Mulberry

MULBERRY

Color Photo - Link to 692x914 size image

Morus spp.

Moraceae

Common Names: Mulberry.

Species: White Mulberry (Morus alba L.), Black Mulberry (M. nigra L.), American Mulberry, Red Mulberry (M. rubra L.). Hybrid forms exist between Morus alba and M. rubra.

Related Species: Korean Mulberry (Morus australis), Himalayan Mulberry (M. laevigata).

Distant Affinity: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), Jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), Fig (Ficus spp.), Che (Cudrania tricuspidata), African Breadfruit (Treculia african).

Origin: The white mulberry is native to eastern and central China. It became naturalized in Europe centuries ago. The tree was introduced into America for silkworm culture in early colonial times and naturalized and hybridized with the native red mulberry. The red or American mulberry is native to eastern United States from Massachusetts to Kansas and down to the Gulf coast. The black mulberry is native to western Asia and has been grown for its fruits in Europe since before Roman times.

Adaptation: The white mulberry, and to a lesser extent the red mulberry, are quite tolerant of drought, pollution and poor soil. The white mulberry is considered a weed tree in many parts of the country including urban areas. The black mulberry is more fastidious, faring less well in cold climates or areas with humid summers. The white mulberry is the most cold-hardy of the three species, although this varies from one clone to another. Some are damaged at 25° F, while others are unfazed at -25° F. Red mulberries are hardy to sub-zero temperatures. The black mulberry is the least cold-hardy of the three, although again cold tolerance seems to depend on the clone. In general it is limited to USDA Hardiness Zone 7 (0° to 10° F average minimum) or warmer. They have been planted only to a limited extent in America, mostly on the Pacific Coast. The mulberry makes a good town tree which will grow well in a tub.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: All three mulberry species are deciduous trees of varying sizes. White mulberries can grow to 80 ft. and are the most variable in form, including drooping and pyramidal shapes. In the South on rich soils the red mulberry can reach 70 ft. in height. The black mulberry is the smallest of the three, sometimes growing to 30 ft. in height, but it tends to be a bush if not trained when it is young. The species vary greatly in longevity. Red mulberry trees rarely live more than 75 years, while black mulberries have been known to bear fruit for hundreds of years. The mulberry makes an attractive tree which will bear fruit while still small and young.

Foliage: The white mulberry is so-named for the color of its buds, rather than the color of its fruit. The thin, glossy, light green leaves are variously lobed even on the same plant. Some are unlobed while others are glove-shaped. Leaves of the red mulberry are larger and thicker, blunt toothed and often lobed. They are rough on their upper surfaces and pubescent underneath. The smaller black mulberry leaves are similar to those of the red mulberry, but with sturdier twigs and fatter buds. The species vary in the time of year they begin to leaf-out. White mulberries generally come out in early spring, almost two months before black mulberries.

Flowers: Mulberry trees are either dioecious or monoecious, and sometimes will change from one sex to another. The flowers are held on short, green, pendulous, nondescript catkins that appear in the axils of the current season’s growth and on spurs on older wood. They are wind pollinated and some cultivars will set fruit without any pollination. Cross-pollination is not necessary. In California mulberries set fruit without pollination.

Fruit: Botanically the fruit is not a berry but a collective fruit, in appearance like a swollen loganberry. When the flowers are pollinated, they and their fleshy bases begin to swell. Ultimately they become completely altered in texture and color, becoming succulent, fat and full of juice. In appearance, each tiny swollen flower roughly resembles the individual drupe of a blackberry. The color of the fruit does not identify the mulberry species. White mulberries, for example, can produce white, lavender or black fruit. White mulberry fruits are generally very sweet but often lacking in needed tartness. Red mulberry fruits are usually deep red, almost black, and in the best clones have a flavor that almost equals that of the black mulberry. Black mulberry fruits are large and juicy, with a good balance of sweetness and tartness that makes them the best flavored species of mulberry. The refreshing tart taste is in some ways reminiscent of grapefruit. Mulberries ripen over an extended period of time unlike many other fruits which seem to come all at once.

CULTURE

Location: Mulberries need full sun and also adequate space. The distance between trees should be at least 15 ft. The trees should not be planted near a sidewalk. The fallen fruit will not only stain the walkway, but are likely to be tracked indoors. The trees are quite wind-resistant with some cultivars used as windbreaks in the Great Plains region.

Soil: Mulberries like a warm, well-drained soil, preferably a deep loam. Shallow soils such as those frequently found on chalk or gravel are not recommended.

Irrigation: Although somewhat drought-resistant, mulberries need to be watered in dry seasons. If the roots become too dry during drought, the fruit is likely to drop before it has fully ripened.

Fertilization: Mulberries generally thrive with minimal fertilization. An annual application of a balanced fertilizer such as 10:10:10 NPK will maintain satisfactory growth. In California mulberries usually need only nitrogen.

Pruning: No special pruning techniques are needed after the branches have been trained to a sturdy framework, except to remove dead or overcrowded wood. A mulberry tree can be kept to a tidy form by developing a set of main branches, and then pruning laterals to 6 leaves in July in order to develop spurs near the main branches. It is not advisable to prune the trees heavily since the plant is inclined to bleed at the cuts. Cuts of more than two inches in diameter generally do not heal and should be avoided at all cost. The bleeding will be less severe if the tree is pruned while it is dormant.

Propagation: Mulberries can be grown from seed, although the plants can take 10 years or more to bear. Seed should be sown as soon as extracted from the fruit, although white mulberry seeds germinate better after stratifying one to three months before planting.

Sprig budding is the most common method for grafting mulberries. A T-cut is made in the rootstock and a smooth, sloping cut is made on the lower end of the scion. The scion is then inserted into the T and wrapped and sealed. Other types of grafts are also usually successful, although there may be incompatibility between white and black mulberries. Hardwood, softwood and root cuttings also are suitable methods for propagating mulberries. Softwood cuttings of white mulberries root easily when taken in midsummer and treated with rooting hormone. Red mulberries are less easily rooted. Black mulberries are also somewhat difficult to propagate since they tend to bleed a lot.

Pests and Diseases: Mulberries are generally free of pests and diseases, although cankers and dieback can occur. In some areas “popcorn disease” is an occasional problem, in which fruits swell to resemble popped corn. M. alba/M. rubra hybrids are particularly prone to this condition. The disease carries on from one season to the next, so collecting and burning infected fruits help control it. The ripe fruit is very attractive to birds, but there is usually enough fruit left over for harvesting.

Harvest: White and red mulberry fruits (and hybrid fruits) are ready for harvest in late spring. The fruit of black mulberries ripen in summer to late summer. The fruits of white mulberries are often harvested by spreading a sheet on the ground and shaking the limbs. A surprising quantity can be gathered from a comparatively small and young tree. Black mulberry fruits are more difficult to pick. As the berries are squeezed to pull them loose, they tend to collapse, staining the hands (and clothing) with blood red juice. Unwashed the berries will keep several days in a refrigerator in a covered container. The ripe fruits of the black mulberry contain about 9% sugar with malic and citric acid. The berries can be eaten out of hand or used in any way that other berries are used, such as in pies, tarts, puddings or sweetened and pureed as a sauce. Slightly unripe fruits are best for making pies and tarts. Mulberries blend well with other fruits, especially pears and apples. They can also be made into wine and make an excellent dried fruit, especially the black varieties.

