners – almost anything that isn't an apple or a cherry is pretty uncommon here:-).
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 08:42:18 AM by Florian »

Patanax

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 04:24:18 PM »
I have just looked up the Chinese Bayberry and all sites I've come across mention it only being cold-hardy down to zone 10?

SoCal2warm

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 07:45:59 PM »
I have just looked up the Chinese Bayberry and all sites I've come across mention it only being cold-hardy down to zone 10?

It can definitely grow in zone 9, and probably in zone 8.

Read the post here:
Quote
Myrica Rubra, page 2

Myrica rubra's common names include Yangmei in China, Yamamomo in Japan, Red Bayberry, Chinese Bayberry, and Yumberry.  According to the CRFG Fruit Gardener March & April 2008 issue, the fruit is called yang-mei in China, which means "poplar-plum".  A garden products importer from Indiana named Charles Stenftenagel was visiting a friend in Shanghai who bottled Myrica rubra juice.  The way the people pronounced yang-mei in their dialect was "yang-mee", which Mr. Stenftenagel thought sounded like "yummy" and in 2003 they started calling it "Yumberry" because they though that would be a catchy name to help them commercialize it.

The Chinese have harvested yang-mei from the wild for 7000 years and cultivated the trees for at least 2000 years.  It is a very popular fruit in China, which has 865,000 acres in production.  For comparison, the United States has about 432,000 acres of apples, about 856,000 of citrus trees, and 1,044,000 of grapes, the only American fruit crop with greater acreage.

It is a dioecious tree with male and female flowers on separate plants.  However some female trees will produce male flowers.  The tree can grow in poor soils because of its ability to fix nitrogen.  It prefers acid soil and enjoys a similar climatic range as citrus.  It is said that it is not grown in Hawaii because it does require a bit of chill, although in China there is a wide range of adaptation, including tropical varieties on Hainan, a large island in the south.  Recommended for Zones 8-10, can tolerate temperatures down to 16F.

http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=290.25
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 07:53:24 PM by SoCal2warm »

scottsurf

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 08:51:45 PM »
may pop
cold hardy kiwi
mulberry
currants

SoCal2warm

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 10:38:02 PM »
Gooseberries

I'd also encorage you to look into less common rarer varieties for many different fruits, particularly plum and gooseberry. There can be a big difference between different varieties, and having a rare variety can be sort of similar to having an exotic species.

Florian

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 04:43:22 PM »
I do have some rarer cultivars of common fruits. For instance, I have a pretty sweet goji berry (called Turgidus) or thornless gooseberries but I really am interested in fruit that people generally think won't grow here.

I have tried maypop a few times but it has never thrived and disappeared sooner or later.

I've just discovered Decaisnea fargesii is this one worth growing? The blue fruit looks pretty cool.

scottsurf

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2018, 08:50:43 PM »
jelly palm  lol

russia also has some improved varieties of goumi dogwood cornelian cherry

Serviceberry
 

Florian

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 02:40:58 AM »
Jelly palms are nowhere near hardy here and would not ripen in time. Our winters are too long and wet. The only palms that stand a chance unprotected are Trachycarpus fortunei and princeps ( borderline) and Sabal minor, maybe Rhapidophyllum but they keep dying here for some reason. Anyway, none of these are edible.

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2018, 10:44:12 AM »
mmm Maypop. As you may've seen from my thread, I'm really into these vines.
They are very cold-hardy so that shouldn't be your issue. However, i've found they do require full sun to flower and fruit well.
You also need at least 2 genetically-different vines for fruit set, most folks agree they are not self-fertile.
Otherwise they are basically a weed, hard to kill.

I have sent-off all my maypop seeds this year but next year perhaps I could send you some.

Florian

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2018, 04:19:18 AM »
As a matter of fact, I think I am just beginning to see some maypop shoots emerging from the ground which would make sense since it is almost May:-). But I can't really tell yet if it really is maypop.
Either way, I would love to have some of your seeds next year!

Citradia

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2018, 08:28:02 PM »
Florian, I bet you can grow and fruit different varieties of rowan ( European mountain ash), or sorbus aucuparia. I make jelly out of mine. They may even grow wild where you live. I'm growing the Native American rowan and a Chinese pink-fruited variety, and a white fruit variety. I'm sure you already know rowan is the ultimate fruit tree for cold long winters and short cool summers.

Florian

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2018, 02:20:12 PM »
Citradia, rowan is indeed native here but I think that is the case for most of Europe. Haven't really thought about varieties here, Chinese pink-fruited sounds interesting, thanks!

KarenRei

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2018, 06:07:41 AM »
Florian, I bet you can grow and fruit different varieties of rowan ( European mountain ash), or sorbus aucuparia. I make jelly out of mine. They may even grow wild where you live. I'm growing the Native American rowan and a Chinese pink-fruited variety, and a white fruit variety. I'm sure you already know rowan is the ultimate fruit tree for cold long winters and short cool summers.

Lol, rowan (known here as reyniber) is an Icelandic native; for example, one of our more popular southern beaches is Reynisfjara, aka Rowan Beach. They can definitely handle continental Europe!  ;)  I made a jelly from it once (freezing and a long cooking as I found instructions for online), and found it... a bit of odd.  It tasted like something you might serve with meat, more than something you'd spread on bread. Yes, sweet and with fruit tastes, but also something else that I couldn't put my finger on.

Then again, I'm not really a jelly person to begin with, and the need to process the berries to remove toxic parasorbic acid was sort of a turn-off to me. I understand that some varieties have actually been bred for consumption, so maybe they're better.  On the upside, rowans sure are pretty trees, esp. in the winter.

