They are also known as "melonberries" for their flavor. They are related to mulberries and figs. You need a male and female tree for production.
I tried a couple at Mr. Lee Wise's (sp?) home in Saline, LA. He says his grandkids love them. They were too astringent for me. Perhaps I could develop a taste for them, but I am not willing to invest the time and money on a bush to find out.
CKB,...Will they grow near the coast? Are they reasonably priced? Where can I get a few? I have room and love plants that feed the wild life. And wild kids.
More info at this site.
I think I may have to get some of these. Thanks.
Location: Ches need a warm, sunny location. They should not be planted near sidewalks since the fallen fruit will stain. Like the mulberry, the trees are quite wind-resistant. One method of planting is to put a male and a female plant in a single site, about 1 ft. apart, and prune to a combined volume of approximately 25% male and 75% female.
Soil: The trees are relatively undemanding, but perform best in a warm, well-drained soil, ideally a deep loam.
Irrigation: Although somewhat drought-resistant, ches need to be watered in dry seasons. In summer dry California a deep watering about every two weeks is recommended. If the roots become too dry during drought, the plant may began to defoliate and the unripe fruit is likely to drop.
Fertilization: An annual application of a balanced fertilizer such as 10:10:10 NPK in late spring will maintain satisfactory growth. Nitrogen is the only element likely to be needed in California.
Pruning: The trees need regular pruning to control their shape. The branches formed the previous season should be pruned to half their length. The branchlets on the remaining part of the branches should also be trimmed about 50%. A summer pruning of the male plant is also necessary when planted in a single site with the female. To grow as a tree, in addition to pruning the lateral branches, the leading branch may also need to be staked to point it in a vertical direction. Trees grafted onto Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) rootstock tend to be more robust and grow in a more upright fashion.
Propagation: The che is readily grown from seed, although the plants can take up to 10 years to bear. Seeds should be sown as soon as extracted from the fruit. The plants are often propagated from softwood cuttings taken in midsummer and treated with rooting hormone. The che is also easily grafted to Osage orange rootstock using either a cleft or whip-and-tongue graft.
Pests and Diseases: No pests or diseases have been noted. The ripe fruit is attractive to birds, and deer will browse on both the fruit and foliage.
I'm sorry, I had a brain cramp. I was thinking of Goumi. The Che that he had were not ripe when I was there.