Plant Catalog

Plant Catalog Index

Plant Catalog

Pomegranate

An attractive shrub or small tree, to 20 or 30 ft (6 or 10 m) high, the pomegranate is much-branched, more or less spiny, and extremely long-lived, some specimens at Versailles known to have survived two centuries. It has a strong tendency to sucker from the base. The leaves are evergreen or deciduous, opposite or in whorls of 5 or 6, short-stemmed, oblong-lanceolate, 3/8 to 4 in (1-10 cm) long, leathery. Showy flowers are home on the branch tips singly or as many as 5 in a cluster. They are 1 1/4 in (3 cm) wide and characterized by the thick, tubular, red calyx having 5 to 8 fleshy, pointed sepals forming a vase from which emerge the 3 to 7 crinkled, red, white or variegated petals enclosing the numerous stamens. Nearly round, but crowned at the base by the prominent calyx, the fruit, 2 1/2 to 5 in (6.25-12.5 cm) wide, has a tough, leathery skin or rind, basically yellow more or less overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red. The interior is separated by membranous walls and white spongy tissue (rag) into compartments packed with transparent sacs filled with tart, flavorful, fleshy, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp (technically the aril). In each sac, there is one white or red, angular, soft or hard seed. The seeds represent about 52% of the weight of the whole fruit.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
1,987
Plant Catalog
Guava

General Crop Information

Neal (1965) describes the guava tree as a low evergreen tree or shrub 6 to 25 feet high, with wide spreading branches and downy twigs. The branches are very strong and highly tolerant to high winds. The leaves are oblong or oval and blunt, 3 to 6 inches long, and feather-veined. The flowers are an inch or more across, the calyx bell-shaped and splitting irregularly, the four to six petals are white, and the stamens are white with yellow anthers (Neal, 1965). The fruit is yellow and lemon-shaped. Some fruits may be brownish yellow. The inside of the fruit has pink or cream-colored pulp and small hard seeds.

G. T. Shigeura
R. M. Bullock
Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa
Plant Catalog
Barbados Cherry

 
The Barbados cherry is a large, bushy shrub or small tree attaining up to 20 ft (6 m) in height and an equal breadth; with more or less erect or spreading and drooping, minutely hairy branches, and a short trunk to 4 in (10 cm) in diameter. Its evergreen leaves are elliptic, oblong, obovate, or narrowly oblanceolate, somewhat wavy, 3/4 to 2 3/4 in (2-7 cm) long, 3/8 to 1 5/8 in (9.5-40 mm) wide, obtuse or rounded at the apex, acute or cuneate at the base; bearing white, silky, irritating hairs when very young; hairless, dark green, and glossy when mature. The flowers, in sessile or short-peduncled cymes, have 5 pink or lavender, spoon-shaped, fringed petals. The fruits, borne singly or in 2's or 3's in the leaf axils, are oblate to round, cherry-like but more or less obviously 3-lobed; 1/2 to 1 in (1.25-2.5 cm) wide; bright-red, with thin, glossy skin and orange-colored, very juicy, acid to subacid, pulp. The 3 small, rounded seeds each have 2 large and 1 small fluted wings, thus forming what are generally conceived to be 3 triangular, yellowish, leathery-coated, corrugated inedible "stones".

Julia F. Morton
Fruits of warm climates
1,987
Plant Catalog
Barbados Cherry

Tree:

The Barbados cherry is a large, densely branched shrub or a small tree if pruned to form a central trunk. It varies in shape from a low and spreading habit to a more upright and open habit. It has slender branches with shiny light to deep green leaves which vary in size from 1 to 3 inches and in shape from ovate to obovate.

Flower:

The small, attractive flowers range in color from pale pink to rose. They usually appear in April in southern Florida and flowering continues throughout the summer.