When one asks about the most exotic fruit, are we talking taste or appearance, and by "exotic", do we mean "tropical" or "unusual"?  Lardizabalaceae has some weird looking temperate edible species, for example - often strongly lilac-coloured fruits that open themselves up when ripe, revealing their mucilaginous white interiors.  Sweetness is often quite high, but acidity is usually low.  A really remarkable Lardizabalaceae species is the monotypic Boquila trifoliata ("Chameleon Vine") which has the so-far scientifically unexplained ability to mimic the leaves of whatever plant it grows on (even fake plants), in colour, size and shape. It's so good at what it does that its ability went undiscovered until relatively recently (scientists had just assumed that the species was incredibly variable, not noticing that it always matched to its host and would change leaf styles as it grew between plants).  The berries are reportedly edible but I haven't found anyone who's actually eaten them.  Supposed to be tolerant to 7b.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 06:14:41 AM by KarenRei »
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nullzero

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2018, 01:18:25 PM »
Look into Haksap berry,  If you have not grown it yet.  I think fits perfect with your climate.  Also good varieties of kadsura sp.  May be interesting and worthy to grow.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 01:19:58 PM by nullzero »
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

coyote

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2018, 08:24:52 PM »
Some possible options:

Loquats (protected location or polytunnel)
Some citrus (protected)
Aronia berries (which I've grown quite fond of as a juice)
Prunus hybrids such as Pluots, Apriums, ect.
Chilean Guava (with protection)
Mayhaw
Boysenberry

And it's already been mentioned, but I love pawpaws as well

 


Florian

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2018, 07:12:54 AM »
Florian, I bet you can grow and fruit different varieties of rowan ( European mountain ash), or sorbus aucuparia. I make jelly out of mine. They may even grow wild where you live. I'm growing the Native American rowan and a Chinese pink-fruited variety, and a white fruit variety. I'm sure you already know rowan is the ultimate fruit tree for cold long winters and short cool summers.

Lol, rowan (known here as reyniber) is an Icelandic native; for example, one of our more popular southern beaches is Reynisfjara, aka Rowan Beach. They can definitely handle continental Europe!  ;)  I made a jelly from it once (freezing and a long cooking as I found instructions for online), and found it... a bit of odd.  It tasted like something you might serve with meat, more than something you'd spread on bread. Yes, sweet and with fruit tastes, but also something else that I couldn't put my finger on.

Then again, I'm not really a jelly person to begin with, and the need to process the berries to remove toxic parasorbic acid was sort of a turn-off to me. I understand that some varieties have actually been bred for consumption, so maybe they're better.  On the upside, rowans sure are pretty trees, esp. in the winter.

When one asks about the most exotic fruit, are we talking taste or appearance, and by "exotic", do we mean "tropical" or "unusual"?  Lardizabalaceae has some weird looking temperate edible species, for example - often strongly lilac-coloured fruits that open themselves up when ripe, revealing their mucilaginous white interiors.  Sweetness is often quite high, but acidity is usually low.  A really remarkable Lardizabalaceae species is the monotypic Boquila trifoliata ("Chameleon Vine") which has the so-far scientifically unexplained ability to mimic the leaves of whatever plant it grows on (even fake plants), in colour, size and shape. It's so good at what it does that its ability went undiscovered until relatively recently (scientists had just assumed that the species was incredibly variable, not noticing that it always matched to its host and would change leaf styles as it grew between plants).  The berries are reportedly edible but I haven't found anyone who's actually eaten them.  Supposed to be tolerant to 7b.

I did not specify what I meant by exotic on purpose to get more suggestions. But what I really meant was 'unusual' but also genera that usually grow in the (sub) tropics but have members growing in temperate areas like maypop or pawpaw. Things that people don't grow here although they could because they associate them with much warmer environments.

KarenRei

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2018, 09:24:33 AM »
Then yes, maypop and pawpaw are the obvious selections.  You might be able to do a chilean wine palm too. Can tap it for palm sugar and the fruits are like mini-coconuts. You'd want to get one at a reasonable size, though, unless you want a long wait.  Maybe even some Butia palms (jelly palms).
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 09:26:17 AM by KarenRei »
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Florian

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2018, 10:57:31 AM »
I do have a Jubaea in fact! But they are borderline hardy here and need protection in colder winters.  Mine spear-pulled after the winter 16/17 and is still recovering.

Here, what is dangerous aren't the absolute lows, which have never been lower than -16C in the last 20 years and usually no lower than -10/-12C, but permanent frost. Long freezes tend to be lethal at much milder temps. USDA zones are not transferable 1:1. If they were, I could grow Butia odorata without protection but I can't.

KarenRei

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Re: Most exotic fruit for cool/short summers
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2018, 01:10:32 PM »
I do have a Jubaea in fact! But they are borderline hardy here and need protection in colder winters.  Mine spear-pulled after the winter 16/17 and is still recovering.

Here, what is dangerous aren't the absolute lows, which have never been lower than -16C in the last 20 years and usually no lower than -10/-12C, but permanent frost. Long freezes tend to be lethal at much milder temps. USDA zones are not transferable 1:1. If they were, I could grow Butia odorata without protection but I can't.

Yeah, I'm working on some experiments with soil heating to zone-push palms.  It's tricky, though - if you heat the soil too much you break dormancy, which - in cold weather - will kill your plant.  You need to stop the soil from freezing too deeply, but not warm it so much that the plant decides, "Time to grow!"  And of course in the winter you want the roots to stay rather dry (to encourage dormancy / discourage rot).
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