Indian tropical fruit trees and fruit bearing

Indian tropical fruit trees and fruit bearing

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Most Indian tropical fruit trees produce fruits in April-May. The best possible explanation for this is

  1. optimum water availability for fruit production.
  2. the heat allows quicker ripening of fruit.
  3. animals have no other source of food in summer.
  4. the impending monsoon provides optimum conditions for propagation

This was asked in a competitive examination, and being a mathematician with interest in plants, this caught my attention. Please note that this was asked in aptitude section, and I feel it more aptly belongs this SE, correct me if I am wrong.

My thoughts:

  1. April-May is summer in (tropical) India (where I live, Kerala) hence optimum water availability looks out of option.

  2. Considering fruit production being a part of process of propagation, though this is a favourable factor, I doubt if it is a determining factor

  3. Animals help disperse the fruits, and less availability of food may be a favouring factor attracting animals to fruits, it is not a determining factor.

  4. which for me looks like the factor influencing increased fruit production more than the other two.

Sorry for the layman language, I would be grateful if someone can correct me if my reasoning is wrong and explain it more precisely (preferably in layman language, though I can understand some botanical terms)

Trees fruit before the monsoon season to maximize seed germination and seedling recruitment. previous studies have shown that in many species, fruiting occurs just before the wet season such that seeds germinate and establish during the wet season when conditions are most favourable.

Smythe N. 1970 Relationships between fruiting seasons and seed dispersal methods in a Neotropical forest. Am. Nat. 104, 25-35. (doi:10.1086/282638)

So the answer is 4.

  1. Evolutionarily, these tropical fruit trees would want to maximize the amount of offspring that are produced and that survive to reproduce. This would increase their fitness and ensure that their genes are passed on to the next generation.

Tropical fruit trees would "want" (they're not actively strategizing) to produce their fruit at a time when other sources of food for animals are limited as this would increase the likelihood of most of their fruit being eaten and these seeds being dispersed (through the feces of animals) to many different areas to grow and reproduce themselves. This ensures the continuation of these species of trees.

Tropical Fruit Selections

Note: Due to heavy demand for Tropical Fruit plants, we are often sold out.

Please call ahead to confirm availability.

Male variety 'Matua' - pollinates most all other varieties, very vigorous, cold hardy, no fruit. One male will pollinate 8 females if close enough.

Female variety, 'Saanichton' - large, tasty fuzzy fruit pollinates with 'Matua', cold hardy. Harvest is late autumn.

Fast growing, can fruit in just two years. Grows 10 to 12 feet tall, protect from freezing. Cashew nuts must be roasted before eating.

8 to 12 inch prickly, green fruit is juicy, acid, white, and aromatic. Broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree grows up to 13 feet tall.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

Softball size fruit, tasty and sweet like custard. Pulp in segments containing a seed easily separated from the fruit. Grows 8 to 10 feet tall and can produce fruit in as little as two years.

A small symmetrical tree with prolific fruit production. The sweet citrus like flavor is delicious and refreshing and used in salads, drinks, garnishes, and eaten fresh from the tree.

1 gallon - 6" diameter pots

Tea has been cultivated for almost five thousand years in China. Today it is the most popular drink in the world next to plain water. The Tea plant is a species of Camellia and tea is made from the dried and cured new buds produced in spring. Flowers are yellow/white.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

An evergreen shrub or small tree with dark, leathery, aromatic leaves used as spice and in candy, gum, incense, and perfumes. This is true Cinnamon, not the Cassia substitute so often seen in the marketplace.

Pitomba is an attractive, slow-growing tree to 20 or 30 feet high, with dense evergreen foliage. Pitomba fruits have a thin, tender skin and a soft juicy golden yellow aromatic pulp with a slightly acid flavor similar to apricots. The fruit is eaten fresh and makes good jellies and preserves.

Lychees are one of the worlds most relished fruits. They are eaten fresh, out-of-hand, or peeled and pitted and added to fruit cups and fruit salads. For maximum productivity, there must be full exposure to light on all sides. Trees can grow 60 to 100 feet tall.

Rare! Viney bush produces rich, sweet berries very high in nutrients and antioxidants.

Macadamia can become a large evergreen tree to 35 feet tall. They can withstand some frost and brief freezing in the mid-20s. Young trees require copious amounts of watering but mature trees are quite drought tolerant.

