Any fruit you don't want to grow?

RobThomasJanuary 23, 2014

The paw paw thread got me thinking about fruits I wouldn't want to grow. Paw paws being the main one. I've never eaten one, but the thought of a "custard like" texture is just repulsive to me. And the fact that I need utensils to eat it. I prefer to grow fruit that at most I might have to peel. I have been tempted to grow a couple just for the novelty of it, but just can't bring myself to do it, yet.

So, are there any fruits that you could grow, but just have no desire to do so? And why?

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A pawpaw has a very similar texture to a banana. It would also be similar to a cantaloupe in texture, although more like a banana in terms of being soft but not at all juicy. I might also think to compare the texture to a mango or avocado.

As far as utensils being necessary to pawpaws, there's no reason you couldn't just peel a pawpaw and eat it, spitting the seeds out. It's no worse than a watermelon, and a lot easier than a grapefruit or pomegranate.

If you try a good pawpaw, you might not like it, or you might not like it at first, but I think you'll find that you'll like or dislike pawpaws based simply on taste, especially if you try one that's selected for good taste, size, and pulp-to-seed ratio.

This post was edited by cousinfloyd on Thu, Jan 23, 14 at 14:06

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:40AM
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I wont/wouldn't grow ground cherries again. I wasn't too impressed with the flavor, to me they tasted like a mix between green peas and pineapple with a skunky after taste. I tired them over and over in the summer at many different levels of ripeness trying to see if my taste for them would change. I made ground cherry bread and ground cherry pie and still I didn't like them. My wife would make fun of me asking me why I kept trying them, I had such high hopes. It wasn't that they were that bad but every time I tried them my first impression was "these are weird tasting." So I will dedicate the space in my garden to something I really like.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:08PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I've grown service berries and didn't like them. I grew Regent. The fruit is seedy and just doesn't taste good to me. I've nothing against seedy fruit like blackberries, but I didn't like service berries. I have heard service berries make good pies and jam though.

I've tried wild service berries too. They also didn't taste good.

I like PawPaws. It's a very different tasting fruit, which is a nice mix to traditional fruits like pomes and prunus.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:18PM
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I've not eaten a Paw Paw but they are only second on my list of what I do not want to grow. First would be Medlar's. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:52PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

After trying a sample,Akebia vine for sure and to some extent,Seaberry,but what I had may have been too concentrated and my opinion may change.Oh yeah,Durian,if I could,I'd not. Brady

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:05PM
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I have eaten Paw Paws, therefore I DO want to grow them. I can't think of anything I reject so completely

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:32PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Maybe my "just say no to medlars" thread is still around here. They taste OK but its not worth the trouble for what you get. Che has been a waste, no fruit staying on in 10 years. It gets the axe this winter.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Well, maybe I should give paw paw a go after all. Seems like those of you who have tried them seem to like them. In the videos I've seen of people eating them it appears much softer than that of a banana (I love bananas btw, eat one every morning).

Any thoughts on gooseberries? I've gone back and forth on whether I really want to plant them or not. I think that even if I wanted to grow them, it may be just too hot here. I've also considered Che (I can get them locally), but I've read the threads here that discuss them being difficult to set fruit.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:50AM
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Had a fling with pawpaws. Don't really care if I never eat another. One is enough to last me for years...but, I've never eaten anything but local natives; maybe the named selections really are superior. If my surviving grafts ever fruit - and I'm able to beat the local critters to them, I might change my mind.

Beware the 'garden huckleberry', offered in many catalogs. A member of the nightshade family, those clusters of big blue-black berries look great - but even with boiling/leaching, you have to add grape juice, lemon juice and tons of sugar to do anything with them, and there's still this uncomfortable metallic aftertaste...
Supposedly, there are some strains/species that are edible and tasty right off the plant, but not the one I grew some years back (S.melanocerasum).

Zone 7 is pretty warm for gooseberries. You might get by with Pixwell or Glenndale, planted in a spot that gets midday to afternoon shade - but they're not premier, 'dessert' quality gooseberries.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:43AM
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I would wait until pawpaw season next year and order some before planting any trees. This past fail was the first time I tried them and I really liked the way they tasted. The fact that they are so different form other local fruits is a real bonus. They do have a very strong floral aroma and taste that some people don't like.
As for gooses berries they grow like weeds here and the temps routinely get over 100 in the summer, they like to be on an east facing wall or fence so they are spared from the afternoon sun. All of the gooseberries that I have tried are pretty sour even when ripe. When fully ripe my neighbors gooseberries taste a lot like a kiwi and would probably make excellent pies and jellies. I am growing a few desert varieties to see if I like them better for fresh eating.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 12:01PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I've got a bit over a dozen types of gooseberries and the best two (so far) have been Hinnomaki Yellow and Jeanne. Both are weak growing plants, so you can fit them practically anywhere. My largest HY is about 2'x2', after 4 years, while some Black Velvet I planted next to it at the same time is 4' tall and 5+' wide. Gooseberry propagate pretty well from cuttings, so you can expand your planting pretty easily if you like them.

