Natureworks Nursery selection of Fruit Trees on Maui

Natureworks Nursery has a large selection of fruit trees on Maui, with different varieties and various sizes available. Scroll through the most common plants below, or view our complete inventory list of Fruit Trees available on Maui

Our inventory is constantly changing, feel free to give us a call to see what is in stock – 808-463-7754.

Abiu

Pouteria caimito (Sapotaceae family)

Origin: Amazon
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: large tree (30 – 100 ft)
Relatives: mamey sapote, star apple, egg fruit

The abiu is 2”– 4” in diameter with a round shape and a pointy end. The ripe fruit has a glossy yellow skin and can be cut in half and easily scooped with a spoon. The translucent flesh has a delicate and creamy texture and typically encases one or two oblong black seeds. The taste resembles caramel flan with a hint of vanilla which is enhanced when slightly chilled. The fruits are commonly eaten fresh or made into desserts. In Hawaii, abiu is known for its prolific year-round fruit-bearing cycle. 

 

Avocado

Persea americana (Lauraceae family)

Origin: Mexico
Fruiting season: August – November
Height: large tree (40 – 80 ft)
Relatives: cinnamon, camphor, bay laurel

Avocado has a long history of cultivation in Central and South America. It is believed that Mesoamerican tribes first domesticated the tree over 5000 years ago. Currently there are over 500 varieties and approximately 200 varieties are grown today in Hawaii. The fruits have a smooth, creamy texture and a delicate, nutty flavor. Depending on the variety, avocados have different moisture and oil content and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Banana

Musa spp. (Musaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia
Fruiting season: year round
Height: tall herbaceous (10 – 20 ft)
Relatives: plantain

The banana is the largest flowering herbaceous plant in the world. Its stem is made of tightly overlapping leaves. After fruiting, the plant dies with new offshoots emerging from its base. There are over 1000 varieties of bananas and the fruits vary in color, size, texture and taste. The flesh is creamy with different levels of sugar and starch depending on the variety.

 

Breadfruit

(other names: ‘ulu)

Artocarpus altilis (Moraceae family)

Origin: New Guinea and the Philippines
Fruiting season: June – October
Height: large tree (40 – 80 ft)
Relatives: jackfruit, mulberry

The name is derived from the texture of the moderately ripe fruit, which, when cooked, is similar to freshly baked bread. Breadfruit trees are easy to grow, producing an abundance of nutritious, tasty fruit and providing food security. The flesh is creamy white to pale yellow and can be eaten raw or roasted, baked, boiled, fried, or dried and ground into flour. The fruit is an energy-rich food and an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Breadnut

(other names: seeded breadfruit)

Artocarpus camansi (Moraceae family)

Origin: New Guinea and the Philippines
Fruiting season: June – October
Height: large tree (up to 100 ft)
Relatives: breadfruit, jackfruit, mulberry

Breadnut is the wild ancestor of breadfruit and a staple crop in New Guinea and the Philippines. It is also known as “seeded breadfruit”, as it contains little pulp and up to 150 large seeds. Immature fruits are often thinly sliced and used in stews and soups. The seeds of ripe fruits are boiled or roasted and can be processed into paste, butter, flour or oil. The taste is similar to chestnuts. Breadnut is an energy-rich food and an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

 

Cacao

Theobroma cacao (Malvaceae family)

Origin: Amazonian basin
Fruiting season: year round
Height: small tree (10 – 25 ft)
Relatives: hibiscus, durian

The seeds of the cacao fruit (also called beans) are the main ingredient of chocolate. The pulp around the seeds is white and fruity, with hints of lemon. To make chocolate the seeds and pulp are fermented, dried, separated from their shells, cracked into nibs, and then ground into powder. The active constituent is theobromine (a compound similar to caffeine), which translates to ‘Food of the Gods’.

 

Cherry, Surinam

(other names: pitanga)

Eugenia uniflora (Myrtaceae family)

Origin: tropical South America
Fruiting season: spring and fall
Height: small tree (up to 25 ft)
Relatives: jaboticaba, guava, mountain apple

As the name may suggest, it is native to Surinam and tropical South America. The fruit is a size of a cherry with a pumpkin-like shape. While ripening Surinam cherries turn from green to yellow, to orange and different shades of red (and some varieties to almost black). Fruits with darker red color are sweeter and less astringent. Surinam cherries are juicy and aromatic with resinous, pine-like notes—a uniquely sophisticated tropical bouquet.

Coconut

Cocos nucifera (Arecaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia, Melanesia
Harvesting season: year-round
Height: palm (up to 100 ft)
Relatives: date palm, açaí palm

Coconuts originated in the region of SE Asia and Melanesia and are one of the most important crops of the tropics. Prized for their water, milk, oil and tasty meat, they also have many other uses.

The flesh is a major food staple, and the juice is an important source of drinking water in times of drought. The timber is used as a building material and fuel, the leaves for weaving baskets, hats, floor mats, as well as roofing and mulching.

