Zone 6 to 9 edible fruiting plants

george_23December 31, 2006

I have 10 acres and have over 100 varities of edible fruiting plants (zone 7 / 8). I do it as a hobby, actually a passion. I am always looking for new types of plants. I don't mean new varities of for example apples, but new types of plants. I will list some of the ones I grow and if anyone knows of rare plants I may not have please let me know. I have various cold hardy citrus, apple, grapes, kiwi, persimmon, peach, plum, netarine, appriot, and various crosses of the last 4, pawpaw, various jujubees, che, osage orange, cross between osage orange and che, Hawiian guava (fejoa?), quince, pears, ogche lime (tupola fruit), high bush cranberry, blackberry, blue berry, rasberry, huckleberry, various palms, fig, arbutis uneto, shipora, cherry, mayhaw, other haws, fargesi?, akeba, medlar, raison tree, toona, aronia, mulberry, ebony, goumi, polmagranite, numerious nut trees, vines and etc.

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marbles_n_the_garden(DownEast Maine, Zone 5)

Hi George,
Wow! What a great list of plants! I am into edible landscaping, but I do not have as much as you have. I am collecting Rubus (raspberry family) plants at present. I have raspberry, black-caps, purple-flowering raspberry, and I got seeds for thimbleberry and cloudberry. The last 2 were not easy to get. I also want dewberry, wineberry, and a few others from that group.

I have some honeyberry--which were pricey, I thought. I am hoping those go well. I have several kinds of blueberry. Last year I bought an Aronia. This fall, I discovered we have Autumn Olive bushes here (not related to the olive). They are very prolific and you get berries in October. I have a few cranberry plants, but need more to do a "mini-bog" in my yard. We also have a mulberry tree, and a cherry that hasn't borne fruit, but I haven't sprayed because I am organic. We have lived here almost 4 years.

There are so many other edibles I'd like to get! You have a number of them on your list. I am also trying to start seed for persimmon and pawpaw. Last year, I purchased kiwi.

I have the following growing in pots and will plant in the coming year: sea buckthorn, table grapes, strawberries (both reg. and alpine).

You do not have trade lists or an e-mail listed. Maybe we could swap a plant or two in the spring.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Oh wow, you both have high bush cranberries? Would you mind talking about them a little more? This is something I'd really like to grow.

I have blueberries blackberries and 3 different raspberries but they are all nameless. I've tried and given up on several kinds of apples cherries peaches and plums. (Too hard to grow without spraying here.) I'm left with three pears, Bartlet and two Asian, Hosui and Shenseiki, two giant, brown turkey figs, and three oriental persimmons, ichi and two different fuyus. I also grow some flowers such as jerusalem artichoke and saffron crocus.

I'm hoping to try tea camellias, hardy kiwis, and high bush cranberries. If anyone has grown or tried to grow these plants, could you share your stories?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 1:01PM
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Great list George, thanks for the inspiration. I would love to hear which are successes and which have been less so. By the way, did you notice a carlospain was looking for che seeds and I notice you have a che on your list.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 3:44AM
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We grew highbush cranberries in a hedge and didn't much care for the taste- bitter, sour, nasty. The plant grows very fast and is pretty with flowers and fruit so it does make for a nice mixed hedge plant.

We're in zone 6/7 (locations in MD and S. VA), the tea plants didn't survive the winters for us.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 3:09PM
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Kurtg thank you, I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Was the taste of your cranberries more bitter and sour than the ones you buy in the grocery store around Thanksgiving then? How did the size compare?