Fruit:

The soft, juicy, thin-skinned fruit are light to deep crimson when mature. They average about an inch in diameter but vary from one-half to more than an inch. The three-lobed fruit are borne in leaf axils, singly or in clusters of 2 or 3. The flesh is yellow-orange and very high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Vitamin C content ranges from 1000 to 2000 mg per 100 gm in the edible portion of fully ripe fruit and may be as high as 4500 mg per 100 gm in partially ripe fruit. A single fruit of some selections could supply the daily adult requirement of vitamin C. The fruit from most seedlings is rather tart but from some it is sub-acid to almost sweet. The more acid fruit has the higher vitamin C content. The tree may have 3 to 5 crops per year, May to November, with the largest crops during the summer. However, this can vary with climatic conditions.

R. L. Phillips
University of Florida, IFAS Extension
2,005
Plant Catalog
Naranjilla

 
The naranjilla plant is a spreading, herbaceous shrub to 8 ft (2.5 m) high with thick stems that become somewhat woody with age; spiny in the wild, spineless in cultivated plants. The alternate leaves are oblong-ovate, to 2 ft (60 cm) long and 18 in (45 cm) wide, soft and woolly. There may be few or many spines on petioles, midrib and lateral veins, above and below, or the leaves may be completely spineless. Young leaves, young stems and petioles are coated with richly purple stellate hairs. Hairs on other parts may appear simple. Borne in short axillary clusters of as many as 10, the fragrant flowers, about 1 1/5 in (3 cm) wide, have 5 petals, white on the upper surface, purple hairy beneath, and 5 prominent yellow stamens. The unopened buds are likewise covered with purple hairs. A brown, hairy coat protects the fruit until it is fully ripe, when the hairs can be easily rubbed off, showing the bright-orange, smooth, leathery, fairly thick peel. The fruit, crowned with the persistent, 5-pointed calyx, is round or round-ovate, to 2 1/2 in (6.25 cm) across and contains 4 compartments separated by membranous partitions and filled with translucent green or yellowish, very juicy, slightly acid to acid, pulp of delicious flavor which has been likened to pineapple-and-lemon. There are numerous pale-buff seeds, thin, flat, hard and 1/8 in (3 mm) in diameter.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
1,987
Plant Catalog
Banana Passionfruit

 
The vine is a vigorous climber to 20 or 23 ft (6-7 m), its nearly cylindrical stems densely coated with yellow hairs. Its deeply 3-lobed leaves, 3 to 4 in (7.5-10 cm) long and 2 3/8 to 4 3/4 in (6-12 cm) wide, are finely toothed and downy above, grayish-or yellowish-velvety beneath. The stipules are short, slender and curved. The attractive blossom has a tube 3 to 4 in (7.5-10 cm) long, gray-green, frequently blushed with red, rarely downy; corolla with 5 oblong sepals and deep-pink petals flaring to a width of 2 to 3 in (5-7.5 cm); and a rippled, tuberculated, purple corona. The fruit is oblong or oblong-ovoid, 2 to 4 3/4 in (5-12 cm) long, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 in (3.2-4 cm) wide. The rind is thick, leathery, whitish-yellow or, in one form, dark-green, and minutely downy. Very aromatic pulp (arils), salmon-colored, subacid to acid and rich in flavor, surrounds the small, black, flat, elliptic, reticulated seeds.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
1,987
Plant Catalog
Surinam Cherry

 
The shrub or tree, to 25 ft (7.5 m) high, has slender, spreading branches and resinously aromatic foliage. The opposite leaves, bronze when young, are deep-green and glossy when mature; turn red in cold, dry winter weather. They are ovate to ovate-lanceolate, blunt- to sharp-pointed, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 in (4-6.25 cm) long. Long-stalked flowers, borne singly or as many as 4 together in the leaf axils, have 4 delicate, recurved, white petals and a tuft of 50 to 60 prominent white stamens with pale-yellow anthers. The 7- to 8-ribbed fruit, oblate, 3/4 to 1 1/2 in (2-4 cm) wide, turns from green to orange as it develops and, when mature, bright-red to deep-scarlet or dark, purplish maroon ("black") when fully ripe. The skin is thin, the flesh orange-red, melting and very juicy; acid to sweet, with a touch of resin and slight bitterness. There may be 1 fairly large, round seed or 2 or 3 smaller seeds each with a flattened side, more or less attached to the flesh by a few slender fibers.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
1,987
Plant Catalog
Pejibaye