Many Pacific Island legends cite the coconut’s spiritual and ritual importance and due to its many uses, it is known as the “Tree of Life”.

Durian

Durio zibethinus (Malvaceae family)

Origin: Borneo
Fruiting season: August
Height: large tree (80 – 160 ft)
Relatives: hibiscus, cacao

The spiky tropical fruit is regarded as the ‘king of fruits’ and notorious for its strong odor and unique taste. For some people durian has a pleasant fragrance, while others find the odor repelling. The raw fruit is forbidden in many hotels and public transport in Southeast Asia, where it originates. The yellow flesh is creamy, resembling in many cases the taste of custard, crème brûlée or a cappuccino with subtle hints of chives. Many people express diverse and passionate views raging from deep appreciation to intense disgust.

Egg Fruit

(Other names: canistel, yellow sapote)

Pouteria campechiana (Sapotaceae family)

Origin: Central America
Fruiting season: September – March
Height: medium tree (20 – 30 ft)
Relatives: mamey sapote, abiu

The egg fruit is 2”– 5” long with an oval shape, yellow-orange color and glossy skin. The flesh is creamy, and the texture is similar to a hard-boiled egg yolk. The interior can vary from delicate and flaky to denser and pastier depending on the variety. The flavor can be compared to a pumpkin cheese cake, baked sweet potato or an egg custard. It contains between one and five large brown seeds. The fruits are commonly eaten fresh or made into custards or milkshakes.

 

Feijoa

(other names: pineapple guava, guavasteen)

Acca sellowiana (Myrtaceae family)

Origin: South America
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: shrub or small tree (up to 20 ft)
Relatives: guava, clove, jaboticaba

Feijoa is a shrub or small tree also called “pineapple guava” or “guavasteen”. Feijoa fruit emits a strong aroma, even before fully ripe. The fruit is round or pear shaped, 1” – 3” in diameter and has a thin green skin. The interior is cream-colored and juicy with translucent gelatinous sections holding the seeds. There are usually 20 – 40 small seeds that are hardly noticeable when eaten. The taste is a combination of pineapple, guava and strawberry with minty notes. Like its guava relative, feijoas are also a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Fig

Ficus carica (Moraceae family)

Origin: Turkey
Fruiting season: spring and fall
Height: large shrub (10 – 30 ft)
Relatives: breadfruit, mulberry

The fig appears to be the earliest known cultivated fruit crop grown 11,400 years ago — perhaps the first evidence of domesticated food production at the dawn of agriculture. Native to the Mediterranean Sea region and Asia, it is now widely grown throughout the world both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant. It is a large shrub with fragrant deeply lobbed leaves and milky white sap. The fig is a “multiple fruit” composed of numerous inverted flowers which turn into tiny fruits after pollination. Ripe figs are soft and creamy, jam-like with slightly grainy texture from the seeds. Priced for their unique scent, nectarous and honey-like quality, figs are evocative of romance and sensuality.

 

Ginger

Zingiber officinale (Zingiberaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia
Harvesting season: year-round
Height: tall perennial (3 ft)
Relatives: turmeric, cardamom

Ginger is native to tropical Asia and has been cultivated since ancient times. It is one of the world’s oldest medicinal foods and is prized for its strong antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is widely used as a spice and to flavor curry dishes, breads, sauces or beverages.

Ginger is a knobby, multibranched rhizome with a tan colored skin and fibrous yellow flesh. It is highly fragrant with a pungent, spicy taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is used fresh, dried, pickled, or in powdered form as well as an essential oil.

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Grapefruit

Citrus × paradisi (Rutaceae family)

Origin: Barbados
Fruiting season: year round
Height: small tree (15 – 20 ft)
Relatives: lime, lemon, orange

Grapefruit is a citrus hybrid originating in Barbados as a cross between the sweet orange (C. sinensis) and pomelo (C. maxima). The interior is segmented and varies in color from white, yellow, and pink to red (generally, the red varieties are the sweetest). The flesh is juicy, aromatic and acidic with a refreshing balance of sweet, sour and bitter notes.

Grumichama

(other Names Brazil cherry, Brazil plum)

Eugenia brasiliensis (Myrtaceae family)

Origin: Brazil
Fruiting season: spring and fall
Height: small tree (up to 20 ft)
Relatives: jaboticaba, guava, mountain apple

Grumichama is a small, attractive tree or shrub that produces a delicious, cherry-like fruit. It is a highly ornamental plant often grown as a hedge in Hawaii. The fruit turns from green to crimson-red and finally dark-purple to nearly black as it ripens. The taste is much like a sweet cherry with a touch of aromatic resin (pine-like flavor). The fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Guava

Psidium guajava (Myrtaceae family)

Origin: Central America
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: small tree (up to 30 ft)
Relatives: clove, allspice, eucalyptus

Guava is a small tree in the myrtle family native to Mexico and Central America. The fruit is round, 2” – 4” in diameter and has a pronounced musky fragrance. The skin may be green, yellow or maroon when ripe. The color of the pulp varies from white to deep-pink and is filled with numerous small seeds (although there are also seedless varieties). The seeds vary in number and hardness depending on the variety. The taste is a combination of a pear and strawberry. Besides its unique flavor and fragrance, guava has been praised as a super fruit due to its numerous health benefits.