CULTIVARS

Black Persian
M. nigra. Large black fruit, over an inch long and almost as wide. Juicy with a rich, subacid flavor. The tree is fairly drought-resistant once established.
Collier
M. alba X M. rubra. Medium-sized, purplish-black fruit, 1-1/8 inches long and 3/8 inch in diameter. Flavor sweet, with just a trace of tartness. Quality very good, on par with Illinois Everbearing. Ripens over a long period. Tree of medium size, spreading , relatively hardy, very productive.
Downing
The original Downing was a M. alba var. multicaulis plant grown fromseed sown about 1846. The fruit was black with excellent flavor and ripened from June to September. Other varieties have subsequently been sold under the same name.
Illinois Everbearing
M. alba X M. rubra. Originated in White County, Illinois. Introduced in 1958. Black, nearly seedless fruit large and very long, averaging 12 per ounce. Flavor good to very good, very sweet, considered best by by many. Matures over along season. Tree vigorous and somewhat dwarfed, extremely hardy and productive.
Kaester
M. nigra. Originated in Los Angeles. Introduced in 1971 by Nelson Westree. Large black or deep purple, elongated fruit, 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter. Flavor very sweet, with good sweet/tart balance. Tree bears heavily.
Pakistan
Originated in Islamabad, Pakistan. Extremely large ruby-red fruit 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long and 3/8 inch in diameter. Flesh firmer than most other named cultivars. Sweet with a fine balance of flavors. Quality excellent. Tree spreading with large heart-shaped leaves. Recommended for the deep South and mild winter areas such as southern California, but usually performs satisfactorily in cooler areas.
Riviera
Originated in Vista, Calif. Elongated, deep purple-black fruits, 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length, 1/2 inch in diameter. Flesh slightly juicy and very sweet. Very good dessert quality. Ripens over a long period, from April to June.
Russian (Tatarica)
Introduced into Europe from China about 1,500 years ago. Fruit reddish-black, of good quality when completely ripe. Tree bushy, to 35 ft. tall, very hardy and drought resistant. Planted widely for windbreaks and wildlife food.
Shangri-La
Originated in Naples, Fla. Large, black fruit. Good mulberry for the Deep South and other areas. Hardy in U.S.D.A. Zones 7-9. Tree has very large, heart-shaped leaves.
Tehama (Giant White)
Originated in Tehama County, Calif. Very large, white-colored, plump fruit, 2-3/4 inches in length and 1/2 inch wide. Very sweet, succulent, melting flesh. Attractive, large-leaved tree. Probably best adapted to mild winter areas.
Wellington
Originated in Geneva, N.Y. Reddish-black medium-sized fruit, 1-1/4 inches long, 3/8 inch in diameter. Form long, slender and cylindrical. Flesh soft, of good flavor. Ripens over a period of several weeks. Tree is heavy producer. May be the old cultivar New American, which was also sold many years ago as Downing.

FURTHER READING

  • Everett, T. H., ed. New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening. vol. 7. Greystone Press, 1960. p. 1190.
  • Facciola, Stephen. Cornucopia: a Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications, 1990. pp. 391-392.
  • Johns, Leslie and Violet Stevenson, Fruit for the Home and Garden. Angus and Robertson, 1985. pp. 173-176
  • Reich, Lee. Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention. Addison-Wesley, 1991. pp 173-183.

See Index of CRFG Publications, 1969 – 1989 and annual indexes of Fruit Gardener for additional articles on the mulberry.


Here is the list of additional CRFG Fruit Facts.


© Copyright 1997, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Questions or comments? Contact us.

Plant Propagation Chart by Claude Sweet

This is a very wide table.  Please click on the desired plant and then scroll to the right to see all propagation possibilities.  It is also possible to sort by column headings.

PlantSeedHardwood
Cuttings
Semi-Hardwood
Cuttings
Softwood
Cuttings
GraftingAir
Layering
Root
Cuttings
Offshoots/
Division
Acerola1yes45yesyesnono
Avocado1,25554yesnono
Banana1nononononono4
Capulin Cherry1,2,4555yesyesnono
Carob1,25yes5yesyesnono
Cherimoya2nonono4nonono
Cherry of the Rio Grande1,2,4no5555nono
Citrus1,2noyesyesyesyesnono
Coffee1.45yes5yesyesnono
Feijoa4noyes66yesnono
Fig14yesyesyesyesyesno
Grumichama1,2,4555yesyesnono
Guava456yes6yesnono
Jaboticaba1nonono5yesnono
Jujube1,2no55yesyesyesno
Jujube25554.5yes6no
Kei Apple1,25yes5yesyesnono
Kiwi Fruit1,2,3yesyesyes4yesyesno
Longan1,2no55yes4nono
Loquat2no5no4yesnono
Lychee1no5yesyes4nono
Macadamia1,2noyesyes4yesnono
Malabar Chestnut1,4nononoyesyesnono
Mango2,4nonono4yes2no
Mangosteen1,2no5noyesyesnono
Miracle Fruit1545noyesnono
Monstera1,4noyes4noyesnono
Mulberry1,24yesyesyesyesnono
Natal Plum1545yesyesnono
Panama Berry1,25yes5yesyesnono
Papaya4556yesnonono
Passion Fruit4noyesyesyesyes2no
Paw Paw1,2no5noyesyesnono
Pepino Dulce154yesyesyesnono
Persimmon2,3nonono4no2no
Pineapple1no4nonononoyes
Pineapple1nononononono4
Pitomba1,2,4555yesyesnono
Pomegranate14yesyesyesyesnono
Prickly Pear1no4noyesnonono
Raisin Tree1,4no5noyesyesnono
Star Fruit1,2no55yesyesnono
Sugar Cane1yes4nonononoyes
Sunnam Cherry1,2,4yesyesyesyesyesyesno
Tamarillo45yesyesyesyesnono
Tamarind1,4no5noyesyesnono
Tree Tomato1,45yesyesyesyesnono
Wampee1,2545yesyesnono
White Sapote1,2nonono4nonono
  • 1. Used in plant-breeding programs
  • 2. Nursery rootstock production
  • 3. Requires stratification period for germination
  • 4. Common commercial method
  • 5..Very difficult; requires special procedures; variable success
  • 6. Difficult procedure used to increase valuable selections

 

Fruit Cultural Data — M

 

Key
Chill Hours between 32°F and 45°F, less hours above 65°F
Water D = dry, W = wet, M = medium
Genus Species Common Name Harm Kill Chill Water Soil/pH
Macadamia integrifolia Macadamia Nut 32°F 24°F
Macadamia tetraphylla Macadamia Nut 30°F 20°F
Macropiper excelsum Kawakawa
Mahonia aquifolim Tall Oregon Grape -10°F
Mahonia nervosa Oregon Grape -10°F
Malpighia glabra See M. punicifolia
Malpighia punicifolia Acerola 30°F 27°F >5.5
Malus augustifolia American Crab Apple W <7.0
Malus baccata Siberian Crab Apple -50°F
Malus coronaria American Crab Apple
Malus fusca Oregon Crab Apple
Malus pumila Apple -30°F to 10°F <700
Malus seiboldi European Crab Apple
Malus augustafolia Crabapple 300-500
Mammea americana Mamey 32°F 28°F
Mamumea africana African Apricot
Mangifera foetida Horse Mango W
Mangifera indica Mango 31°F 28°F W 5.5-6.5
Mangifera odorata Kuwini, Kuini W
Manihot dulcis Sweet Cassava 28°F 25°F
Manihot esculenta Manioc, Tapioca
Manilkara hexandra Khirni
Manilkara zapota Sapodilla 30°F 27°F D
Matissa cordata See Quararibea cordata
Melastoma malabathricum Harendog
Melicocca bijuga See M. bijugatus
Melicoccus bijugatus Spanish Lime 32°F 26°F D
Mespilus germanica Medlar -15°F
Microcitrus australasica Finger Lime
Mimusops elengi Spanish Cherry
Monarda didyma Oswego Tea
Monstera deliciosa Ceriman 32°F 30°F W
Montia perfoliata Miner’s Lettuce
Moringa oleifera Horseradish Tree
Moringa pterygosperma Moringa 30°F 28°F
Morus alba White Mulberry -20°F D
Morus nigra Persian Mulberry 5°F 0°F D
Morus rubra Red Mulberry -20°F
Morus Mulberry 400
Mouriris guianesis Cometure 36°F 32°F
Muntingia calabura Jamaica Cherry 28°F D Any
Murraya koenigii Curry Leaf Tree
Musa acuminata Banana 32°F 26°F M 5-7
Musa balbisiana X acuminata Commercial Banana
Musa basjoo Japanese Fiber Banana
Musa paradisiaca Hybrid Plantains 26°F 20°F
Musa sumatrana Blood Banana
Musa textilis Abaca
Musa velutina Pink Banana
Myrciaria cauliflora Jaboticaba 28°F 25°F 6.0-7.0
Myrciaria dubia (also spruceana) Camu Camu 33°F 30°F
Myrciaria floribunda Guava Berry
Myrciaria jaboticaba Grauda
Myrciaria paraensis Camu Camu 32°F
Myristica fragrans Nutmeg 36°F W
Myrtus communis Myrtle
A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

