Tropical fruit tree crops are extremely variable in almost all relevant characteristics, including method of propagation, growth habit, use of the fruit, nutritional value, and adaptation. While seldom used as staple foods, their nutritional contribution (frequently vitamin C and sometimes vitamin A), is of great importance. Most fruits contain carbohydrates, frequently in the form of sugars, and often as starch. Relatively easy crops to produce wherever they are adapted, fruit crops are a welcome and useful addition to any small farm.
ECHO has budwood available from some superior varieties of some of these fruit trees. Budwood must be grafted to an appropriate rootstock within a very short time. If it is properly treated, some budwood will last for almost 1 week. If you are interested in obtaining budwood for grafting to trees overseas and you are presently in the U.S. and plan to pass through Florida, ECHO can supply you with scions (budwood) if you drop in just before flying overseas. Budwood may not be available at all seasons. Another option would be for us to send it via overnight express to you. You would need to cover the express charges. (ECHO also has a good video on grafting and also has available rootstock for visitors to practice grafting techniques). Fruit trees for which we only have seed are labeled "S"; those available for budwood cuttings are labeled "BW". Some of the seeds have short viability, and therefore are not kept in the seedbank, but we can put you on a waiting list and send seeds for these in season. We also sell grafted trees, but do not ship these. Some of the best trees in ECHO's collection are the following:
See A Comparison of Selected Tropical Fruit Crops
• Atemoya.Annona squamosa x A. cherimola. (S) Thrives in lowland tropics; seeds will usually become another atemoya but occasionally grows into one of the parents-grafting very common; germination time averages at about 4 weeks; delicious fruit.
• Barbados Cherry.Malpighia glabra. Propagated by cuttings, not by seed. High in vitamin C.
• Black Sapote. Diospyros digyna. (S).
• Carambola. Averrhoa carambola. (S, BW). Available Aug-June.
• Cherimoya. Annona cherimola. (S). This creamy Andean fruit requires close management (hand pollination and careful harvesting). Requires >1500 m elevation at equator and >1200 mm rain during growing season.
• Jaboticaba. Myciaria cauliflora. Available late fall/spring. (EDN 32-2, 34-2).
• Loquat. Eriobotyra japonica. (S, BW). Seeds viable for 8 days, available Feb-Mar.
• Papaya. Carica papaya (S). Sunrise, Waimanalo, Malaysia exotica. New Cariflora var. (EDN 15-4, 26-3, 32-1, 41-3).
• Passionfruit. Passiflora edulis. (S). Purple. Yellow produces a large oblong fruit with great juice yield; hand-pollinate to collect pure seed. (EDN 29-3).
• Soursop (Guanabana). Annona muricata.
• Surinam Cherry. Eugenia uniflora.. High in vitamin A.
• Jujube. Ziziphus sp. Burmese 'Salay Zee Thee'. Prolific bearer; thorny; cold, drought and flood tolerant.
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