Hibiscus Bele

(other names: Aibika, edible hibiscus, Tongan spinach, Manihot hibiscus, sunset muskmallow)

Abelmoschus manihot (Malvaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: tall perennial (up to 7 ft)
Relatives: durian, cacao

Once classified in the hibiscus genus, Bele is now in the okra genus and considered a superfood, rich in vitamins, minerals and protein. The plant has a wide range of leaf shapes from narrow to slightly lobed or deeply lobed. The taste can be compared to spinach and when cooked, Bele has a similar texture to okra. The leaves and shoots may be eaten raw, steamed, stir-fried or added to soups. Considered the most nutritious vegetable in Oceania, it is easily propagated from cuttings and widely planted as an intercrop or along borders of gardens in the tropics.

Hibiscus Roselle

(other names: Florida cranberry, red sorrel, or Jamaica sorrel)

Hibiscus sabdariffa (Malvaceae family)

Origin: Africa, SE Asia
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: tall perennial (up to 8 ft)
Relatives: durian, cacao

Hibiscus Roselle is native to Africa and SE Asia and has an attractive flowers and foliage. It does best in well-drained soil and needs plenty of sunlight to thrive.

The plant is used medicinally and in foods. The calyx found at the bottom of each flower is bright red and rich in vitamins and nutrients. The calyces can be used to make teas, jams and sauces. Their tart taste makes them a good replacement of cranberries.

The leaves are lobed and reddish-green and can be used as a cooked green or raw like a spicy version of spinach in a salad. The flowers are pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal. The protein rich seeds can be roasted and brewed like coffee or ground and added to soups and salads.

 

 

Katuk

(other names: star gooseberry, sweet leaf)

Sauropus androgynus (Phyllanthaceae family)

Origin: Borneo
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: small shrub (4-6 ft)
Relatives: leafflower, bishopwood

Katuk is one of the most popular leafy vegetables in Southeast Asia. It is prized for its edible leaves and young shoots. The nutritious leaves are tasty with a pea-like, nutty flavor and contain up to 8 % protein—an amazing amount for a vegetable.

The leaves are easily stripped from the stems and added to salads, soups or stir-fries. When cooked, the leaves retain their color and texture. Tender young shoots are usually steamed, and the flowers and fruits can be added to salads or vegetable dishes.

Jaboticaba

(other names: Brazilian grape tree)

Plinia cauliflora (Myrtaceae family)

Origin: Brazil
Fruiting season: depending on variety
Height: medium tree (up to 45 ft)
Relatives: Suriname cherry, guava, eucalyptus

Jaboticaba has white sweetly fragrant flowers that grow directly from the trunk in a cauliflorous habit. The ripe fruit is dark purple, around 1” in diameter. It is similar to a grape in appearance and texture with a thicker and more astringent skin that is also high in tannins. The fruit has a white or rosy gelatinous flesh containing one to four seeds. The fruit matures rapidly, usually within 3 weeks from flowering. The flavor is a combination of a grape and blueberry with floral notes. The fruit is eaten fresh and also used to make jams, marmalades, and other preserves as well as wine.

 

Jackfruit

Artocarpus heterophyllus (Moraceae family)

Origin: India
Fruiting season: March – November
Height: medium to large tree (40 – 70 ft)
Relatives: fig, mulberry, breadfruit

Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching 80 pounds in weight or more. The prickly fruit has a dense, fibrous, yellow flesh. Jackfruit is eaten raw or can be made into a wide variety of dishes, both sweet and savory. The seeds are cooked, eaten on their own, or ground into flour. There may be up to 500 seeds in a single fruit. When fully ripe, jackfruit has a strong pleasant aroma. The taste is similar to a banana with notes of pineapple and mango. Jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals and the seeds are especially nutritious.

Ice Cream Bean

Inga edulis (Fabaceae family)

Origin: South America
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: large tree (up to 100 ft)
Relatives: tamarind, peanut, bean

The ice cream bean tree grows very quickly, usually fruiting within three years of germination. It is widely grown for shade, food, timber, medicine and biomass. As a member of the Legume family, it adds nitrogen to the soil. The fruit is up to 3’ long and widely sold on the local South American markets, mainly for the sweet, white pulp surrounding the seeds. The taste is similar to vanilla ice cream and cotton candy. The seeds are only edible when cooked and taste like chickpeas.

Lemon

Citrus limon (Rutaceae family)

Origin: South Asia
Fruiting season: year round
Height: small tree (10 – 20 ft)
Relatives: lime, orange, grapefruit

Lemon is one of the most widely-planted and prolific citruses grown in Hawaii. The taxonomy of Citrus genus is complex, and cultivation goes back at least 2500 years. While the precise number of species is unclear, all originated from three primary ancestors: citron, pomelo and mandarin. Lemons are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. The flesh is juicy, aromatic, acidic, and refreshing with a balance of sweet and sour.

