Fruit trees are of special interest: we are not only talking about plants that can be of great use to us, for example in a garden or on a patio thanks to the shade they provide, but also produce fruits suitable for consumption. And the best thing is that there is a wide variety of species, so many that since you probably do not know those that originate from tropical regions, we will talk about them below.
And it is that tropical fruit trees are still very little known in the West. We know that there is mango, avocado... but very few others. The reality is that there are many, so here you have a selection of the most interesting.
Table of Contents
Avocado (Persea americana)
El avocado or avocado is a tree that grows wild in Mesoamerica. It can reach 20 meters in height with a trunk about 40 centimeters thick. The leaves are green, about 20 centimeters long, and have the main vein visible. It is a species that has bisexual flowers, but they open at different times of the day, so cross-pollination is necessary so that the fruits can form.
Its fruit is a berry that, depending on the variety, can be oval or pear-shaped.. It measures about 15 centimeters long by 10 centimeters wide, and has a rough skin which is easy to remove.
The pulp or meat is yellowish, and suitable for consumption. Usually, It is usually used as if it were a vegetable., because its flavor is quite reminiscent of hazelnuts, so it can be a bit bitter if consumed as a fruit. In fact, I prefer to chop it up and add it to a salad: it's very good that way. For the rest, it supports the cold, but if there are frosts in your area, you must protect it.
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)
El breadfruit tree It is native to Southeast Asia and Polynesia. It measures a maximum of 20 meters in height, but in cultivation it usually stays smaller, around 10 meters. The leaves are glossy dark green, ovate, and large.
A curious fact about this species is that, although it produces male flowers first and female ones later, pollination is not necessary for the fruit to form (but it is so that it has seeds). This fruit is rounded and weighs about 1kg, but can reach 6kg.
It is usually consumed when it is still green, since if it is very ripe it hardly has any flavor. They can be roasted, roasted or boiled. It does not resist frost.
Custard apple (annona cherimola)
The cherimoya tree or custard apple It is originally from South America. It grows to a height of 8 meters, and develops a leafy crown. The flowers are hermaphrodite, variegated yellow, and produce compound, rounded fruits with greenish skin.. The pulp is white, somewhat juicy, and contains black seeds of about 1 centimeter. Its taste is sweet.
It is a plant capable of withstanding weak frosts, down to -3ºC, as long as they are short-lived.
Guava (Psidium guava)
La guava or guava is a rather small tree, which rarely reaches 10 meters in height. The trunk is not one of those that thickens too much either; in fact, it does not exceed 60 centimeters in diameter. But yes, you have to keep in mind that this one tends to twist. The leaves are green and elliptical in shape, and they also smell very good.
Its flowers measure about 2 centimeters, and the fruit they produce are berries about 7 centimeters in diameter. These have a slightly acidic but very pleasant taste. It is not recommended to grow outdoors in cold climates, but it can resist some slight frosts (down to -3ºC) and occasionally if it is sheltered.
Longan (Dimocarpus longan)
Called longan, longuián or even dragon eye, it is a tropical fruit tree native to southern China as well as Indonesia. It reaches a height of 7 meters, and has elliptical, green leaves. The fruit is round and contains a single seed which measures about a centimeter in diameter.
It is consumed fresh, but it is normally used as an ingredient in some recipes, such as soups or breakfasts. The tree withstands the cold well, but it is not recommended to have it outside if there is frost.
Handle (Mangifera indicates)
El mango it is one of the few tropical fruit trees that we know more about. This is so because it is possible to grow it in the warmer regions of the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands. Plus, It is a plant with a high ornamental value, and with a great capacity to produce many fruits., which have a sweet taste.
Although in its place of origin -India and Indochina- it can reach 40 meters in height, when cultivated it is rare for it to exceed 15 meters. Also, you should know that it produces numerous clusters of cream-colored flowers, which will later produce fruit. This usually has greenish or reddish skin, and yellowish or orange pulp, which can be eaten fresh. Does not resist frost.
Mangosteen (garcinia mangostana)
El mangosteen or mangosteen is a tropical fruit tree native to Southeast Asia. It reaches a height of 6 to 20 meters, and develops a rounded canopy populated with dense foliage, thus providing cool shade. The fruit is rounded, with purple skin and whitish pulp.. The latter has a bittersweet taste, and can be consumed fresh, although soft drinks are also made. By the way, if you ever go to a Thai restaurant, I recommend ordering one of this fruit: it's delicious.
The downside is that being tropical, its resistance to cold is null. It can only be kept outdoors in climates where the temperature does not drop below 15ºC.
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
El pecan or pecan is a deciduous tree that is believed to be native to the southeastern United States. It reaches 40 meters in height, and has odd pinnate green leaves. The flowers gather in hanging inflorescences, and once pollinated they produce the fruit: the nut.
It can be consumed freshly picked from the plant, or as an ingredient in a recipe, be it ice cream, bread, vegetables, or pastry desserts. Withstands frosts down to -12ºC.
The tree of pawpaw or Florida cherimoya as it is also called, is a tree native to the eastern United States. It has large leaves, up to 30 centimeters long, and does not exceed 6 meters in height.
Its flowers are dark red, very compact, and once they are pollinated they produce fruits whose skin can be easily separated.. The meat or pulp is creamy, and has a somewhat sweet flavor. It is important that you remove the seeds before consuming it, as they are poisonous.
Despite its tropical appearance, it is able to withstand frosts down to -18ºC.
white sapote (Casimiroa edulis)
El white sapote It is a tree native to Central America that reaches a height of 3 to 10 meters. It has a wide crown, populated with numerous compound leaves. The flowers are hermaphrodite, greenish yellow, and once they are pollinated, the fruit ripens, which is a drupe about 10 centimeters wide.. The pulp is white, with a sweet taste, and usually contains about 5 seeds.
Although it is a tropical plant, it has adapted to live in a wide variety of climates. In fact, supports very well frosts down to -4ºC.
Do you know other tropical fruit trees that we have not named?