© Copyright 1995,1997, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Questions or comments? Contact us. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Common Fruit Names: A-C

COMMON FRUIT NAMES — A-C

California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc

January 27, 1995

 

A – C D – L M – R S – Z

 

Common Name Genus species Family
Abaca Musa textilis Musaceae
Abiu Pouteria caimito Sapotaceae
Abyssinian Banana Ensete ventricosum Musaceae
Abyssinian Gooseberry Dovyalis abyssinica Flacourtiaceae
Acerola Malpighia punicifolia Malpighiaceae
Achiote Bixa orellana Bixaceae
Achira Canna edulis Cannaceae
African Apricot Mamumea africana Guttiterae
African Breadfruit Treculia africana Moraceae
African Gooseberry Dovyalis abyssinica Flacourtiaceae
African Honeysuckle Halleria lucida Scrophulariaceae
African Horned Cucumber Cucumis metuliferus Curcurbitaceae
African Locust Parkia biglobosa Leguminosae
African Oil Palm Elaeis guineensis Palmae
African Plum Vitex doriana Verbenaceae
African Walnut Coula edulis Olacaceae
Akebia Akebia quinata Lardizabalaceae
Akee Blighia sapida Sapindaceae
Allspice Pimenta dioica Myrtaceae
Almond Prunus dulcis Rosaceae
Alpine Strawberry Fragaria vesca Rosaceae
Alupag Euphoria didyma Sapindaceae
Amazon Tree-Grape Pourouma cecropiaefolia Moraceae
Ambarella Spondias dulcis Anacardiaceae
Ambra Spondias pinnata Anacardiaceae
American Black Currant Ribes americanum Saxifragaceae
American Black Gooseberry Ribes hirtellum Saxifragaceae
American Chestnut Castanea dentata Fagaceae
American Crab Apple Malus augustifolia Rosaceae
American Crab Apple Malus coronaria Rosaceae
American Cranberry Vaccinimum macrocarpon Ericaceae
American Cranberry Bush Viburnum trilobum Caprifoliaceae
American Dewberry Rubus flagellaris Rosaceae
American Elderberry Sambucus canadensis Caprifoliaceae
American Hazelnut Corylus americana Betulaceae
American Persimmon Diospyros virginiana Ebenaceae
American Plum Prunus americana Rosaceae
Amra Spondias pinnata Anacardiaceae
Amur River Grape Vitis amurensis Vitaceae
Ananasnaja Actinidia arguta X kolomikta Actinidiaceae
Andean Blackberry Rubus glaucus Rosaceae
Annatto Bixa orellana Bixaceae
Annona Asiatic Cananga odorata Annonaceae
Anonilla Annona palmeri Annonaceae
Appalachian Tea Ilex glabra Aquifoliaceae
Apple Malus Rosaceae
Apple Guava Psidium guajava Myrtaceae
Apple Rose Rosa pomifera Rosaceae
Appleberry Billardiera Pittosporaceae
Apricot Prunus americana Rosaceae
Arabian Coffee Coffea arabica Rubiaceae
Arctic Beauty Actinidia kolomikta Actinidiaceae
Arkurbal Willughbeia angustifolia Apocynaceae
Asian Pear Pyrus Pyrifolia Rosaceae
Atemoya Annona cherimola X squamosa Annonaceae
Australian Almond Terminalia canescens Combretaceae
Australian Brush Cherry Syzygium paniculatum Myrtaceae
Autumn Oleaster Elaeagnus umbellata Elaeagnaceae
Autumn Olive Elaeagnus umbellata Elaeagnaceae
Avocado Persea americana Lauraceae
Azarole Crataegus azarolus Rosaceae
Babaco Carica pentagona Caricaceae
Bacae Theobroma bicolor Sterculiaceae
Bacuri Platonia insignis Guttiferae
Bacuripari Rheedia macrophylla Guttiferae
Bacury-Pary Rheedia macrophylla Guttiferae
Bael Fruit Aegle marmelos Rutaceae
Baked Apple Berry Rubus chamaemorus Rosaceae
Bakupari Rheedia brasiliensis Guttiferae
Bakuri Platonia insignis Guttiferae
Banana Musa Musaceae
Banana Passion Fruit Passiflora antioquiensis Passifloraceae
Banana Passion Fruit Passiflora mollissima Passifloraceae
Barbados Cherry Malpighia punicifolia Malpighiaceae
Barbados Gooseberry Patinoa almirajo Bombacaceae
Barbados Gooseberry Pereskia aculeata Cactaceae
Barberry Berberis vulgaris Berberidaceae
Batoko Flacourtia indica Flacourtiaceae
Bay Tree Laurus nobilis Lauraceae
Bay Tree Persea borbonia Lauraceae
Beach Cherry Eugenia reinwardtiana Myrtaceae
Beach Plum Prunus maritima Rosaceae
Beach Strawberry Fragaria chiloensis Rosaceae
Bearss Lime Citrus latifolia Rutaceae
Bee Bee Raspberry Rubus Rosaceae
Belimbing Averrhoa carambola Oxalidaceae
Bell Apple Passiflora laurifolia Passifloraceae
Bengal Quince Aegle marmelos Rutaceae
Ber Zyzyphus jujuba Ramnaceae
Betel Nut Areca catechu Palmae
Bigay Antidesma bunius Euphorbiaceae
Bignai Antidesma bunius Euphorbiaceae
Bignay Antidesma bunius Euphorbiaceae
Bilimbi Averrhoa bilimbi Oxalidaceae
Billy Goat Plum Terminalia ferdinandiana Combretaceae
Biriba Rollinia mucosa Annonaceae
Black Apricot Prunus armeniaca dasycarpa Rosaceae
Black Cherry Prunus serotina Rosaceae
Black Choke Prunus serotina Rosaceae
Black Current Ribes nigrum Saxifragaceae
Black Elderberry Sambucus nigra Caprifoliaceae
Black Haw Viburnum prunifolium Caprifoliaceae
Black Huckleberry Gaylussacia baccata Ericaceae
Black Mulberry Morus nigra Moraceae
Black Persimmon Diospyros digyna Ebenaceae
Black Persimmon Diospyros texana Ebenaceae
Black Sapote Diospyros digyna Ebenaceae
Black Tamarind Dialium indum Leguminosae
Black Walnut Juglans nigra Juglandaceae
Black/White Pepper Piper nigrum Piperaceae
Blackberry Rubus Rosaceae
Blackberry Jam-Fruit Randia formosa Rubiaceae
Blackcap Rubus occidentalis Rosaceae
Blood Banana Musa sumatrana Musaceae
Blue Bean Shrub Decaisnea fargesii Lardizabalaceae
Blue Lilly Pilly Syzygium coolminianum Myrtaceae
Blue Passion Flower Passiflora caerulea Passifloraceae
Blue Taro Xanthosoma violaceum Araceae
Blueberry Vaccinium Ericaceae
Bokhara Plum Prunus bokhara Rosaceae
Bower Vine Actinidia arguta Actinidiaceae
Box Blueberry Vaccinium ovatum Ericaceae
Boysenberry Rubus ursinus Rosaceae
Bramble Rubus Rosaceae
Brazil Nut Bertholletia excelsa Lecythidaceae
Brazilian Guava Psidium guineense Myrtaceae
Breadfruit (seedless) Artocarpus altilis (communis) Moraceae
Breadfruit Pandanus odoratissimus Pandanaceae
Breadnut (seeded Breadfruit) Artocarpus altilis (camansi) Moraceae
Breadnut (seeded Breadfruit) Brosimum alicastrum Moraceae
Breadroot Psoralea esculenta Leguminosae
Brier Rose Rosa canina Rosaceae
Brush Cherry Syzygium paniculatum Myrtaceae
Bu annona Annona squamosa Annonaceae