Lime

Citrus × aurantiifolia (Rutaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia and Australia
Fruiting season: year round
Height: small tree (10 – 15 ft)
Relatives: lemon, orange, grapefruit

The taxonomy of Citrus genus is complex, and cultivation goes back at least 2500 years. While the precise number of species is unclear, all species originated from three primary ancestors: citron, pomelo and mandarin. Limes exceed lemons in both acid and sugar content. The flesh is juicy, aromatic and acidic, like many of its relatives. The flavor is refreshing with a balance of sweet and sour.

 

Longan

Dimocarpus longan (Sapindaceae family)

Origin: China
Fruiting season: spring
Height: medium to large tree (30 – 100 ft)
Relatives: rambutan, lychee

Longan is one of the better-known tropical members of the soapberry family, along with lychee and rambutan. The name means “dragon eye” in Chinese. The fruit has a yellow-brown, smooth leathery skin which is easy to remove. Inside lies a juicy, translucent flesh surrounding a single black seed attached only at one end. The fruit texture is grape-like and the taste is light and floral, somewhat similar to lychee with musky notes. These highly fragrant, juicy treasures leave an unforgettable taste in your mouth.

Loquat

(other names: Japanese medlar, Chinese plum)

Eriobotrya japonica (Rosaceae family)

Origin: China
Fruiting season: spring
Height: small to medium tree (up to 30 ft)
Relatives: apple, apricot, strawberry, plum

The loquat is an attractive, dense evergreen member of the rose family native to China. These 1” – 2” fruits are rounded or pear-shaped and grow in clusters. The color varies from yellow to dark orange depending on the variety. The flavor is delicate and floral, with a nice balance of sweet and tart, resembling a blend of an apricot and plum. Loquats are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Lychee

Litchi chinensis (Sapindaceae family)

Origin: China
Fruiting season: May – July
Height: medium to large tree (30 – 80 ft) Relatives: rambutan, longan

Lychee originated in China where it has been cultivated for over 2000 years. The fruit has a rough textured, leathery skin which is easy to remove. Inside lies a juicy, translucent flesh surrounding a single black seed attached only at one end. The fruit texture is grape-like and the taste is light and floral with notes of jasmine and rose. These highly fragrant, juicy treasures leave an unforgettable taste in your mouth.

More information

 

Macademia Nut

(other names: bush nut, Queensland nut)

Macadamia integrifolia (Proteaceae family) 

Origin: Australia
Fruiting season: August – February
Height: small to medium tree (up to 45 ft)
Relatives: protea

Originating in Australia, the first macadamia nut trees were planted in Hawaii in the 1880s and quickly became a signature staple of Hawaiian agriculture. Having a distinct flavor profile, macadamia nuts are a nutrient dense, delicious and nutritious snack. With rich and buttery flavor, subtle sweetness and creamy texture, macadamia nuts are also rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and beneficial plant compounds.

Mamey apple

(other names: tropical apricot)

Mammea americana (Calophyllaceae family)

Origin: tropical America
Fruiting season: depending on variety
Height: medium to large tree (40 – 75 ft)
Relatives: carnation

Mamey apple fruit is round, 3” – 10” in diameter with brown skin and yellow-orange aromatic flesh. It looks very similar to mamey sapote although they are not in the same family. The texture is crispy and firm, similar to unripe peach. The taste resembles an apricot with hints of mango and passionfruit. Smaller fruits contain a single seed while larger fruits may have up to four. Fruits can be eaten fresh, stewed, or made into preserves. This delicious and unique gem is also known as tropical apricot.

 

Mango

Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae family)

Origin: India
Fruiting season: summer
Height: large tree (over 100 ft)
Relatives: cashew, pistachio

The mango is a large tree, indigenous to India, capable of reaching a height and crown width of a 100’ or more. The earliest known reference to cultivation can be traced to 2000 BC. The fruit comes in many different shapes, sizes and colors. The flesh is golden, aromatic and juicy when ripe. The texture is silky and varies in firmness and fiber content by variety. Mangoes are consumed worldwide by a factor of 3 to 1 over bananas and 10 to 1 over apples.

Mangosteen

Garcinia mangostana (Clusiaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia
Fruiting season: spring and summer
Height: medium to large tree (20 – 80 ft)
Relatives: St. John’s wort 

The mangosteen is known in Asia as the “queen of fruit.” It is a slow-growing tropical tree that require plenty of moisture and protection from wind. The fruits are the size of a tangerine, with 4 – 8 white segments inside of the inedible purple rind. Many health products are made from the fruit and peel. The fragrant segments are delicate and creamy with subtle floral notes. The flavor is refreshing in an exquisite way, featuring a sophisticated combination of a fine peach and lychee with hints of vanilla.