The palm is erect, with a single slender stem or, more often, several stems to 8 in (20 cm) thick, in a cluster; generally armed with stiff, black spines in circular rows from the base to the summit. There are occasional specimens with only a few spines. The pejibaye attains a height of 65 to 100 ft (20 30 m) and usually produces suckers freely. The leaves, with short, spiny petioles, are pinnate, about 8 to 12 ft (2.4-3.6 m) long, with many linear, pointed leaflets to 2 ft (60 cm) long and 1 1/4 in (3.2 cm) wide; dark green above, pale beneath, spiny on the veins. The inflorescence, at first enclosed in a spiny spathe, is composed of slender racemes 8 to 12 in (20-30 cm) long on which the yellowish male and female flowers are mingled except for the terminal few inches where there are only male flowers.

The fruit, hanging in clusters of 50 to 100 or sometimes as many as 300, weighing 25 lbs (11 kg) or more, is yellow to orange or scarlet, yellow-and-red, or brownish at first, turning purple when fully ripe. It is ovoid, oblate, cylindrical or conical, 1 to 2 in (2.5-5 cm) long, cupped at the base by a green, leathery, 3-pointed calyx. A single stem may bear 5 or 6 clusters at a time. The skin is thin, the flesh yellow to light-orange, sweet, occasionally with a trace of bitterness, dry and mealy. Some fruits are seedless. Normally there is a single conical seed 3/4 in (2 cm) long, with a hard, thin shell and a white, oily, coconut-flavored kernel. Rarely one finds 2 fused seeds.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
1,987
Plant Catalog
Grumichama

The highly ornamental tree is slender, erect, usually to 25 or 35 ft (7.5-10.5 m) high, short-trunked and heavily foliaged with opposite, oblong-oval leaves 3 1/2 to 5 in (9-16 cm) long, 2 3/8 in (5-6 cm) wide, with recurved margin; glossy, thick, leathery, and minutely pitted on both surfaces. They persist for 2 years. New shoots are rosy. The flowers, borne singly in the leaf axils, are 1 in (2.5 cm) wide; have 4 green sepals and 4 white petals, and about 100 white stamens with pale-yellow anthers. The long-stalked fruit is oblate, 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) wide; turns from green to bright-red and finally dark-purple to nearly black as it ripens, and bears the persistent, purple- or red-tinted sepals, to 1/2 in (1.25 cm) long, at its apex. The skin is thin, firm and exudes dark-red juice. The red or white pulp is juicy and tastes much like a true subacid or sweet cherry except for a touch of aromatic resin. There may be 1 more or less round, or 2 to 3 hemispherical, hard, light-tan or greenish-gray seeds to 1/2 in (1.25 cm) wide and half as thick.

Julia F. Morton
Purdue University
1,987
Plant Catalog
Babaco

 
Carica pentagona Heilborn
Common Names:Babaco, Mountain Papaya.
Related Species: Papayuelo (Carica goudotiana) Orange Papaya (C. monoica), Papaya (C. papaya), Toronchi (C. pubescens), Chamburro (C. stipulata). Hybrids of Babaco and other Carica spp. also exist.
Distant Affinity: Papaya Orejona (Jacartia mexicana), Mamao (J. spinosa).
Origin: The babaco is presumed to have originated in the central south highlands of Ecuador and is believed to be a naturally occurring hybrid of Carica stipulata and C. pubescens. It has been cultivated in Ecuador since before the arrival of Europeans. In more recent times the babaco was introduced into New Zealand where it is grown commercially. In Israel and other parts of the Middle Eastern the plant is also being grown commercially in greenhouses. Steve Spangler is credited with introducing the babaco to southern California in the 1970's.
Adaptation: The babaco thrives in a cool subtropical climate, free of frost. In California it grows in coastal areas of the southern part of the state and with some protection as far north as the San Francisco Bay area. With some shade it will grow in the warmer interior regions, but high temperatues and low humidity may result in sunburned fruit and immature fruit drop. The babaco is much more tolerant of cool, damp winters than the papaya. It will withstand temperatures to about 28° F, although it may lose most of its leaves. The babaco is ideally suited to container culture and also excellent for greenhouses.

California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
Plant Catalog