Where did you get your tea camellias? Camellia Forest near Chapel Hill has several varieties. Some listed as only hardy to 7b, some to 7a, and some to 6b. How long were yours in place before you lost them? Sorry to pepper you with so many questions but you're the only person I've heard from who has actual experience.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 11:52AM
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George - what a passion! I envy your list. In my tiny backyard 85' x 33' I have apples, pears, a peach, an apricot - if it fruited I am supposed to be able to eat the stone, blueberries, Serviceberry, a plum that lost it's pollinating mate, raspberries - red, black and gold - and I have to say - try the gold they are much like Heritage - a double cropper and are sweeter and less tart than the reds, and a few strawberries... glad to know others are planting more than just txus and rhodies in the landscape!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 12:35PM
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Wow! You probably know of this shrub already. It is one I have been looking to buy. The common name is the blue bean shrub, or Decaisnea fargesii. The beans are supposed to taste somewhat like watermelon.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 10:41PM
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I may have some elderberry seeds this summer. Will let you know in the trading forum. i got to keep the birds off them.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 4:05PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I see by your zip that you are in Texas. For some unusual trees, you might want to check out Rivers End Nursery which is located in the Valley.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 9:02AM
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Hi George, I was wondering if you happen to save seeds from the varieties of plants you grow. Prehaps we could do a trade?

Contact me if you like at

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 3:48PM
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natal plum, hip-setting roses, elderberry, two more fejoas, strawberry guava and pineapple guava, bamboo for shoots,and poke for the very courageous. i edible landscaped my yard years ago at 6 points in Corpus Christi. the natal plum and guavas, especially, make good hedges.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:07PM
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Try Arbequina Olive tree. We started ours last year and it's doubled in size and suppose to withstand cold down to 15 degrees. It's fun to tell people we're growing our own black olives, although we won't get fruit for at least another year. We got our olive tree from Stark Bros. Also, we're growing our meyers lemon outside this year, so we'll see if it makes it. Nice list, jealous of the yard space, we only have a 50' x 100' area in our backyard to grow, so it's only dwarfs for us.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 10:42AM
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Try Loquat! Yummmm...

I have my best luck with figs and citrus.

Vicky's blog!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 5:57PM
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Loquat will live in zones 8 and 9, but it has to be a very mild winter to get fruit. We get a ton of fruit off our tree, but only maybe once every 5 years or so. If the winter temps go below I think 27, the tree won't fruit.

Did anyone mention strawberry tree?

I'm interested in growing coffee in the landscaping, but I haven't found a variety that can make it in my zone.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:05PM
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George, how is the flavor of your paw paw? Where did you get it? Is it a named variety?

I would like to try paw paw, because it is such an attractive but relatively small tree.

You didn't mention gooseberries, one of my very favorite fruits. I have several types in my garden, and they make very good cover for birds and animals--I only rarely get fruit, though: I think the sparrows eat the flowers.

Gooseberries are usually thorny and, left unpruned, make an attractive arching shrub after a few years. I may get some next year, as I just pruned several of mine (they will sucker at the tip of their branches) and am considering using netting over a few of the smaller ones next spring. They do not demand too much sunlight, and are happily developing into an enormous shrub on the North side of my house, right up against the wall, as well as next to the mulch pile under the shade of a large male mulberry tree and some young redbuds (the squirrels seem to eat the redbud seeds, because the pods always disappear). I have Pixwell; one with the word "black" in it; and a couple of varieties that I think are Japanese. The Japanese varieties are in a very dry, shady location next to some evergreens and have not thrived like the other two varieties I have. Supposedly they all like acid soil, though. They make a good protective border plant to keep people from walking over your more fragile plants, and can be a good groundcover, too--but they do gradually spread if allowed to do so.

Also, what about the various nut varieties? Hazelnuts are supposed to make a tall shrub or small tree, and Chinese chestnut trees are not supposed to get too large....

I second the recommendation of serviceberry. I planted several without realizing how much the birds love them. I like them, too, but the birds will get most of them. I actually bent a young one over a garden archway to keep it
away from electrical wires, and it has done better than the other two, growing more side branches and producing more fruit. I haven't tried pruning the side branches yet, but suspect that might cause it to produce even more. The ones I have make the dark black berries and they look and taste somewhat similar to blueberries.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 4:23AM
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Strawberries if they aren't too small for you. The less commercial varieties like capron musk and alpine. Monstera deliciosa might work in a protected location. And a black oak's acorns are supposed to have the only acorns that don't need leaching to make them palatable, delicious right off the tree. Mesquite, carob, prickly pear (some are quite tasty, even non-cultivars).
Hope this helps, in return if you had access to screw bean mesquite seeds I'd appreciate either information on where I could also get them or a couple seeds would be ever better!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 1:56PM
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