Macadamias are considered to be among the finest table nuts in the world. They contain high quantities of oil. Macadamia nuts are eaten raw, or roasted and salted. The nuts are also used to make an edible bland salad oil. Years ago a coffee-like beverage known as "almond coffee" was marketed from the seeds. (University of California. 2004.) Macadamias are highly nutritious nuts and have the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

Jaboticaba is a small bushy tree with multiple stems. Fruit is cherry like in appearance with a thicker tougher skin and about 1 inch in diameter. Interestingly, the fruits form on the trunk of the tree and not on terminal branches as most other fruits. Fruits may be eaten out-of-hand, discarding the skin and seeds. They can also be used in jams and jellies, fresh fruit salads, sherbets and cobblers. The tree is cold hardy and likes plenty of water.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

Beautiful showy fragrant flowers and large delicious fruit generally eaten fresh but also used in sherbets and drinks. The vine is a vigorous, strong grower, woody at the base, climbing by tendrils. Granadilla prefers moist cool growing conditions but protect from freezing.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

Native to Jamaica, Lemon Bay Rum Tree is closely related to the Allspice Tree. It is a small to medium size tree reaching 20 to 25 feet with evergreen leaves that when crushed emit a lemony bay rum scent. White flowers are followed by oblong black berries. Grow in full sun to light shade.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

A relatively hardy small tree to 30 feet tall, with spreading branches, the guava is easy to recognize because of its smooth, thin, copper-colored bark that flakes off, showing the greenish layer beneath. Guava is used in jellies, juice, pastries and many other uses. The fruit is smooth, sweet and aromatic. Trees can begin fruiting at one year of age.

An evergreen bush growing to about 18 feet in its natural range but usually around 5 feet in a garden setting. Small white flowers are produced in flushes during the growing season followed by bright red 1 inch berries each containing a single seed. The effect of Miracle Fruit requires eating only a single berry allowing the fleshy pulp to coat the taste buds of the tongue. Within a couple of minutes sour fruit like lemons will taste sweet and delicious. The effect remains for one to two hours. Fruit can be frozen and used later.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

A fast growing small tree 25 to 35 feet preferring acid soils for best growth and fruiting. Fruits are bright rose color with a crisp rose like flavor. Evergreen leaves are large to 6 inches long and the fragrant flowers are white and in clusters. The fruit can be eaten out of hand, as a garnish, or in fruit salads. Fruiting is prolific and can begin at just one or two years old. Keep plants around 10 feet tall for easy harvesting.

3 gallon - 10" diameter pots

An attractive fast growing evergreen tree with bell shaped fruit up to 8 inches long with a sweet mild flavor. Leaves are dark green and glossy. Red-Purple flowers are 2 inches across and set in tassel-like clusters. This tree fruits prolifically.

Cultivated by the Mayas, Chocolate is a 'Food of the Gods'. Cacao is a small evergreen tropical tree with large glossy drooping leaves. It is an understory tree and prefers a constantly warm humid environment. Flowers are small and the fruit forms directly on the trunk of the tree and main branches. Fruiting starts at about 5 years of age.

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The jamun tree is known to live for about a 100 years

The sapodilla fruit tree is known to have originated in Mexico

Indian Gooseberry is a tree originating in India

Fresh Bael leaves are used to add aroma to curries

Phalsa or falsa is a tropical tree that bears a berry-like fruit

9 Trees That Grow In India And All You Need To Know About Them

India is losing its green cover and we know that we are lagging behind in making up for it. But it's good to know about the vegetation that grows in our country. We are talking about trees of India. You'll be surprised there there is a large variety of trees in India. It was not possible to compile all Indian trees so we picked 9 common ones that we see around and don't know much about.

Read on about some of the best trees to plant near house in India.

1. Banyan Tree

Scientific name- Ficus benghalensis

Banyan tree is the most familiar shade giving tree in our country. Interestingly, it originated in India itself. These Indian trees have the largest canopy coverage in India. Not many people know but the banyan tree is also the national tree of India.

How to recognise it?

The leaves look like those of a fig tree. If you pluck a leaf, a white sticky liquid is visible.

2. Neem tree

Scientific name- Azadirachta indica

It is grown in both tropical and sub-tropical regions. Neem has endless medicinal properties and that’s what makes it popular in India. It is used to control pests and deal with pox viruses. Neem is a major ingredient in soaps and shampoos and is healthy for our skin. It is one of the best trees to plant near house in India.

How to recognise it?

It is slightly difficult to spot the real neem tree because the chinaberry tree looks quite similar to it. It has a strong smell and its flowers are pale white in colour, and grow from March to May. Its leaves grow in pairs along a long common stem.

3. Peepal tree

Scientific name-Ficus Religiosa

The peepal tree falls in the category of dry season deciduous or semi- evergreen tree. This is one of those rare trees of India that release oxygen both in the day and the night.