 

Mangosteen, Lemon Drop

Garcinia madruno (Clusiaceae family)

Origin: Central America
Fruiting season: July – October
Height: small tree (up to 15 ft)
Relatives: St. John’s wort 

Lemon drop mangosteen is highly ornamental, fast-growing shrub or a small tree that can produce fruit within two years of germination. The fruits are smooth and round, about 1” in diameter with a thin yellow-orange to reddish skin. The thin rind encases a juicy and aromatic white pulp with sweet and sour taste and subtle floral notes. Usually enjoyed raw, the fruits can also be used for drinks, jams and jellies.

 

Miracle Berry

(other names: miracle fruit, sweet berry)

Synsepalum dulcificum (Sapotaceae family)

Origin: West Africa
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: shrub or a small tree (up to 18 ft)
Relatives: abiu, star apple, egg fruit

Miracle berry is an evergreen shrub that is native to tropical West Africa. It has an attractive 1” long red fruit with white flesh and one large seed. The fruit has a mild flavor with cranberry notes and is not particularly sweet itself. It coats the taste receptors and modifies them so normally sour foods like citrus taste sweet. The effect remains for some 30 minutes or longer.

Moringa

(other names: drumstick tree, horseradish tree)

Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae family)

Origin: India
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: small tree (up to 25 ft)
Relatives: Moringa species

Moringa is a multi-purpose, fast growing and drought tolerant small legume tree widely cultivated in tropical areas around the world. All parts of the moringa tree – bark, pods, leaves, nuts, seeds, tubers, roots, and flowers – are edible and used to make medicine. Research has shown moringa to be of exceptional nutritional value, containing 38% protein with all essential amino acids as well as vitamins and minerals.  Moringa tree can also function as a nitrogen fixer, windbreak, erosion control, live fence, animal feed and as an ornamental or intercropped species to provide habitat and semi-shade to species requiring less direct sunlight.

Mountain Apple

Syzygium malaccense (Myrtaceae family)

Origin: Malaysia
Fruiting season: August – September
Height: medium to large tree (40 – 60 ft)
Relatives: clove, guava, allspice, eucalyptus

Mountain apple is indigenous to Malaysia and also known as rose apple, water apple or Malay apple. It is a magnificent sight to see a mountain apple tree in bloom. The flowers are bright pink, fragrant and when falling, they transform the ground into a beautiful pink carpet. The blossoms are also edible and can add a delightful touch to salads. The fruit is crimson-red and has a thin, waxy skin and white interior. The flesh is soft, crisp or spongy and contains one or two seeds inside. A ripe mountain apple has a distinct rose flavor.

Mulberry

Morus spp. (Moraceae family)

Origin: Asia
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: medium to large tree (40 – 80 ft)
Relatives: fig, jackfruit, breadfruit

There are many different species and cultivars of mulberries. The most common are Morus alba (white mulberry), M. rubra (red mulberry), M. nigra (black mulberry), M. macroura (Himalayan mulberry), and related hybrids. The color does not identify the species. For example, white mulberries can produce white or black fruit. Cultivars tend to vary in flavor depending on the climate and soil but generally are juicy with a good balance of sweet and tart. Mulberries are a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants.

Mysore Raspberry

Rubus niveus (Rosaceae family)

Origin: India
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: large shrub (up to 15 feet)
Relatives: apple, pear, peach

Mysore raspberries grow quickly and fruit prolifically, requiring pruning and maintenance to prevent overgrowth. The fruit is rounded, around½ inch in diameter, red when unripe, ripening to purple-black. The seeds are small and not noticeable. The fruit is juicy with rich black-raspberry flavor. They are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. Similar to other berries, Mysore raspberries contain many other vitamins and minerals as well.

Neem

(other names: nimtree, Indian lilac)

Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae family)

Origin: India
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: large tree (40 – 80 ft)
Relatives: langsat, mahogany

Neem is a fast growing, drought resistant tree native to India. Highly prized as a medicinal plant, organic pesticide, and for its timber, all parts of neem are used—bark, leaves, and the oil made from the seeds. Many of its medicinal, cosmetic and pest control uses are based on its antibacterial and antifungal properties. The tree has fragrant white flowers and fruits resembling olives. Neem oil is yellow-brown, has a bitter taste and smells similar to garlic or sulfur.

Nutmeg

Myristica fragrans (Myristicaceae family)

Origin: Indonesia
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: medium to large tree (15 – 60 ft)
Relatives: Virola

Nutmeg tree is cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit— nutmeg and mace. The fruit is pear-shaped with a fleshy husk. When fully ripe it splits in two exposing a crimson-colored seed covering (the mace) surrounding a single shiny brown seed (the nutmeg). Nutmeg spice is made by grinding the seed into powder and has a strong and distinctive aroma and a warm slightly sweet taste. Mace flavor is similar to nutmeg but more delicate. Both mace and nutmeg are used to flavor variety of baked goods and dishes.

Orange

Citrus × sinensis (Rutaceae family)

Origin: China
Fruiting season: year round
Height: small tree (15 – 30 ft)
Relatives: lime, lemon, grapefruit

The orange is a hybrid between pomelo and mandarin. There are sweet and bitter oranges and sweet oranges can be further divided into three groups: navel, common, and blood oranges. Oranges are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. Similar to all citrus, the peel contains aromatic oils and the fruit’s zest is used to add flavor to cakes and salad dressings. The flesh is juicy, aromatic, acidic, and refreshing with a balance of sweet and sour.