Buah Susu Passiflora Passifloraceae
Buddha’s Hand Citron Citrus medica var. sacrodactylus Rutaceae
Buffalo Berry Shepherdia argentea Elaeagnaceae
Buffalo Berry Shepherdia canadensis Elaeagnaceae
Buffalo Current Ribes aureum Saxifragaceae
Buffalo Currant Ribes odoratum Saxifragaceae
Buffalo Thorn Zizyphus mucronata Rhamnaceae
Bullock’s heart Annona reticulata Annonaceae
Bunchosia Bunchosia argentea Malpighiaceae
Buni Antidesma bunius Euphorbiaceae
Bunya-Bunya Araucaria bidwilli Araucariaceae
Burdekin Plum Pleiogynium timorensis Anacardiaceae
Bush Butter Dacryodes edulis Burseraceae
Butternut Juglans cinerea Juglandaceae
Button Mangosteen Garcinia prainiana Guttiferae
Cabinet Cherry Prunus serotina Rosaceae
Cacao Theobroma cacao Sterculiaceae
Cactus Cereus peruvianus Cactaceae
Cactus Cereus triangularis Cactaceae
Caimito Chrysophyllum cainito Sapotaceae
Caimo Pouteria caimito Sapotaceae
Calamondin Citrofortunella mitis Rutaceae
California Bay Ubellalaria californica Lauraceae
California Wild Grape Vitis californica Vitaceae
Calubura Muntingia calabura Elaeocarpaceae
Camocamo Myrciaria dubia Myrtaceae
Camu Camu Myrciaria dubia Myrtaceae
Canadian Blackberry Rubus canadensis Rosaceae
Canadian Elderberry Sambucus canadensis Caprifoliaceae
Canary Island Date Palm Phoenix canariensis Palmae
Candlenut Aleurites moluccana Euphorbiaceae
Canistel Pouteria campechiana Sapotaceae
Cannon-ball Tree Couroupita guianensis Lecythidaceae
Cape Gooseberry Physalis peruviana Solanaceae
Caper Capparis spinosa Capparidaceae
Capulin Cherry Prunus salicifolia Rosaceae
Carambola Averrhoa carambola Oxalidaceae
Carob Ceratonia siliqua Leguminosae
Carpathian Walnut Juglans regia, carpathian strain Juglandaceae
Cas Psidium friedrichsthalianum Myrtaceae
Casana Cyphomandra casana Solanaceae
Cascara Rhamnus purshiana Rhamnaceae
Cashew Anacardium occidentale Anacardiaceae
Cassabanana Sicana oderifera Cucurbitaceae
Cat’s Eye Euphoria malaiense Sapindaceae
Catalina Cherry Prunus lyonii Rosaceae
Cattley Guava Psidium cattleianum Myrtaceae
Ceriman Monstera deliciosa Araceae
Ceylon Date Palm Phoenix zeylanica Palmae
Ceylon Gooseberry Dovyalis hebecarpa Flacourtiaceae
Champedek Artocarpus integer Moraceae
Changshou Kumquat Fortunella obovata Rutaceae
Charicuela Rheedia macrophylla Guttiferae
Chaste Tree Vitex agnus-castus Verbenaceae
Chayote Sechium edule Cucurbitaceae
Che Cudrania tricuspidata Moraceae
Chempedale Artocarpus integer Moraceae
Cherapu Garcinia prainiana Guttiferae
Cheremai Phyllanthus acidus Euphorbiaceae
Cherimoya Annona cherimola Annonaceae
Cherry of the Rio Grande Eugenia aggregata Myrtaceae
Chess Apple Sorbus aria Rosaceae
Chia Ye Ficus awkeotsang Moracedea
Chicle Tree Manilkara zapota Sapotaceae
Chico Sapote Manilkara zapota Sapotaceae
Chico Mamey Bunchosia armeniaca Malpighiaceae
Chilean Guava Ugni molinae Myrtaceae
Chilean Hazel Gevuina avellana Proteaceae
Chilean Wine Palm Jubaea chilensis Palmae
China Chestnut Sterculia monosperma Sterculiaceae
Chincopin Castanea pumila var. ashei Fagaceae
Chinese Asian Pear Pyrus usseriensis Rosaceae
Chinese Chestnut Castanea mollissima Fagaceae
Chinese Date Ziziphus jujuba Rhamnaceae
Chinese Date Palm Zizyphus vulgaris Rhamnaceae
Chinese Egg Gooseberry Actinidia rubricallus Actinidiaceae
Chinese Gooseberry Actinidia deliciosa Actinidiaceae
Chinese Hackberry Celtis sinensis Ulmaceae
Chinese Jello Ficus awkeotsang Moraceae
Chinese Mulberry Cudrania tricuspidata Moraceae
Chinese Olive Canarium album Burseraceae
Chinese Pear Pyrus pyrifolia Rosaceae
Chinese Raisin Tree Hovenia dulcis Rhamnaceae
Chinese Taro Alocasia cucullata Araceae
Chinese White Pear Pyrus bretschneideri Rosaceae
Chinese White Pear Pyrus usseriensis Rosaceae
Chinquapin Castanea pumila Fagaceae
Chitra Berberis aristata Berberidaceae
Chocolate Pudding Fruit Diospyros digyna Ebenaceae
Chokecherry Prunus virginiana Rosaceae
Chupa-Chupa Quararibea cordata Bombacaceae
Ciku Manilkara zapota Sapotaceae
Cimarrona Annona montana Annonaceae
Cinnamon Cinnamomum loureirii Lauraceae
Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum Lauraceae
Ciruela Spondias purperea Anacardiaceae
Ciruela Verde Bunchosia argentea Malpighiaceae
Ciruelo Bunchosia argentea Malpighiaceae
Ciruelo Crytocarpa edulis Anacardiaceae
Citron Citrus medica Rutaceae
Clove Syzygium aromaticum Myrtaceae
Clove Currant Ribes aureum Saxifragaceae
Clove Currant Ribes odoratum Saxifragaceae
Cochin-goraka Garcina xanthochymus Guttiferae
Cocoa Theobroma cacao Sterculiaceae
Cocona Solanum sessiliflorum Solanaceae
Coconut Palm Cocos nucifera Palmae
Cocoplum Chrysobalanus icaco Chrysobalanaceae
Coffee Berry Rhamnus californica Rhamnaceae
Columbian Walnut Juglans colombensis Juglandaceae
Cometure Mouriris guianesis Mouririaceae
Commercial Banana Musa acuminata Musaceae
Commercial Banana Musa X paradisiaca Musaceae
Common Currant Ribes sativum Saxifragaceae
Common Guava Psidium guajava Myrtaceae
Common Juniper Juniperus communis Cupressacae
Conch Apple Passiflora maliformis Passifloraceae
Coontie Zamia integrifolia Cycadaceae
Cornelian Cherry Cornus mas Cornaceae
Corosol Rollinia emarginata Annonaceae
Corozo Aiphanes acanthophylla Palmae
Costa Rica Guava Psidium friedrichsthalianum Myrtaceae
Cotopriz Talisia oliviformis Sapindaceae
Country Walnut Aleurites moluccana Euphorbiaceae
Coyo Persea scheideana Lauraceae
Crabapple Malus Rosaceae
Cranberry Vaccinium Ericaceae
Cranberry Bush Viburnum triloba Caprifoliaceae
Crato Passion Fruit Passiflora cincinnata Passifloraceae
Creeping Blueberry Vaccinium crassifolium Ericaceae
Cuachilote Parmentiera edulis Bignoniaceae
Cuban Mangosteen Rheedia aristata Guttiferae
Cuban Spinach Montia perfoliata Portulacaceae
Cupu-Assu Theobroma grandiflorum Sterculiaceae
Currant Ribes Saxifragaceae
Currant Tomato Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium Solanaceae
Curry Leaf Tree Murraya koenigii Rutaceae
Curuba Passiflora mollissima Passifloraceae
Custard Apple Annona reticulata Annonaceae
Custard Apple Annona squamosa Annonaceae

