Return to the Native Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Fruits native to California?

Posted by mamalinda MonterreyBayCA (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 25, 11 at 15:44

Hi everyone,

My son was recently told in his social studies class that there were no fruits in California prior to the arrival of Europeans. I find that hard to believe. I'm imagining that what the teacher meant was that the fruits that we think of today (i.e. apples, oranges, bananas, etc.) didn't exist here then. But NO fruits?

So, I'm wondering if any of you knowledgeable folk know what the native fruits of California are (were - if they're no longer).

Thanks so much!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Fruits native to California?

Oh goodness. I don't think there isn't a place in the North American continent that doesn't have some rubus that grows there. Rubus is the genus that blackberries and raspberries are in. Check the usda link for rubus to see what species were native to the west coast. And of course there are strawberries as well. See the usda page for fragaria (strawberry) as well.

And if we are speaking botanically, fruits are produced on all manner of plants. See the wikipedia page on fruits for the definition. But I'm assuming he meant fruits we eat.

There are many foods native to the New World and so I'm sure there are other fruits. I included a link below that includes some of them. You can dig a little to see if any were native to the west coast.


Here is a link that might be useful: New World Foods

RE: Fruits native to California?

Vaccinium genus is another, blueberries.

There is a huge difference between introduced and native. I think his teacher might need a little information, but at the same time if the text books are teaching this mess then it might not be the teachers fault. Though the teacher should be mature enough to point out the mistakes in the books.

RE: Fruits native to California?

California has a huge variety of native berry-like fruits -- the most recognizable as edible would be our two species of grape and probably half-a-dozen species of currant/gooseberry (the Ribes genus).

Getting into the more distinctively "Californian" plants with potentially edible fruits, I can think of toyon and elderberry (both of which can be poisonous if mishandled), madrone, the various manzanitas, sugarbush and lemonade berry... these are just the more common ones in southern California. I'm sure there are plenty more that are rare or are more common in other parts of the state.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Native Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here