Scott has had good experiences with Poorman. Mine has grown well, but I haven't been able to taste it yet, as something got to the berries before me (possibly the groundhog- hopefully I've taken care of that issue).

I've also heard of Glenndale doing better in warm climates. Mine is a bit younger and hasn't fruited yet. It does have pretty good sized thorns. My grandmother had a Pixwell, which I sampled while growing up. Though my mom has good memories of it (and actually had me get her one recently), I don't recall it being that tasty.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

I have 5 Pixwell gooseberry bushes and they taste sweet when their color turned dark marroon. You can make a very good jam or sauce with them. I love my Mango and Sunflower paw paws. They are very good if you pick them just right by a little give when you squeeze them. They will taste bad when the fruit turned dark brown to black. Vanilla ice cream and paw paw topping are excellent.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 1:48PM
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I was not impressed w/goji berries,so they left. While I enjoyed the flavor of jostaberries very much, they were such poor producers I couldn't justify keeping them either. I have several aronia and over a dozen elderberries that I will keep though they definitely require processing and a little creativity to use. At least I can freeze these and play around w/them in the winter.

I am curious about unusual plants, but I don't have high expectations for them. I figure there's a reason they're not that popular. However,if the tree/shrub is attractive, non invasive, or is suitable to wildlife, I will leave it--tho' I usually locate them to an area of my property that doesn't take away from main varieties. On the other hand, I have NO patience for regular fruits that fail to impress or are problematic. They get yanked very quickly.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 4:23PM
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Of the several trees of these I tried years ago, no fruit was appealing.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:29PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

My neighbors grow pineapple guava and strawberry guava. No one in the neighborhood cares for them. The just drop to the ground and rot because no one wants to eat them.

Tropical guavas, on the other hand, taste amazing in my opinion. Especially the ones that don't have the musky smell and flavor.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Send them to me econ.:)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:21PM
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Yeah, love pineapple guava, strawberry is good too.

I am getting rid of my autumn olive/goumi bushes. They taste okay but I have limited space in suburban yard and would rather something else there, like more citrus....

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:09PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

I can't speak for the native pawpaws by Lucky, but the ones that I've had in Pennsylvania don't come close to the quality of the named selections.

I have a feeling that a lot of the people that do not like pawpaw had a bitter or overripe one. They can get really nasty. This year I left some from my 'Mango' pawpaw tree in the fridge for a few weeks to see how they would hold up......blechh!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:19PM
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The pineapple guava mentioned above may have been of poor quality--I give mine away to over a dozen people every year, they are eagerly received.

I found paw paw to have a fetid aroma and a texture very similar to avacado--I wouldn't grow them.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:25PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

We have a hedge of strawberry guavas. I probably ate a couple last year. The pineapple guavas dad loved. Used to encourage people to eat the flowers even. I could live a long long time with out ever tasting one of them again.

Things I am still digging out and think I will never NOT be growing: White Zapote. A fruit that goes from unripe to rotten in the moments from when you pick it til you grab your spoon. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a tad. But think custard fruits falling from the sky. And rats LOVE them. And they spout like mad, grow like weeds and even being cut down for almost 10 years and being sprayed with RU still will not stop their quest for life. I cut the one I saved for shade (and because it was so big) to just stumps a bit over a year ago, it is about as big as it was to start with.

Thankfully the saw has solved much of my over abundance of persimmons...along with a poor choice of fig and a few loquats

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:28PM
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I don't like persimmons. I've had a few different varieties, Asian and fully ripe American ones, and I just don't enjoy the flavor. I don't like the flavor of black walnuts, either.

I do love gooseberries. Ripe gooseberries are as tasty as grapes. I have Black Velvet, Poorman, Hinnomaki Red and Hinnomaki Yellow. I've been told not to bother planting Pixwell.

Currants are not good fresh, IMO, though my son strips the white currant plant bare. They're tart and seedy. Red makes great jelly, though.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 5:14AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I'm wondering if the paw paw with the texture of an avocado could be used in some kind of a dip like guacamole. Of course, it would be a fruit dip, but we love our avocados here in Southern California.

So instead of lime, jalapeno, tomato, garlic, onion, and cilantro, maybe pawpaw mashed with orange, mint, sweet red pepper.... ?? I have no clue what a paw paw tastes like, but I do have an imagination! :-))

The only fruit that takes space that I'm not happy with, is pomegranates. Maybe I have a bad variety, but they look and taste awful, and they crack open, but they are not red. Nix on them!


    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 12:18PM
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flowerchild59(z6b IL)

I don't care if I ever taste a medlar, a jujube or a aronia. Blah taste, taking up real estate................never again.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 8:39PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Get a Honey Jar jujube and you might change your mind. They are much better than the standard varieties. Nearly all of the jujubes originally imported into the US were varieties meant to be dried and they make poor fresh eating. Shanxi Li is another recent import that is excellent fresh.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:20PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Scott, how does Honey Jar compare to Sugarcane? My Sugarcane hasn't fruited yet, but if you think Honey Jar is a clear step up, I should look more for that. When I got the SC two years ago, I wasn't able to find any places selling HJ.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:30AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Sugar Cane is also a fresh eating variety. Its more date-like in flavor, larger, and more dry fleshed than HJ. So its also a good one but I put it down a notch because the juiciness of HJ puts it in a league of its own to me. Shanxi Li is my #2, and Sugar Cane is my #3.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:38AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

'Currants are not good fresh'.... redcurrants need something sweet to contrast, fruitmaven, try this: make a shortbread dough with 8 oz flour, 2 egg yolks,2 oz caster sugar and 6 oz butter. Bake in a round. When it's cold spread very thin water icing over it and sprinkle with fresh redcurrants. I'm sure it will convert you!