Panama berry

(other names: Chinese cherry, Jamaican cherry, strawberry tree)

Muntingia calabura (Muntingiaceae family)

Origin: tropical Central and S America
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: small to medium tree (up to 35 ft)
Relatives: Neotessmannia

Native to tropical Central and South America, Panama berry is a fast-growing ornamental tree used for shade, animal habitat, food and medicine. The fruits are cherry-like and around half inch in diameter. The flavor is similar to a fig with musky notes and a hint of caramel. Packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, fruits are enjoyed fresh or made into jams or other preserves. The leaves are made into tea and used for their medicinal properties.

Papaya

Carica papaya (Caricaceae family)

Origin: Central America
Fruiting season: year round
Height: tall herbaceous (up to 30 ft)
Relatives: babaco

The papaya is a fast-growing plant—it takes as little as 8 months for a seedling to grow and produce ripe fruit. Green papayas contain latex which disappears as the fruit ripens. The fruit has a thin yellow—orange skin and a central cavity, containing many round and shiny seeds. The flesh is yellow—orange to red and juicy when ripe. The texture is delicate, and the flavor is mild but complex. Some varieties have a slightly bitter aftertaste. Papaya is refreshing with its distinct tropical aroma and a creamy mouth feel.

Passion fruit

(maracuja, granadilla, lilikoʻi)

Passiflora edulis (Passifloraceae family)

Origin: Amazon
Fruiting season: year round
Height: perennial vine
Relatives: maypop, running pop

Passionfruit is also known as maracuja (Brazil, Europe), granadilla (Spanish) and Lilikoʻi (Hawaii). The genus includes over 500 species, mostly vines, widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Passionfruit is indigenous to the Amazon, where certain species are used as sedatives and medicine.

Passionfruit is also cultivated as an ornamental plant for its unique and fragrant flowers. The fruit is juicy, aromatic and filled with numerous seeds. Each seed is surrounded by a membranous juicy sac. The taste is a delightful combination of sweet and tart with a strong and characteristic perfume.

Peach Palm

Bactris gasipaes (Arecaceae family)

Origin: tropical Central and S America
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: palm (up to 60 ft)
Relatives: date palm, açaí palm 

Peach palm bears up to 5 clusters of 50 to 80 orange-yellow fruits, each of which is 2–3 inches in diameter. It is one of the most dangerous – looking palms generally armed with stiff, long and sharp thorns covering its entire trunk. (There are also thornless varieties.)

The fruits are edible and nutritious but need to be boiled for 30 mins to 5 hours. When cooked, the fruit tastes like a cross between roasted chestnuts and a perfectly buttered baked potato with a nutty, rich essence. Peach-palms are also cultivated for the heart of palm, and the trunk can make valuable timber.

Peanut butter fruit

Bunchosia argentea (Malpighiaceae family)

Origin: tropical South America
Fruiting season: summer
Height: small tree (up to 10 ft)
Relatives: acerola cherry

Peanut butter fruit is a small tree originating in tropical South America. It has fragrant yellow flowers with similar scent to a black locust. It requires low maintenance and it is also grown as an ornamental plant. The fruit is the size of a grape and has a dense, creamy orange pulp. Hence the name, the taste and texture are just like peanut butter. It is a favorite in any tropical collection also because it attracts variety of tropical birds.

 

Pigeon pea

(red gram, tur, gungo peas)

Cajanus cajan (Fabaceae family)

Origin: India
Fruiting season: summer, winter
Height: evergreen shrub (up to10 ft)
Relatives: bean, carob, tamarind

Pigeon pea is a perennial legume that has been cultivated for over 3500 years. The seeds are a common food in Asia, Africa and Latin America where they are consumed on a large scale. An excellent source of protein, the seeds are a main ingredient in Indian dals, Caribbean and African rice dishes, soups and stews.

Pigeon pea is both a food crop (green or dried peas, flour) and a companion plant. As a nitrogen fixer, it helps to enrich the soil with nitrogen and is ideal for chop and drop (mulching). It is a short-lived perennial that can grow into a small shrubby tree and can make an excellent low hedge or a windbreak.

Pili Nut

(Java almond)

Canarium ovatum (Burseraceae family)

Origin: maritime Southeast Asia
Harvesting season: May to October
Height: tall tree (60 ft)
Relatives: frankincense, myrrh

The pili nut, also known as Java almond, is native to maritime Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and Papua New Guinea. It is grown commercially in the Philippines for the delicious and highly nutritious nuts the tree produces. When eaten raw, the flavor resembles a buttery almond or a pumpkin seed and when roasted, the flavor is similar to a pine nut.

In Filipino cuisine, pili nuts are often added to cooking and baking in a roasted form, flavoring dishes with a nuanced taste and velvety texture. The young shoots are also edible and often used in salads.