How to recognise it?

The leaves of this tree are heart-shaped with an extended drip tip.

4. Arjuna tree

Scientific name- Terminalia arjuna

Arjuna tree is generally found around river beds. It is not difficult to spot one. Arjuna exhibits yellow flowers from March to June. It has a woody fibrous fruit that appears between September and November.

How to recognise it?

The woody fruit has five wings and is possibly the most unique looking fruit. If you see it, you can guess this Indian tree’s name easily.

5. Sal Tree

Scientific name- Shorea Robusta

Sal is one of the largest deciduous trees in India. The tree is native to the Indian sub-continent. The sal tree is hardly leafless. It is said that the tree provides good quality timber. Interestingly, the sal tree is worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists.

How to recognise it?

The leaves of the sal tree are ovate-oblong in shape. Their texture is rough and they have a peculiar shine on their upper surface.

6. Gulmohar tree

Scientific name- Delonix Regia

Gulmohar is most famous for its pretty looking flowers. In India, its flowering season is between April and June. Spotting this Indian tree is quite easy as it grows in dry as well as tropical conditions. This shade giving tree expands and offers a dense canopy. The flowers of this tree are large and orange-red in colour.

How to recognise it?

Its leaves are doubly pinnate. Each leaf is approximately 40 cm long and has 20-40 pairs of primary leaflets that are feathery in appearance and bright, light green in colour.

7. Indian Mahogany

Scientific name- Swietenia mahagoni

In India, these trees are mainly found in Thattekkad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary and Corbett National Park. The trunk of this tree is used to make furniture and musical instruments.

How to recognise it?

The tree is generally 30-40 feet in height. Its fruit resembles a large greenish capsule and its wood is red brown in colour.

8. Curry tree

Scientific name- Murraya koenigii

Curry tree is a tropical to sub-tropical tree and is native to India and Sri Lanka. Its leaves are widely used in south Indian dishes because of their strong aroma.

How to recognise it?

It is a small tree growing up to 6 metres. Its leaves are pinnate and have 11-21 leaflets. The plant produces small white flowers that self pollinate and produce small black berries.

9. Ashoka Tree

Scientific name- Saraca asoca

Ashoka tree is a rain-forest tree and is abundantly found in the central areas of the Deccan plateau and in parts of the Western Ghats. This tree is an evergreen one and is known for its foliage and fragrant flowers. Its leaves are dark green in colour and grow in bunches.

How to recognise it?

Its leaves grow in dense clusters and are pointed from the top. The flowering season is February to April. The flowers grow in heavy bunches as well. They are bright yellow and orange in color.

2. Carambola (Star Fruit)

Photo Source

Carambola is a fruit with a waxy skin and a green to golden yellow color. The ripe fruit has a distinctly yellow colour, with slightly brown ribs, and it makes a great preserve or pickle. Unripe ones are lime green, taste sour and are best eaten when sliced and sprinkled with a mixture of salt and chili powder. Grown in the months of September-October and January-February, India is one of the largest producers of this fruit.

Grown in: Throughout India (especially in South India)

Fig trees produce two crops every year, but only one of them may be edible. The first crop, called the breba crop, occurs relatively early in the year on the previous year's growth. These fruits are frequently small, acidic and inferior in texture, but may be useful for preservation. The second crop occurs later in the year on the current year's growth and these figs should be edible. Caprifigs, a variation of the common fig that can be used to pollinate some varieties, produce no edible fruit in either crop.

The exact timing of the main crop depends on your climate and conditions. For example, growers in cooler coastal areas usually harvest their figs during October and November. For warmer and inland climates, the usual harvest time is between June and September. In some tropical locations, fig trees may bear some fruit throughout the year, with increased production in early summer and midwinter.

Indian tropical fruit trees and fruit bearing - Biology

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Quench your thirst with a tantalizing taste of fruit from the tropics. Grow your very own exotic plants. Beautify your home with our fragrant, flowering bushes and trees. Jene’s Tropicals is your one-stop walk-in retail nursery (open to the public) to buy fruit trees, exotic tropical fruits, tropical plants, palms, citrus, and more!

Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, Jene’s Tropicals has grown Florida tropical plants and tropical fruit trees since 1987, and has shipped internationally since 1995. Our fruit tree nursery contains an abundant collection of over 300 varieties of tropical fruit, trees, bushes, and vines including:

  • Exotic Fruits including Miracle Fruit Berries, Pomegranate, Citrus, Passionfruit, Starfruit, Florida Grapes, and more!
  • Tropical Fruit Trees up to 12'
  • Flowering Trees up to 14'

We take great pleasure in sharing our amazing selection of tropical plants and tropical fruit trees with you. Most importantly, we value the loyalty of our customers, both in Florida, and throughout the world!