 

A – C D – L M – R S – Z

 


© Copyright 1995,1997, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Questions or comments? Contact us. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Che

CHE

Color Photo - Link to 378x189 size image

Cudrania tricuspidata Bur. ex Lavallee

Moraceae

Common Names: Che, Chinese Che, Chinese Mulberry, Cudrang, Mandarin Melon Berry, Silkworm Thorn.

Distant Affinity: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), Jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), Fig (Ficus spp.), Mulberry (Morus spp.), African Breadfruit (Treculis africana).

Origin: The che is native to many parts of eastern Asia from the Shantung and Kiangson Provinces of China to the Nepalese sub-Himalayas. It became naturalized in Japan many years ago. In China, the leaves of the che serve as a backup food for silkworms when mulberry leaves are in short supply. The tree was introduced into England and other parts of Europe around 1872, and into the U.S. around 1930.

Adaptation: The che requires minimal care and has a tolerance of drought and poor soils similar to that of the related mulberry. It can be grown in most parts of California and other parts of the country, withstanding temperatures of -20° F.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: The deciduous trees can eventually grow to about 25 ft. in height, but often remains a broad, spreading bush or small tree if not otherwise trained when they are young. Immature wood is thorny but loses its thorns as it matures. Female trees are larger and more robust than male trees.

Foliage: The alternate leaves resemble those of the mulberry, but are smaller and thinner and pale yellowish-green in color. The typical form is distinctly trilobate, with the central lobe sometimes twice as long as the lateral ones, but frequently unlobed leaves of varied outlines are also found on the same plant. As the plant grows, the tendency seems towards larger and entire leaves, with at the most indistinct or irregular lobing. The general form of the leaves comprise many variations between oblong and lanceolate. The che leafs and blooms late in spring–after apples.

Flowers: The che is dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. Appearing in June, both types of flowers are green and pea-sized. The male flowers turn yellow as the pollen ripens and is released, while the wind-pollinated female flowers develop many small stigmas over the surface of the immature fruit. Male plants occasionally have a few female flowers which will set fruit.

Fruit: Like the related mulberry, the che fruit is not a berry but a collective fruit, in appearance somewhat like a round mulberry crossed with a lychee, 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The ripe fruits are an attractive red or maroon-red color with a juicy, rich red flesh inside and 3 to 6 small brown seeds per fruit. The flavor is quite unlike the vinous quality of better mulberries. While still firm they are almost tasteless, but when fully soft ripe they develop a watermelon-like flavor that can be quite delicious. The sugar content is similar to that of a ripe fig. In colder areas with early leaf drop the bright red fruit are an attractive sight dangling from smooth, leafless branches.

CULTURE

Location: Ches need a warm, sunny location. They should not be planted near sidewalks since the fallen fruit will stain. Like the mulberry, the trees are quite wind-resistant. One method of planting is to put a male and a female plant in a single site, about 1 ft. apart, and prune to a combined volume of approximately 25% male and 75% female.

Soil: The trees are relatively undemanding, but perform best in a warm, well-drained soil, ideally a deep loam.

Irrigation: Although somewhat drought-resistant, ches need to be watered in dry seasons. In summer dry California a deep watering about every two weeks is recommended. If the roots become too dry during drought, the plant may began to defoliate and the unripe fruit is likely to drop.

Fertilization: An annual application of a balanced fertilizer such as 10:10:10 NPK in late spring will maintain satisfactory growth. Nitrogen is the only element likely to be needed in California.

Pruning: The trees need regular pruning to control their shape. The branches formed the previous season should be pruned to half their length. The branchlets on the remaining part of the branches should also be trimmed about 50%. A summer pruning of the male plant is also necessary when planted in a single site with the female. To grow as a tree, in addition to pruning the lateral branches, the leading branch may also need to be staked to point it in a vertical direction. Trees grafted onto Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) rootstock tend to be more robust and grow in a more upright fashion.

Propagation: The che is readily grown from seed, although the plants can take up to 10 years to bear. Seeds should be sown as soon as extracted from the fruit. The plants are often propagated from softwood cuttings taken in midsummer and treated with rooting hormone. The che is also easily grafted to Osage orange rootstock using either a cleft or whip-and-tongue graft.

Pests and Diseases: No pests or diseases have been noted. The ripe fruit is attractive to birds, and deer will browse on both the fruit and foliage.

Harvest: Ches begin to bear at an early age and mature trees can produce as much as 400 pounds of fruit. The fruits ripen around November in California. Unlike mulberries, the ripe fruits do not separate easily from the tree and must be individually picked. It is important that the fruits be thoroughly ripe to be at their best. A darker shade of red with some blackening of the skin is a good indication of full ripeness. The fruit will keep for several days in a refrigerator in a covered dish. The fruits can be eaten out of hand or cooked in various ways. Cooking with other fruits that can contribute some tartness improves the taste. Mixing the ripe fruit in a blender and straining out the seeds yields a beautiful and delicious che “nectar”.

Commercial Potential: In China and other parts of East Asia the fruit is sometimes found in local markets, but is relatively unknown commercially elsewhere. The attractive color and reasonable shelf life of the che seem to indicate that with a little effort, there could be a niche for it in farmer’s markets and specialty stores. There also appears to be some demand for the fruit in Asian markets. Better selection should further increase the marketing potential of the che. A seedless fruit or one with with a bit of tartness would be a great improvement, as would earlier ripening cultivars that separate readily from the branches.

CULTIVARS

In China various selections of the che are grown, but in this country there are no known cultivars as such.

FURTHER READING

  • Darrow, George M. Minor Temperate Fruits. In Advances in Fruit Breeding. Purdue University Press, 1975. p. 282.
  • Forbes, F. B. Cudrania triloba Hance and its uses in China. Journal of Botany, vol. 21, 1883. pp. 145-149.
  • Hendrickson, Robert. The Berry Book. Doubleday, 1981.