Plantain

Musa spp. (Musaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia
Fruiting season: year round
Height: tall herbaceous (10 – 20 ft)
Relatives: banana

The plantain is a banana cultivar but starchier and lower in sugar. Plantains are typically larger than bananas and range in color from green to yellow to dark brown depending on the level of ripeness. They are usually harvested and cooked while still green. The fruit becomes less starchy as it ripens and is used for sweeter dishes when the skin is almost black. Plantains can be boiled, steamed, fried, roasted, or dehydrated into a delicious and nutritious snack.

Pomegranate

Punica granatum (Lythraceae family)

Origin: Iran and N India
Fruiting season: summer and fall
Height: shrub to small tree (15 – 30 ft)
Relatives: henna

Pomegranate is a shrub or a small tree that has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region in the Middle East. Pomegranate has orange-red to purple fruits with leathery skin. The inside is divided into non-symmetrical chambers that hold the seeds. The edible part consists of up to 1400 seeds surrounded with glossy, juicy membranes that appear as red jewels inside the fruit. The taste is similar to a cherry and slightly tangy. An inspiration to poets and painters for centuries, this lustrous fruit is packed with history and symbolism.

 

Rambutan

Nephelium lappaceum (Sapindaceae family)

Origin: Malaysia, Indonesia
Fruiting season: October – March
Height: shrub to small tree (15 – 30 ft)
Relatives: lychee, longan

The rambutan is a tropical tree native to the Malay Archipelago and a close relative of the lychee and longan. Its leathery skin is most commonly red and covered with soft spines. The word rambutan means “hairy” in Malaysian. Once the exterior is removed, the tender, jelly-like translucent flesh is revealed. It is pale white to cream color and contains a single seed attached to the pulp. The taste could be compared to a grape with a denser texture as it contains higher amounts of fiber. The pleasant aroma and floral taste are a complement to the exotic and mysterious appearance of the fruit.

Rollinia

(other names: biribá)

Rollinia deliciosa (Annonaceae family)

Origin: Amazon
Fruiting season: spring
Height: small to medium tree (up to 50 ft)
Relatives: soursop, cherimoya, ylang ylang

Rollinia fruit is heart-shaped, ranging from 3” – 8” in diameter. It is green when unripe, ripening to yellow. The surface is covered with soft spines which bruise and blacken with handling. With a shelf life of only a few days, it has a very limited commercial cultivation. The flesh is aromatic and creamy, containing brown elliptical seeds. The texture is smooth with pudding-like consistency. The taste is often likened to lemon meringue pie. Rollinia is a masterpiece of nature with its creamy, delicious flesh, and complex tropical notes.

Green Sapote

Pouteria viridis (Sapotaceae family)

Origin: Mexico and Central America
Fruiting season: depending on variety
Height: medium tree (40 – 80 ft)
Relatives: mamey sapote, star apple, egg fruit

A cousin of the mamey sapote, the green sapote fruit is smaller in size, up to 5” long. It has a thin green to brownish skin and dark orange flesh. Typically single seeded, the fruit sometimes contains 2 shiny dark brown seeds. The flesh is smoother and creamier than mamey sapote as it contains less fiber. The flavor can be compared to a creamy pumpkin pie or a date with hints of caramel. Green sapote’s fine texture has a ‘melting in your mouth’ feel, usually enjoyed fresh or used for smoothies and desserts.

 

White Sapote

Casimiroa edulis (Rutaceae family)

Origin: Mexico
Fruiting season: summer
Height: medium to large tree (15 – 60 ft)
Relatives: matasano, citrus

White sapote is a fast-growing tree producing an abundant crop. Although called a sapote, it is not a member of the sapote family, but rather in the family of citrus fruits. The fruit is apple-sized with thin green skin and white aromatic flesh encasing 4 to 5 seeds. The texture is delicate and creamy, similar to an avocado. White sapote is intriguing with its fragrant, custardy flavor. The taste could be compared to that of a fine pear with hints of peach, banana and vanilla.

Mamey Sapote

Pouteria sapota (Sapotaceae family)

Origin: Cuba and Central America
Fruiting season: summer – winter
Height: large tree (60 – 100 ft)
Relatives: green sapote, star apple, egg fruit

A cousin of the green sapote, the mamey sapote fruit is larger in size, up to 10” long. It has a thin brown skin and dark orange flesh. Typically single seeded, the fruit sometimes contains 2 large, shiny dark brown seeds. The flesh has a smooth and creamy texture. The flavor can be compared to a pumpkin pie or a baked sweet potato with hints of caramel and honey. Mamey sapote’s texture has a ‘melting in your mouth’ feel, usually enjoyed fresh or used for smoothies and desserts.

Star Fruit

(other names: carambola, birambi)

Averrhoa carambola (Muntingiaceae family)

Origin: SE Asia
Fruiting season: September – April
Height: small tree (15 – 30 ft)
Relatives: bilimbi, wood sorrels

The fruit has five distinctive ridges running down its sides. A cross-section resembles a star, which gives the fruit its name.