Top 5 Exotic Fruit Trees To Grow In San Diego

Homeowners with enough space for fruit trees can think beyond apple, orange, lemon and lime. A number of exotic fruit trees grow well in San Diego but since they aren’t native to our region, they do require a bit more care.

Luckily, exotic fruit trees can be sourced locally from the nurseries listed below. Before purchasing a tree, do ask them for growing instructions specific to your home. But, if you’re considering one of these unique trees, here are some general growing guidelines.

1. Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus or Hylocereus costaricensis)

Health food fanatics have probably seen marketing on overdrive lately to promote Pitaya as the ultimate superfood. Pitaya is another name for dragon fruit which was first discovered in Central America, but is extremely popular in Asia. The consistency is similar to kiwi, except the small, edible seeds are scattered throughout the flesh.

The type of dragon fruit found in Asia has a white center (Hylocereus undatus) while the Central American version is magenta inside (Hylocereus costaricensis) with a slightly richer strawberry-like flavor. The latter dragon fruit contains considerably more nutrients, which is why Pitaya bowls across San Diego and beyond are tinted dark pink. However, more than 100 varieties of dragon fruit grow in California alone.

Dragon Fruit Growing Tips —

Dragon fruit actually grows on a large cactus-like trees. Because the stems can reach up to 20 feet in length, dragon fruit needs to be staked. The plant will thrive in full sun near the coast but will require some shade inland to prevent burning. Because dragon fruit is a low water plant, it’s perfect for xeriscaping. Some San Diego farmers are replacing expensive water-guzzling citrus and avocado crops with dragon fruit as a more profitable alternative.

2. Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica)

The loquat is an ornamental flowering shrub that’s native to southern China (though cultivated mostly in Japan) and can grow up to 30′ high though the average height is usually around 10′. The 1-2″ oval fruit grows in clusters and has a tangy-flavored skin typically yellow or orange in color. The flesh inside is sweet and surrounds three or so large seeds. Some liken the taste to a cross between a guava fruit and a passion fruit.

Loquat Growing Tips —

Loquat trees do well in wind, full sun in coastal climates and a number of soil types but they do need good drainage to survive. Though they are drought-tolerant, deep watering on a regular basis will yield more fruit. Extreme heat or cold will stunt fruit production. Many homeowners use them as shade trees over patios or as container plants.

3. Cherimoya (Annona cherimola)

Seeds from Mexico were planted in California around 1871 and cherimoya has been growing well here ever since. This fruit is thought to be native to the Andes in Peru. Its nickname is the custard apple which makes sense after you experience the sensation of sticking a spoon into its soft flesh. Mark Twain even referred to cherimoya as one of the most delicious fruits known to man. The flavor is an interesting mix of other tropical fruits like coconut, pineapple and mango.

Cherimoya Growing Tips —

The cherimoya comes from sub-tropical, mild climates and can’t handle extreme heat. Trees do well in coastal California though best at a slightly higher elevation around 3-15 miles from the ocean. Skip container planting as they don’t do well in pots and make sure they are protected from Santa Ana winds. Cherimoya grow in a variety of soil types though well-draining and moderately fertilized is best. The tree is deciduous from February through April and experts suggest that irrigation cease during February and March, resuming in April. Do some research based on your growing location.

4. Lychee (Litchi chinensis)

This Asian fruit is growing in popularity and most frequently enjoyed canned in the United States though now can be bought fresh at a number of Asian markets. The lychee originates from China and is a small fruit about 1.5″ in size. The pretty red rind is totally inedible so don’t even try it. Cut it away to eat the sweet, delicate flesh which has a pleasant floral aroma (this disappears somewhat during canning) but beware of the large seed inside. The tree itself is gorgeous and evergreen with a grey trunk and pretty leaves though it can reach up to 40′ in the wild. In San Diego, plan for about 20′ tall with a rounded canopy.

Lychee Growing Tips —

The lychee is a finicky tree to grow in Southern California though many gardeners do it with ease. If you’re up for the maintenance, place the tree in an area sheltered from wind and be prepared to fertilize it often. They can’t handle frost and need constant watering, but can’t handle standing water. And, you’ll need to stop watering before the tree’s dormant period in winter. Leach the soil occasionally to wash sea salt from our ocean air away. Some gardeners do report success with growing lychee trees in large pots.