See Index of CRFG Publications, 1969 – 1989 and annual indexes of Fruit Gardener for additional articles on the che.


Here is the list of additional CRFG Fruit Facts.


© Copyright 1997, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Questions or comments? Contact us.

Fig

FIG

B/W sketch

Ficus carica L.

Moraceae

Common Names: Fig (English), Higo (Spanish), Figue (French), Feige (German), Fico (Italian).

Related Species: Cluster fig (Ficus racemosa), Sycomore Fig (Ficus sycomorus).

Distant Affinity: Mulberry (Morus spp.); Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis Fosb.); Jakfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.); Che; Chinese Mulberry (Cudrania tricuspidata).

Origin: The fig is believed to be indigenous to western Asia and to have been distributed by man throughout the Mediterranean area. Remnants of figs have been found in excavations of sites traced to at least 5,000 B.C.

Adaptation: The fig grows best and produces the best quality fruit in Mediterranean and dryer warm-temperate climates. Rains during fruit development and ripening can cause the fruits to split. With extra care figs will also grow in wetter, cooler areas. Diseases limit utility in tropical climates. Fully dormant trees are hardy to 12° – 15° F, but plants in active growth can be damaged at 30° F. Fig plants killed to the ground will often resprout from the roots. Only the hardiest cultivars should be attempted in areas such as the Willamette Valley, the Sierra Nevada and high desert. However, all cultivars are suitable elsewhere in California. Chilling requirements for the fig are less than 300 hours. In containers figs are eye-catching specimens inside or outdoors. It is best to choose a slow-growing cultivar.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: The fig is a picturesque deciduous tree, to 50 ft tall, but more typically to a height of 10 – 30 ft. Their branches are muscular and twisting, spreading wider than they are tall. Fig wood is weak and decays rapidly. The trunk often bears large nodal tumors, where branches have been shed or removed. The twigs are terete and pithy rather than woody. The sap contains copious milky latex that is irritating to human skin. Fig trees often grow as a multiple-branched shrub, especially where subjected to frequent frost damage. They may be espaliered, but only where roots may be restricted, as in containers.

Foliage: Fig leaves are bright green, single, alternate and large (to 1 ft length). They are more or less deeply lobed with 1 – 5 sinuses, rough hairy on the upper surface and soft hairy on the underside. In summer their foliage lends a beautiful tropical feeling.

Flowers: The tiny flowers of the fig are out of sight, clustered inside the green “fruits”, technically a synconium. Pollinating insects gain access to the flowers through an opening at the apex of the synconium. In the case of the common fig the flowers are all female and need no pollination. There are 3 other types, the caprifig which has male and female flowers requiring visits by a tiny wasp, Blastophaga grossorum; the Smyrna fig, needing cross-pollination by caprifigs in order to develop normally; and the San Pedro fig which is intermediate, its first crop independent like the common fig, its second crop dependent on pollination.

Fruits: The common fig bears a first crop, called the breba crop, in the spring on last season’s growth. The second crop is borne in the fall on the new growth and is known as the main crop. In cold climates the breba crop is often destroyed by spring frosts. The matured “fruit” has a tough peel (pure green, green suffused with brown, brown or purple), often cracking upon ripeness, and exposing the pulp beneath. The interior is a white inner rind containing a seed mass bound with jelly-like flesh. The edible seeds are numerous and generally hollow, unless pollinated. Pollinated seeds provide the characteristic nutty taste of dried figs.

CULTURE

Location: Figs require full sun all day to ripen palatable fruits. Trees become enormous, and will shade out anything growing beneath. Repeated pruning to control size causes loss of crop. The succulent trunk and branches are unusually sensitive to heat and sun damage, and should be whitewashed if particularly exposed. Roots are greedy, traveling far beyond the tree canopy. Figs are not a fruit tree for small places. The fine roots that invade garden beds, however, may be cut without loss to the tree. In areas with short (less than 120 days between frosts), cool summers, espalier trees against a south-facing, light-colored wall to take advantage of the reflected heat. In coastal climates, grow in the warmest location, against a sunny wall or in a heat trap. For container grown plants, replace most of the soil in the tub every three years and keep the sides of the tub shaded to prevent overheating in sunlight.

Irrigation: Young fig tees should be watered regularly until fully established. In dry western climates, water mature trees deeply at least every one or two weeks. Desert gardeners may have to water more frequently. Mulch the soil around the trees to conserve moisture. If a tree is not getting enough water, the leaves will turn yellow and drop. Also, drought-stressed trees will not produce fruit and are more susceptible to nematode damage. Recently planted trees are particularly susceptible to water deficits, often runt out, and die.

Pruning: Fig trees are productive with or without heavy pruning. It is essential only during the initial years. Trees should be trained according to use of fruit, such as a low crown for fresh-market figs. Since the crop is borne on terminals of previous year’s wood, once the tree form is established, avoid heavy winter pruning, which causes loss of the following year’s crop. It is better to prune immediately after the main crop is harvested, or with late-ripening cultivars, summer prune half the branches and prune the remainder the following summer. If radical pruning is done, whitewash the entire tree.

Fertilization: Regular fertilizing of figs is usually necessary only for potted trees or when they are grown on sands. Excess nitrogen encourages rank growth at the expense of fruit production, and the fruit that is produced often ripens improperly, if at all. As a general rule, fertilize fig trees if the branches grew less than a foot the previous year. Apply a total of 1/2 – 1 pound of actual nitrogen, divided into three or four applications beginning in late winter or early spring and ending in July.

Frost Protection: In borderline climates, figs can be grown out of doors if they are given frost protection. Brown Turkey, Brunswick and Blue Celeste cultivars are some of the best choices. Plant against a wall or structure which provides some heat by radiation. Or grow as a bush, pruning the trunk to near ground level at the end of the second year. Allow several stems to replace the trunk, and grow as you would a lilac. For further protection, erect a frame over the plant, covering and surrounding it with heavy carpet in winter. Keep the roots as dry as possible during winter, raising a berm to exclude melting snows during thaws. In northern climates, the fig is best grown as a tub or pot plant that can be brought into a warm location in winter and taken out again in spring. Dormant buds are more susceptible to freezing than wood. Freezing may also create a trunk without live buds; regrowth is possible only from roots.

Propagation: Fig plants are usual propagated by cuttings. Select foot-long pieces of dormant wood, less than 1 inch diameter, with two-year-old wood at base. One-year twigs with a heel of two-year branch at the base may also be used. Dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone and allow them to callus one week in a moist place at 50-60° F. Summer cuttings may also be made, but they do best if defoliated and winterized in a refrigeration for 2-3 weeks before potting. Leafy shoots require a mist bed. Particularly rare cultivars may be propagated on rootstocks, or older trees, topworked by whip, cleft or crown grafting, or chip or patch budding. Rooted cuttings should be planted in 22 to 30 feet squares, depending upon the capacity of the soil and the ultimate size of the tree. Keep roots moist until planted. Never transplant or disturb a young tree while it is starting new growth in spring, as this is likely to to kill it. Cut the tree back to 2 ft high upon planting and whitewash the trunk.

Pests and Diseases: Fig tree roots are a favorite food of gophers, who can easily kill a large plant. One passive method of control is to plant the tree in a large aviary wire basket. Deer are not particularly attracted to figs, but birds can cause a lot of damage to the fruit. Nematodes, particularly in sandy soils, attack roots, forming galls and stunting the trees. Mitadulid and Carpophilus dried fruit beetles can enter ripening fruit through the eye and cause damage by introducing fungi and rots. They frequently breed in fallen citrus fruits. Keep a clean orchard by destroy fallen fruits and do not grow near citrus trees. Euryphid mites cause little damage but are carriers of mosaic virus from infected to clean trees.

