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SUB TROPICAL FRUITS

fruitpointerGuava
Guava (from Spanish Guayaba; Goiaba in Portuguese) is a genus of about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees in the myrtle family Myrtaceae, native to the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America. The leaves are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate, 5-15 cm long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens.
The fruit is edible, round to pear-shaped, from 3-10 cm in diameter (to 12 cm in some selected cultivars). It has a thin delicate rind, pale green to yellow at maturity in some species, pink to red in others, a creamy white or orange-salmon flesh with many small hard seeds, and a strong characteristic aroma which people either love or hate. It is rich in vitamins A, B, and C. Guavas are cultivated in many tropical countries because of their edible fruits. Several species are grown commercially; those listed in the box right are the most important.
The fruit is commonly eaten whole, like an apple, or sliced and served with sugar and cream as a dessert. In Asia, raw guava is often dipped in salt or prune powder. Boiled guava is also extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, marmalades (goiabada), and juices. The plants are frost-sensitive. In several tropical regions, including Hawaii, some species have become invasive weed shrubs. It is also of interest for home growers in temperate areas, as one of the very fewtropical fruit that can be grown to fruiting size in pots indoors.
fruitpointerLychee
The Lychee Litchi chinensis is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family Sapindaceae. It is a tropical fruit tree native to southern China.It is a medium-sized evergreen tree, reaching 15-20 m tall, with alternate pinnate leaves, each leaf 15-25 cm long, with (2) 4-8 lateral leaflets 5-10 cm long; the terminal leaflet is absent. The newly emerging young leaves are a bright coppery red at first, before turning green as they expand to full size. The flowers are small, greenish-white or yellowish-white, produced in panicles up to 30 cm long.

The fruit is a drupe, 3-4 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The outside is covered by a red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed. The inside consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape. The centre contains a single glossy brown seed, 2 cm long and 1-1.5 cm in diameter. The seed, similar to a buckeye seed, is slightly poisonous and should not be eaten. The fruit matures from July to October, about 100 days after flowering.
Lychees are extensively grown in their native southern China, and also elsewhere in southeast Asia, India, southern Japan, and more recently in Florida and Hawaii in the United States, and the wetter areas of eastern Australia. They require a warm subtropical to tropical climate that is frost-free or with only very slight winter frosts not below -4°C, and with high summer heat, rainfall, and humidity.
Growth is best on well-drained, slightly acidic soils rich in organic matter. A wide range of cultivars is available, with early and late maturing forms suited to warmer and cooler climates respectively. They are also grown as an ornamental tree as well as for their fruit. Lychees are commonly sold fresh in Chinese markets (and in recent years, also widely in western supermarkets). The red rind turns dark brown when the fruit is refrigerated, but the taste is not affected. It is also sold canned year-round. There is a Cantonese saying: "one lychee = three torches of fire". It refers to the extreme Yang property of the fruit. Over-consumption of lychees is reported to lead to dried lips and nosebleeds in some people. By contrast, the related longan fruit is purported to have a nourishing property.
fruitpointerTamarillo or Tree Tomato
Tamarillo or "Tree Tomato" (Cyphomandra betacea; Solanaceae) is an egg-shaped fruit with a thin skin and a soft flesh (when ripe) with dark-coloured seeds occupying about one third of the interior.The fruit is held on the tree in clusters as are many other clustered fruit, such as cherries. The trees are grown from cuttings and are very frost-tender when young. They are shallow-rooted and respond to deep mulching and abundant water. The tree can grow to a little more than 6 metres but it is subject to wind damage and needs shelter. It will fruit from two years and a single mature tree in good soil will carry more fruit than a normal family can eat for about 3 months. When the tree is about 1 to 1.5 metres in height it is advisable to cut the roots on one side and lean the tree to the (other) direction of the midday sun at about 30 to 45 degrees. This allows fruiting branches to grow from all along the trunk rather than just at the top.

The fruit is eaten by scooping the flesh from a halved fruit but, in New Zealand, most children palpate the ripe fruit until it is soft then bite off the stem end and squeeze the flesh directly into their mouth. The lightly sugared, cooled, flesh makes a refreshing breakfast dish. They give a unique flavour when compoted or added to stews and curries. They are tasty and decorative in fresh fruit salads. The tamarillo is native to the Andes of Peru and, possibly, Chile, Ecuador and, likely, Bolivia. It is cultivated in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, the US and Venezuela. It is grown as a commercial crop for international export in New Zealand.



 


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