Black currants are only tasty fresh when completely ripe and they too need something like yoghurt or cream to be really yummy.

Gooseberries need to be really ripe to eat fresh.

Red and black currants and gooseberries all make great pies, jams and puddings.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 2:06PM
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vining fruits are the least likely I want to grow because of the infrastructure involved, still haven't gotten anything built for my kiwis that are sprawling around

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:54PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Thanks Scott. I think I'll give Roger Meyers a try for both Honey Jar and Shanxi Li. He's the only place I see offering either one. While I'm at it, maybe I'll try grafting a few. On first glance, Yu, Ant Admire, Topeka, and Texas Tart look to be the most interesting from his list. I see you've grown Ant Admire- any thoughts on it?

When I was a kid, I liked red currants fresh. Now, they seem a bit tart, but are OK. I can't bring myself to swallow most of the black currants I've tried fresh(they are "spitters"), but they make my favorite jam. Properly ripened, the right kind of gooseberries are pretty tasty right off the bush.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:56PM
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The thing about trying to grow pawpaws is that it takes so little effort - just stick a couple trees in the ground in a partly shaded area and barring drought, check a few years later for fruit - that it's not a bad idea to grow your own to see if you might like them. If not you will still be left with some interesting ornamentals that grow in light conditions that most other fruit trees won't. The mail order fruit that can be obtained are just not fair examples of pawpaws, so I would not recommend judging the species on taste experiences with what are usually wild varieties picked too early and then often over ripened off tree.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 10:52PM
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I read your comments on serviceberry. Where I work, we grow and sell lots of them. I do sell Regent and find it is a nice ornamental plant with very large and juicy fruit. As far
as flavor, I do not like Regent either but leave it for the birds. Not sweet enough for me. My understanding was that it is a selection of A. alnifolia that was found somewhere in the Dakotas and introduced.

I find running serviceberry (A. stolonifera) and any of the
grandiflora types to be very sweet and great to eat fresh. The grandiflora types get awfully tall for any commercial picking but fortunately I have the luxury of picking off them
when only 5' or 6' tall in our growing fields for the ornamental trade.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

A. Grandiflora tastes somewhat like Apple to me.Spartan-apple,does your business have Northline or Smokey and if so,what is your opinion of them?I have both but are too young to fruit. Brady

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:37AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Thanks Spartan,

I didn't know Regent was sub-par. Someone else recently mentioned the same on another thread. Maybe the same thing with the wild ones I had (same type).

I'll keep an open mind and perhaps give one of the grandiflora types a try.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 2:23PM
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I'll second spartan's take on the serviceberries.
I've grown a number of the named alnifolia selections, including Regent, and they just didn't fare well here. I don't even bother trying to beat the birds to 'em. Have a couple of cheap, row-run Timm & Success seedlings that I paid $1 for 20 years ago, that are better.
But - also have some row-run grandiflora seedlings, purchased about the same time, that are great! Much larger berries, juicy, tasty. At 15 years, they're probably pushing 15 ft, so getting tough to pick without a ladder.
And, have access to an A.laevis tree in town - berries a little bit smaller than the grandifloras, but just as tasty.
Worth giving 'em another look...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:01PM
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sorry but we do not grow A. alnifolia where I work. I cannot comment on any alnifolias except Regent since we do carry it but do not grow it ourselves.

Just an FYI to everyone that running serviceberry only grows about 4' tall but suckers like crazy creating a solid stand of serviceberry. Great flavor to the fruit. This species
is hard to find and I do not know of anyone growing it commercially for fruit. Usually any commercial places I hear about grow one of the alnifolia types so popular on the
prairie states of Canada.

My favorite grandiflora types to eat are 'Cole Select' and 'Autumn Brilliance' although all the selections and even
plain grandiflora species are quite tasty.

A local lady came to the nursery I am at one year and asked if she could pick the serviceberry fruit on the young trees in the field. She made jelly and won a ribbon at the
local county fair with it. The local newspaper had a big article on it. She did this for several years.

I do plan to try my hand at serviceberry jelly if we have a good fruit crop this year. I have read that the seeds can be
poisonous if too many are ingested. Strange as I eat more than my share of serviceberry fruits when in season and never had an issue. I did find that eating too many fresh
had quite a laxative affect.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:28AM
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So far as I know, the seeds of all the Rosaceae contain some cyanide. You'd have to eat a LOT of them, and chew up the seeds to release it, to experience a problem.
I'd challenge anyone to eat enough serviceberry seeds to kill 'em...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 10:43AM
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"Any fruit you don't want to grow?"

Yes, I do not want to grow durian fruit. :)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:34PM
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