Mosaic virus, formerly considered benign, probably causes crop reduction. Symptoms resemble potassium deficiency–leaves are marbled with yellow spots, and the veins are light colored. Symptoms are often not apparent until the tree is older or when it becomes heat or water-stressed. Do not purchase infected trees and isolate those which show symptoms. Botrytis causes a blast of branch terminals, which dry out and turn charcoal-like. The attack usually starts from half-grown fruits damaged by the first frost of winter, then enters the main stem as a reddish expanding necrotic zone. The infection is generally self-controlling and stops in the spring. It can be prevented by removing mummies and frost damaged fruits as soon as they are observed. Fig canker is a bacterium which enters the trunk at damaged zones, causing necrosis and girdling and loss of branches. It usually starts at sunburned areas, so it is important to keep exposed branches whitewashed. Rhyzopus smut attacks ripened fruits on the tree, causing charcoal black coating inside the fruit, and is worst on cultivars with large, open eyes. Most ripe fruit losses are from Endosepsis (Fusarium) and Aspergillus rot which is introduced by insects, even pollinating wasps. The fruit appears to burst, or a ropy, mucus-like exudate drains from the eye, rendering the fruit are inedible. The best control is to destroy all crop for one year, apply diazinon granules beneath trees to eliminate insect vectors, and destroy adjacent wild trees. Penicillium fungus will attack dried fruits in storage but can be controlled by keeping them dry, or sulfuring before storage.

Harvest: Figs must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree before they are picked. They will not ripen if picked when immature. A ripe fruit will be slightly soft and starting to bend at the neck. Harvest the fruit gently to avoid bruising. Fresh figs do not keep well and can be stored in the refrigerator for only 2 – 3 days. Some fig varieties are delicious when dried. They take 4 – 5 days to dry in the sun and 10 -12 hours in a dehydrator. Dried figs can be stored for six to eight months.

Commercial potential: Because of losses in transport and short shelf life, figs are a high-value fruits of limited demand. The best outlet is direct sale at roadside or farmers markets, but do not permit handling of the fruit. Figs for shipping are collected daily just before they reach the fully ripe stage, but yield to a soft pressure, usually indicated by small cracks in the skin. They should be immediately refrigerated. For commerce, choose a cultivar that parts readily from the branch and does not tear the neck.

CULTIVARS

Adriatic (Fragola, Strawberry Fig, Verdone, White Adriatic)
Origin central Italy, Small to medium, skin greenish, flesh strawberry colored. Good, all-purpose fig. Light breba crop. Large vigorous tree leafs out early; subject to frost damage. Prune to force new growth.
Black Mission (Beers Black, Franciscan, Mission)
Origin Balearic Islands. Fruits all-over black purple, elongated, Flesh watermelon to pink, fairly good taste. Easily dried at home. Single best all-round variety for south, north, coast, interior. Brebas prolific, fairly rich. Tree very large, plant at maximum spacing. Do not prune after tree reaches maturity. Commences growth midseason.
Blanche (Italian Honey fig, Lattarula, Lemon, White Marseille)
Medium to large, skin yellowish green, flesh white to amber, very sweet, lemon flavor. Light breba crop. Valuable in short-season, cool-summer areas. Slow growing, dense, hardy tree.
Brown Turkey (Aubique Noire, Negro Largo, San Piero
Origin Provence. Medium, skin is purplish brown, flesh pinkish amber. Good flavor. Best when fresh. Light breba crop. Small, hardy, vigorous tree. Prune severely for heaviest main crop. Does best in southern California.
Celeste (Blue Celeste, Honey Fig, Malta, Sugar, Violette)
Small to medium, skin is light violet to violet-brown, flesh reddish amber. Very sweet, usually dried. Light breba crop. Tightly closed eye, good for Southeast. Small, productive, hardy.
Conadria
Origin Ira Condit, Riverside 1956. First artificial hybrid fig. Fruit pale green, medium, flesh strawberry red. Mildly sweet. Good fresh, excellent dried. More productive than Adriatic but of lesser quality. Light breba crop. Tree vigorous, tends to excessive growth under irrigation, best in hot climates.
Croisic (Cordelia, Gillette, St. John)
Only edible caprifig. Fruits very early, only brebas are useful. Fruits pale yellow, small, pulp nearly white, without a lot of character. Tree low, dense, spreading. . For north coast and Pacific Northwest.
Desert King (Charlie, King)
Origin Madera, Calif. 1920. San Pedro type. Large, skin is deep green, minutely spotted white, pulp strawberry red. Sweet, delicious fresh or dried. Commonly matures good fruit without caprification near the coast. Tree highly vigorous. Hardy, best adapted to to cool areas such as the Pacific Northwest.
Excel
Origin W.B. Storey, Riverside, 1975. Large, skin is yellow, flesh light amber. Fruits practically neckless, blocky. Very sweet. Excellent, all-purpose fig. Light breba crop. Similar to Kadota but more productive. Tree vigorous, even rank. Does well in most parts of California.
Flanders
Origin I.J. Condit, Riverside, 1965. Seedling of White Adriatic. Medium, long neck, skin is brownish yellow with violet stripes, flesh amber. Strong, fine flavor. Excellent all-purpose fruit. Good breba crop. Ripens late. Tree vigorous but requires no great pruning. For south coastal California, San Joaquin Valley.
Judy
Origin Leonard Jessen, Pasadena, 1986. Probable seedling of California Brown Turkey. Large and broad, fruit is brown to black, pulp pink.
Kadota (Dottato, Florentine, White Kadota)
Medium, skin is yellowish green, flesh amber, tinged pink at center. Flavor rich. Resists souring. Little or no breba crop. Tree upright, requires annual pruning to slow growth. Requires hot, dry climate for best quality.
Len
Origin Leonard Jessen, Pasadena, 1984. Seedling of Black Mission. Fruit smaller than Mission, black, pulp pink, quite sweet.
Osborn’s Prolific (Arachipel, Neveralla)
Medium to large, skin is dark reddish brown, flesh amber, often tinged pink. Very sweet, best fresh. Light breba crop. Tree upright, bare, will grow in shade. Ripens late. Only for north coast, Pacific Northwest. Poor in warm climates.
Panachee (Striped Tiger, Tiger)
Small to medium, skin is greenish yellow with dark green strips, flesh strawberry, dry but sweet. Best fresh. No breba crop. Requires long, warm growing season. Ripens late.
Tena
Origin W.B. Storey, Riverside, 1975. Small, skin is light green,flesh amber. Fine flavor. Good fresh or dried. Good breba crop. Bears heavily. Tree strong, dense. For coastal California and interior south.
Genoa (White Genoa)
Medium, skin is greenish yellow to white, flesh yellow-amber. Sweet, good fresh or dried. Light breba and main crops.Tree upright, requires constant annual pruning. Best adapted to cooler regions of the West. Very late in northern California, continuing to ripen even after first frosts.
Ventura
Large, skin is green, flesh deep red, long neck. Excellent flavor. Good fresh or dried. Good breba crop. Ripens late but matures well in cool areas. Compact tree.
Verte (Green Ischia)
Small, skin is greenish yellow, flesh strawberry. Excellent fresh or dried. Good breba crop. Small tree. Recommended for short-summer climates.

