7 Most Unique Fruits You Should Grow
Although apples and peaches will always have a place in our homes, there are many other fruits that we can enjoy that are like secret gems. Not only does this list of the most unique fruits you should grow include those that are incredibly nutritious, but also those that have a distinct taste that you will get hooked on. Although for many Americans, this list will have some new fruits, for many around the world, including the Caucasus where I grew up, this list has familiar favorites. Enjoy this tour of the most unique fruits you should grow (according to us)!
1. Goji Berry
Gojis berries are not only spreading in popularity because of their incredible health benefits but also because they are easy to grow. You can use these sweet and tart berries that have hints of cranberry and cherry in scones, smoothies, or as dried snacks. Because not many stores sell the fruit, they are a great addition to a garden. Once these plants are established, they are drought resistant so they don’t require routine watering. Moreover they can be grown in full sun and shade and also in a range of soil types.
- Growing Zones: 5-9
- Height/Spread: 8-10′ height and 4-6′ spread
2. American Persimmon
The American persimmon tree (known as Diospyros virginiana) is native to eastern United States and not only decorates the landscape beautifully, but also produces tasty, rich, healthy fruit. The fruit matures late in the fall and can stay on the tree until winter. These light yellow-orange to dark red-orange fruit have a juicy, honey-like, zesty taste when they are ripe. However be careful because if you don’t eat them when they are ripe and juicy they will dry out your mouths! The fruits will continue to ripen even after you pluck them off the tree. Although these trees are slow-growing, they adapt well to poor soil conditions so are easier to grow.
- Growing Zones: 5-9 (although some say hardy to zone 4)
- Height/Spread: 50′ height and 20-25′ spread (can control the height and spread through pruning)
Quince fruits are the secret gems that you have the luck to stumble upon. They are very common in the Caucasus where they originated and have spread to Latin America. The consistency of the fruit is similar to an Asian pear. It has a sweet and crisp kick in its flavor. One of the most delicious ways to enjoy them is in jams since their texture becomes softer. In fact, you will wow most guests with their unique flavor when baking with them. Moreover, they are a rich, low calorie source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These trees aren’t hard to grow and they have an average lifespan of about 50 years.
- Growing Zones: 4-9 (depends on variety as well)
- Height/Spread: 12–15′ height and 9–12′ spread
4. Cornelian Cherry
Very well-known and popular in Eastern Europe and Asia, the Cornelian cherry dogwood tree is also rising in popularity in America. Not only does it have one of the easiest to grow fruits, but it also has very little pest and disease pressure. Additionally, they are one of the first trees to flower in the spring and produce beautiful yellow blossoms. Their fruits are best when made into preserves since they can be sour when eaten fresh.
- Growing Zones: 4-8
- Height/Spread: 20-25′ height and a 15-20′ spread
Mulberry trees are very popular trees not only for their delicious sweet flavored berries but also since they are fast growing and aesthetically beautiful. They provide lots of shade with their canopy and are very easy to grow. Because they produce an abundant quantity of berries, you can make mulberry jam if you can’t eat them all at once.
- Growing Zones: 5-9
- Height/Spread: 10–20′ height and 10-20′ spread
The Pawpaw tree is a medium sized tree native to the eastern United States and Canada. It not only decorates your landscape with purple flowers in the spring but also produces long sunny, zesty, tropical fruits. The fruits which are 3″-6″ long and yellowish green are perfect for eating fresh as well as making jam and jellies. Moreover, deer avoid eating them!
- Growing Zones: 5-9
- Height/Spread: 10–25′ height and 15– 20′ spread
7. Saskatoon Serviceberry
Native to North America, the Saskatoon serviceberry shrub produces delicious, healthy, berries and is a great addition to a landscape because of its beautiful white flowers in the spring and yellow/red foliage in the fall. The berries contain many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, in fact more so than blueberries. Moreover they provide food for birds and other animals. These berries are not only sweet but very juicy. Additionally they have an earthy flavor with a rich almond undertone.
- Growing Zones: 4-7
- Height/Spread: 8 – 20′ height and 4-20′ spread (can control with pruning)
Grow Unique Fruit Trees!
My dad inspires me with his love for trees and his conviction that growing them is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and the ecosystem. That’s why he started to provide all types of trees so everyone could enjoy trees accessibly and feel empowered with the knowledge to grow them. Feel free to discover some of these tasty fruits by growing them yourself!