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Common Name: Caimito, Star Apple
Botanical name: Chrysophyllum cainito
Family: Sapotaceae
Origin: West Indies
Avg. Height X Width: 25' X 25'
Varieties: Purple and Green
Season: February-May
Damage temp: 28-30 F
Comments: This beautiful shade tree has glossy dark green leaves with a silky bronze color underneath. Caimito is a favorite in the Caribbean and Central America as well as Southeast Asia. The fruit has a mild grape-like flavor, and is best eaten fresh. Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Canistel, Eggfruit
Botanical name: Pouteria campechiana
Family: Sapotaceae
Origin: Central America
Avg. Height X Width: 25' x 25'
Varieties: Bruce, Ross Sapote
Season: September - March (May fruit twice a year)
Damage temp: 28-30 F

Comments: The Canistel is a large, open, evergreen tree that has dark green leaves up to twelve inches long clustered at the tips of the branches. The fruit has an orange to yellow thin skin, and the pulp is dry like a hard boiled egg yolk. They are commonly eaten fresh, used in cooking, pies, and they are excellent in ice cream. In milk shakes they taste like eggnog. They are very similar in taste to the Lucuma from Andean countries.Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Carambola, Starfruit, Five-finger
Botanical name: Averrhoa carambola
Family: Oxalidaceae
Origin: Southeast Asia
Avg. Height X Width: 12' x 12'
Varieties: Arkin, Fwang Tung, Kari, Sri Kembangan
Season: August - March
Damage temp: 26-28 F

Comments: Carambola are small symetrical trees that fruit very prolifically. They are commonly eaten fresh, in salads, as garnishes and in drinks. The fruit have a sweet citrus like flavor that is both delicious and refreshing.

Common name: Cashew nut, Cashew Apple
Botanical name: Anacardium occidentale
Family: Anacardiaceae
Origin: Northeast Brazil
Avg. Height X Width: 12' x 15'
Season: Spring, Summer
Damage temp: 30-32 F

Comments: The actual fruit is the nut, the "apple" is a swollen stem. Cashew "apple" is eaten fresh, candied, or stewed. They have a sweet & astringent taste, and are somewhat chewy. The nut itself is caustic until roasted, and they should be roasted outside because the fumes can be irritating. They are very fast growing under favorable conditions, and they can fruit in just two years. The plants tolerate very poor soil and drought, but they are very cold sensitive. Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Cherry of the Rio Grande
Botanical name: Eugenia aggregata
Family: Myrtaceae
Origin: Brazil
Avg. Height X Width: 12' X 8'
Season: April- May
Damage temp: 27 F

Comments: This delicious cherry is typically 1-2 inches long and oval in shape. When ripe they are deep purple to black and have a full cherry-like flavor. The trees can be grown in large pots, hedged, or used as a specimen.
Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Cinnamon
Botanical name: Cinnamomun zeylanicum
Family: Lauraceae
Origin: Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Avg. Height X Width: 12' x 15'
Damage temp: 30-32 F

Comments: Cinnamon is an evergreen shrub or small tree with dark, leathery, aromatic leaves. In cultivation young trees are cut back twice a year and sucker shoots develop from the roots. These long slender shoots furnish the bark that is the commercial product. The leaves are used in tea. Cinnamon is a very popular culinary spice and it is also used in candy, gum, incense, toothpaste and perfumes. The oil is used in medicine as a carminative, antiseptic, astringent and as the source of cinnamon extract. Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Chocolate tree, Cacao
Botanical name: Theobroma cacao
Origin: Tropical America
Avg. Height X Width: 15' X 15'
Varieties: Red and Yellow
Season: October-January
Damage temp: 32 F

Comments: This beautiful tree has large dark green leaves that shade the fruit pods which grow directly from the trunk and branches. The flesh is eaten as a dessert, and the seeds are the raw material of commercial chocolate. Hot chocolate can be made by drying the seeds, roasting, grinding, and adding milk. Chocolate "beans" were used as money by the Maya Indians of Central America. The red pods are typically larger and have more abundant flesh. iImage: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Coffee
Botanical name: Coffea arabica, C. robusta
Family: Rubiaceae
Origin: Ethiopia
Avg. Height X Width: 6' X 4'
Season: Winter
Damage temp: 28-30 F

Comments: Coffee plants have small white, fragrant, star-shaped flowers that are clustered in the leaf axils. They resemble gardenias to which they are related. The edible fruits are small fleshy berries changing in color from green to yellow to red. Two greenish-gray seeds are covered with a thin membrane and are enclosed in a dry husk-like parchment. When only one seed develops it is known as a pea-berry and commands a higher price. The seeds can easily be dried, roasted and ground at home.Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Red Custard Apple
Botanical name: Annona reticulata
Family: Annonaceae
Origin: West Indies to Central America & South Mexico
Avg. Height X Width: 20' X 15'
Season: Late Winter to Spring
Damage temp: 28-30 F

Comments: The red custard apple is a very close relative to the sugar apple and atemoya. They have a thick creamy custard-like pulp that can be pink, red or white. The fruit have a pleasant flavor and aroma, and they are best eaten out of hand or in ice cream. Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Dragon Fruit, Pitaya, Pitahaya
Botanical name: Hylocereus sp.
Family: Cactaceae
Origin: Central America
Varieties: See PIN Dragon Fruit Viewer - Click Here
Season: year round according to variety
Damage temp: 27 F

Comments: This climbing cactus is one of the most beautiful and wide spread members of the Cactaceae family. The magnificent night blooming white flowers can be up to14 inches in diameter. The fruit is most often eaten chilled and cut in half so the flesh may be spooned out. The juice is used in frozen drinks and it is in a new Tropicana Twister flavor. The red fruit are high in lycopene which is a natural antioxidant that is known to fight cancer and heart disease. Image: © Ian Maguire

Common name: Fig
Botanical name: Ficus carica
Family: Moraceae
Origin: Western Asia
Avg. Height X Width: 10’ X 10’
Varieties: Black Mission, Brown Turkey, and Texas Blue Giant
Season: Spring and Winter
Damage temp: 10-20 F

Comments: With a history that dates back to 5,000 B.C. the edible fig is one of the most widely recognized and distributed fruits in the world. They were first introduced to the New World through Mexico in 1560 and then to California in 1769. It is one of the few fruits that can be grown in all fifty states, and there are a multitude of varieties suitable to each growing region. The Black Mission and especially the Brown Turkey variety are the two best for tropical and subtropical climates. Image: © Ian Maguire

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