The lychee is a very popular fruit worldwide so the results are worth the effort. Note that lychee martinis typically use canned fruit, but we have other recipes for incorporating the garden into your cocktails.

5. Longan (Euphoria longan)

A relative of the lychee, the longan fruit is about the same small size though with a tough golden skin though the trees usually produce more fruit than the lychee tree. The name longan sounds like Lóng Yǎn which literally translates to dragon’s eye — the longan fruit looks sort of like an eyeball when sliced open. To open a ripe longan, just squeeze it. Pop the flesh into your mouth and spit out the seed. The taste is a drier sweetness than a lychee and, therefore, the longan is often used in sweet-and-sour Asian dishes as well as desserts. A side benefit of eating longan is that it’s used in Chinese medicine as a relaxation aid.

Longan Growing Tips

In Southern California, longan trees typically grow up to 25′ and require weekly deep waterings. The trees can adapt to a wide range of soil but prefer rich, well-drained soil. Fruit should ripen between late summer and winter.

Exotic Fruit Nurseries in San Diego

ONG Nursery —

ONG Nursery specializes in exotic fruit trees, shrubs and flowers. They have been in the same location for over 25 years and are open on Saturdays and Sundays only. Owner Quang Ong is a UC Riverside agronomist.

Exotica Rare Fruit —

Though there isn’t much information online, reviewers claim that Exotica Rare Fruit pricing is good for such rare plants. Also, because so many trees for sale are also planted on the property, it’s a great opportunity to see how they grow in San Diego as well as what the fruit tastes like. Call before you go.

Encanto Farms Nursery —

They are home to over 100 banana varieties and 1100 fig varieties. Encanto Farms Nursery specializes in these two exotic fruits so this is definitely the place to seek advice for both, but they do carry cherimoya and other fruiting trees. Visit by appointment.

  • Address: 6143 Fulmar Street, San Diego, CA 92114
  • Contact: See website for email address. No phone number is provided online.
  • Website:

City Farmers Nursery —

They seem to have a little bit of everything here from canning goods to urband chicken supplies, including a decent selection of tropical and exotic fruit trees. Do call in advance to be sure they stock what you need as exotic fruit is not their specialty. Every plant is maintained organically and the nursery is family-owned and operated since 1972.

7. Mango Tree

The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to the South Asia from where it was distributed worldwide to become one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics. Mangifera indica – the ‘common mango’ or ‘Indian mango’ – is the only mango tree commonly cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. It is the national fruit of India, Philippines, and Pakistan. [Source]


California Tropical stands behind its range of Sapote trees as that which can grow most successfully in weather of, or similar to that of, Southern California.

With a commitment to bringing these delicious Central and South American varieties north, California Tropical is additionally proud to offer some of the most mature stock of container-grown Sapote, and particularly the Chico Sapote variety, currently available in the United States.


Native to eastern Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and parts of Columbia, Black Sapote is also aptly referred to as “chocolate pudding fruit” for its flavor, color and texture upon ripening. Fruiting of the evergreen Black Sapote occurs in 3 to 4 years, and mature trees can grow to more than 80 feet in height.


This long-living evergreen tree is native to Southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. While the wind-resistant limbs and bark used as a gummy latex called “chicle,” the Chico Sapote’s fruit has a sweet flavor similar to malt or caramel, which has earned it the nickname “brown sugar.”

White/Sue Belle

Native to Eastern Mexico and Central America, this evergreen tree’s fruit has a reputation for causing drowsiness. Trowing well throughout Southern California, the White Sapote’s fruit ripens 6 to 9 months after its first blooms. The custard-like flesh has a flavor similar to that of a banana.


The evergreen Yellow/Canistel Sapote tree is native to southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador, and can grow more than 30 feet in height. Ripe Canistel fruit flesh is edible and sweet, with a comparable texture to hard-boiled egg yolk that has earned it the nickname “egg fruit.”

How to Manage Shade Loving Fruits

Remember that the amount of sunlight that filters into the landscape changes with the season. Be sure that you have ascertained the amount of sun an area receives through each season before planting. If you want to give a shaded area some light, try pruning out some lower trees limbs. This may be just enough to increase light levels significantly.

Plants in shaded areas often stay wet longer and are more prone to disease. Space plants farther apart in the shade to allow for air movement so the foliage dries more rapidly. Also, water with soaker hoses or drip irrigation. Prune out lower canopy trees limbs to improve air circulation and allow more light penetration.

Watch the video: Travel Guide ΙΝΔΙΑ-INDIA Best of. FULL (August 2022).