FURTHER READING

  • Condit. I. J. The Fig. Waltham, Mass., Chronica Botanica Co., 1947.
  • Condit, I. J. Fig Culture in California. Extension Service Circular 77, 1933.
  • Condit, I. J. Fig Varieties: A Monograph. Hilgardia 23:11 (Feb 1955).
  • Eisen, G. The Fig – Its History, Culture and Curing. U.S. Department of Agriculture Bulletin 9 . 1901.
  • Eisen, G. and F. S. Earle. Fig Culture. U.S. Department of Agriculture Bulletin 5, 1897.
  • Morton, Julia F. Fruits of Warm Climates. Creative Resources Systems, Inc. 1987. pp. 47-50.
  • Ortho Books. All About Citrus and Subtropical Fruits. Chevron Chemical Co. 1985. pp. 46-48.
  • Schurrie, H. The Fig. Timber Press Horticultural Reviews 12:409 (1990)
  • Starnes, H. N. The Fig in Georgia. Georgia Experiment Station Bulletin 61, 1903.
  • Starnes, H. N. and J. F, Monroe. The Fig in Georgia. (2nd Report). Georgia Experiment Station Bulletin 77.

See Index of CRFG Publications, 1969 – 1989 and annual indexes of Fruit Gardener for additional articles on the fig.


Here is the list of additional CRFG Fruit Facts.


© Copyright 1996, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Questions or comments? Contact us.

Jackfruit

JACKFRUIT

B/W sketch

Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.

Moraceae

Common Names: Jackfruit, Jakfruit, Jaca, Nangka.

Related Species: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), Breadnut (A. altilis ‘Seminifera’), Champedak (A. integer), Lakoocha (A. lakoocha), Marang (A. odoratissimus). Distant affinity: Figs (Ficus spp.), Mulberries (Morus spp.), African Breadfruit (Treculia african).

Origin: The jackfruit is believed indigenous to the rain forests of the Western Ghats of India. It spread early on to other parts of India, southeast Asia, the East Indies and ultimately the Philippines. It is often planted in central and eastern Africa and is fairly popular in Brazil and Surinam.

Adaptation: Jackfruit is adapted to humid tropical and near-tropical climates. Mature trees have survived temperatures of about 27° F in southern Florida, but these were frozen to large limbs. Young trees are likely to be killed at temperatures below 32° F. Unlike its relative, the breadfruit, the jackfruit is not injured by cool weather several degrees above freezing. There are only a dozen or so bearing jackfruit trees today in southern Florida, and these are valued mainly as curiosities. There are also several trees planted in the Asian exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. What they will do or how high they will grow remains a question. The tree is too large to make a suitable container-grown plant.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: The jackfruit tree is handsome and stately. In the tropics it grows to an enormous size, like a large eastern oak. In California it is very doubtful that it would ever approach this size. All parts contain a sticky, white latex.

Foliage: The leaves are oblong, oval, or elliptic in form, 4 to 6 inches in length, leathery, glossy, and deep green in color. Juvenile leaves are lobed.

Flowers: Male and female flowers are borne in separate flower-heads. Male flower-heads are on new wood among the leaves or above the female. They are swollen, oblong, from an inch to four inches long and up to an inch wide at the widest part. They are pale green at first, then darken. When mature the head is covered with yellow pollen that falls rapidly after flowering. The female heads appear on short, stout twigs that emerge from the trunk and large branches, or even from the soil-covered base of very old trees. They look like the male heads but without pollen, and soon begins to swell. The stalks of both male and female flower-heads are encircled by a small green ring.

Fruit: Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, reaching 80 pounds in weight and up to 36 inches long and 20 inches in diameter. The exterior of the compound fruit is green or yellow when ripe. The interior consists of large edible bulbs of yellow, banana-flavored flesh that encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed. The seed is 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick and is white and crisp within. There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit, which are viable for no more than three or four days. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.

There are two main varieties. In one, the fruits have small, fibrous, soft, mushy, but very sweet carpels with a texture somewhat akin to a raw oysters. The other variety is crisp and almost crunchy though not quite as sweet. This form is the more important commercially and is more palatable to western tastes.

CULTURE

Location: The jackfruit tree should have a well-drained, frost-free location that is sunny and warm.

Soil: The jackfruit flourishes in rich, deep soil of medium or open texture. Planting on top of an old compost heap would be ideal. The faster one can force a tropical plant to grow, the better the chance of keeping it alive. The tree needs the best drainage and cannot tolerate “wet feet”.

Irrigation: The tree will not tolerate drought. Water frequently during warm months and warm periods in cooler months. Less water is necessary during colder weather.

Fertilization: The jackfruit’s requirements are not known, but frequent, weak solutions of all-purpose fertilizer will speed the plant’s growth without causing burn. In the regions where it is commonly grown, it succeeds without much care from man, the sole necessity being abundant moisture.

Frost protection: Although mature jackfruit trees will take several degrees of frost, it is prudent to provide young plants with overhead protection if possible and plant them on the south side of a wall or building. Small plants should be given complete protection with a covering on cold nights and even a light bulb if possible.

Propagation:Propagation is usually by seeds, which can be kept no longer than a month before planting. Germination requires 3 to 8 weeks. The seedlings should be moved when no more than 4 leaves have appeared. A more advanced seedling, with its long and delicate tap root is very difficult to transplant successfully. Cutting-grown plants and grafted seedlings are possible. Air-layering is common in India.

Pruning: Little or no pruning is required other than to remove any dead branches from the interior of the tree, so that sufficient light is obtained for the developing fruit.

Pests and diseases: A variety of pests and diseases afflict the jackfruit tree and fruit regions where it is commonly grown. In California the white fly is a minor pest.

Harvest: Jackfruits mature 3 to 8 months from flowering. When mature, there is usually a change of fruit color from light green to yellow-brown. Spines, closely spaced, yield to moderate pressure, and there is a dull, hollow sound when the fruit is tapped. After ripening, they turn brown and deteriorate rather quickly. Cold storage trials indicate that ripe fruits can be kept for 3 to 6 weeks at 52° to 55° F and relative humidity of 85% to 95%. Immature fruit is boiled, fried, or roasted. Chunks are cooked in lightly salted water until tender and then served. The only handicap is copious gummy latex which accumulates on utensils and hands unless they are first rubbed with cooking oil. The seeds can also be boiled or roasted and eaten similar to chestnuts. In Southeast Asia dried slices of unripe jackfruit are sold in the markets. The ripe bulbs, fermented and then distilled, produce a potent liquor.

CULTIVARS

In Malaysia and India there are named types of fruit. One that has caused a lot of interest is Singapore, or Ceylon, a remarkable yearly bearer producing fruit in 18 months to 2-1/2 years from transplanting. The fruit is of medium size with small, fibrous carpels which are very sweet. It was introduced into India from Ceylon and planted extensively in 1949. Other excellent varieties are Safeda, Khaja, Bhusila, Bhadaiyan and Handia. In Australia, some of the varieties are: Galaxy, Fitzroy, Nahen, Cheenax, Kapa, Mutton, and Varikkha. None of these appear to be available in the US at this time.

FURTHER READING

  • Morton, Julia F. Fruits of Warm Climates. Creative Resources Systems, Inc. 1987. pp. 58-63.
  • Popenoe, Wilson. Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. Hafner Press. 1974. Facsimile of the 1920 edition. pp. 414-419
  • Tankard, Glenn. Tropical Fruit: an Australian Guide to Growing and Using Exotic Fruits. Viking O’Neil. 1987. pp. 52-53.

See Index of CRFG Publications, 1969 – 1989 and annual indexes of Fruit Gardener for additional articles on the jackfruit.


Here is the list of additional CRFG Fruit Facts.


© Copyright 1996, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Questions or comments? Contact us.