The flesh is juicy, crunchy and aromatic and the skin is thin and waxy. The fruit echoes a combination of green grape, melon and kiwi, accompanied with refreshing tropical fragrance. Star fruit is beautiful and versatile. It is best eaten fresh or juiced and makes a decorative addition to salads.

 

Soursop

(other names: graviola, guanabana)

Annona muricata (Annonaceae family)

Origin: Central and South America
Fruiting season: June – October
Height: small tree (up to 30 ft)
Relatives: cherimoya, rollinia

Soursop fruits are dark green and prickly and can reach 12” in length. There are numerous brown seeds inside the white flesh that are almost encapsulated in the sections of the fruit. Soursop has a delicate flavor and fibrous texture. The taste is resembling an apple with hints of strawberry and pineapple. The sour citrus notes contrast with its creamy texture in a nice balance of sweet and tart.

 

Star Apple

(Other names: Caimito, Cainito)

Chrysophyllum caimito (Sapotaceae family)

Origin: Central America
Fruiting season: spring and summer
Height: medium to large tree (25 – 100 ft)
Relatives: mamey sapote, abiu, canistel

The fruit is dark purple or pale green and ranges from 2” – 4” in diameter. The skin is smooth, glossy and the rind (peel) is inedible due to its high latex content. The flesh is gelatinous and aromatic with nuances of a lychee and persimmon and can be easily scooped out with a spoon. There are 6 to 11 seeds in the center. When the fruit is cut horizontally, the seed cells form a star-shaped pattern, giving the fruit its common English name.

 

 

Tamarind

Tamarindus indica (Fabaceae family)

Origin: tropical Africa
Fruiting season: depending on variety
Height: medium to large tree (40 – 60 ft)
Relatives: ice cream bean, carob, peanut

The tamarind tree produces 3” – 8” long brown pod-like fruits. When fully ripe, the shells are brittle and easily broken. The pods contain from 1 – 12 glossy brown seeds embedded in the brown sticky pulp. The pulp has a pleasing sweet and sour flavor and is a popular ingredient in cuisines around the world. The pulp of the young fruit is more sour and sweetens as the fruit matures. The fruit can be eaten fresh and is most often used in curries, chutneys, sauces, marinades, stews and drinks.

Tangelo

Citrus × tangelo (Rutaceae family) 

Origin: SE Asia
Fruiting season: winter
Height: small tree (20 – 30 ft)
Relatives: lemon, orange, grapefruit 

The taxonomy of Citrus genus is complex, and cultivation goes back more than 2500 years. While the precise number of species is unclear, all species originated from three primary ancestors: citron, pomelo and mandarin.

Tangelos are a cross between a tangerine and pomelo. The name borrows a little from each of the parent’s names, as well as their taste. Tangelos are sweet and juicy as tangerines and also have the tangy, flowery taste of pomelo. They generally have loose skin and are easier to peel than oranges. They are easily distinguished by their characteristic “nipple” at the stem.

Tree Tomato

(Other names: tamarillo)

Solanum betaceum (Solanaceae family)

Origin: S America
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: small tree (15 ft)
Relatives: potato, eggplant

The tree tomato is a small tree in the nightshade family that originated in South America. It is also known as tamarillo—a name chosen by New Zealand producers to increase its exotic appeal.

The fruits are egg-shaped and vary from yellow – orange to red and almost purple in color. The flesh has a firm texture and a complex flavor that may be compared to that of a tomato with hints of mango or passion fruit. The fruits are very high in vitamins and iron, and low in calories. The plant is not tolerant to drought and can easily be damaged by strong winds.

Turmeric

Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae family)

Origin: SW India
Harvesting season: Nov-April
Height: tall perennial (3-7 ft)
Relatives: ginger, cardamom

Turmeric, or ‘Olena in Hawaiian, is a plant in the ginger family characterized by its yellow-orange rhizomes. It originated in SW India, where it has been used as a spice, medicine, and a dye for thousands of years. It is a tropical rainforest plant and requires a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.

The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into powder. Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, functions as an antioxidant and a potent anti-inflammatory remedy. Research suggests that combining the piperine in black pepper with the curcumin in turmeric enhances the curcumin absorption and its potential health benefits. Combine turmeric with coconut milk and black pepper to create authentic homemade curries or golden milk.

Vetiver

Chrysopogon zizanioides (Poaceae family)

Origin: India
Fruiting season: year-round
Height: grass
Relatives: lemon grass, citronella

Vetiver is a tall, fragrant tropical perennial grass native to India.  It is grown for many purposes, agricultural, medicinal and ornamental. Unlike most grasses, which form horizontally spreading root systems, vetiver’s roots grow 7 – 13 feet in depth which makes it excellent for erosion control. Vetiver can reach 5 feet in height and can protect fields against pests due to its antiseptic qualities. It is highly drought tolerant, flood, frost and fire resistant. It makes a nice green mulch as it can be cut it back to the ground 2-3 times a year. Due to its fibrous properties, the plant can also be used for handicrafts, ropes and more.