Showing 13–24 of 51 products
Factsheet F13: Diospyros lotus – the date plum£1.00
Diospyros lotus (synonym D. japonica), commonly called the date plum, false lote-tree, or lotus plant, is one of the lesser-known members of the persimmon genus (in the ebony family, Ebenaceae), yet in many parts of temperate Asia (especially China) it is widely cultivated as a fruit tree, rootstock, and for other useful products.
Factsheet F14: Citrus and citrange, hardy£1.00
By hardy, this article is limited in scope to those species and varieties which are hardy in zone 8 (ie hardy down to average winter minimum temperatures of between -7 and -12°C). Most of the well known Citrus species, like the oranges, grapefruit, lemons etc are only hardy to zone 9 (-1 to -6°C) and have little hope of surviving outdoors in temperate climates where frosts are common; however, occasionally, hardier varieties of these tender species do exist.
Factsheet F15: Diospyros kaki – the kaki persimmon£1.50
The kaki persimmon, also known as the Japanese, Chinese or Oriental persimmon, is a major fruit crop in as diverse localities as Japan, China, Korea, Western North America, Italy and Israel (where it is called the Sharon fruit). Though the tree is almost unknown in Britain, and then usually only for its spectacular autumn colour, fruits are borne in most summers in the South of England and with careful choice there is good potential for success in growing suitable cultivars for fruit (and even more as the climate warms up).
Factsheet F16: Elder – Sambucus species£1.50
The elder genus, Sambucus, consists of some 25 species perennials, shrubs and small trees from most regions of the world. They bear numerous tiny white flowers in flat-topped panicles, which are followed by heads of small round berries which are attractive to birds. Many species spread rapidly by suckers, and bids spread the seed.
Elders tolerate a wide range of soils, including chalk; also atmospheric pollution, coastal exposure and shade. They prefer a rich moist soil and sun or part shade (deep shade is tolerated but flowering and fruiting will be greatly restricted). All species are resistant to honey fungus (Armillaria spp.) The temperate species all tolerate winter temperatures of at least -20C.
Factsheet F17: Quince – Cydonia oblonga£1.00
The quince is now the only member of the genus Cydonia, the three shrubby quinces previously included are now classified in Chaenomeles. Quince has previously been classified as Pyrus cydonia and Cydonia vulgaris.
The native region of the quince is not precisely known, but it is probably wild only in parts of Asia including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkestan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. It has been cultivated in Mediterranean regions for millennia and has become naturalised in many parts; the fruit was highly regarded by the Greeks and Romans, and was the golden apple that Paris awarded to Aphrodite as a symbol of love, marriage and fertility. It is still an important fruit crop in its native region and in South America (Argentina produces 20,000 tons annually).
Factsheet F18: Cornelian cherry – Cornus mas£1.00
Cornelian cherry or Sorbet, Cornus mas, is a member of the dogwood family, and is well known in ornamental gardens for its cheerful yellow flowers in late winter. It is native to central and southern Europe, Asia minor, Armenia and the Caucasus in dry deciduous forests and brushlands.
It has been cultivated for centuries, and is still cultivated is some parts of Europe for its fruits (notably Turkey, Russia, Moldavia, Ukraine, and the Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia). It was well known to the Greeks and Romans, and grown in monastery gardens in Europe through the middle ages; it was introduced to Britain by the 16th century. By the 18th century, it was common in English gardens, where it was grown for its fruits, sometimes called cornel plums. It is now naturalised in Britain.
Factsheet F19: Sorbus domestica£1.00
Sorbus domestica is a native tree of much of Central and Southern Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor; also in Britain according to recent evidence of genuinely wild plants found near Cardiff. It has been cultivated for ages for its fruits, which are often pressed for juice; the ancient Romans are credited with introducing it to the wine-growing regions of Europe. The service tree can live to a great age, often to 300 years, sometimes to 500 or 600 years. It is a relatively rare species, found on the edge of forests, banks etc., and in fact is so rare in some parts of Europe that it is considered endangered there. It often occurs as scattered, isolated trees, typically on calcareous soils.
Factsheet F20: Figs£1.00
The fig is native to the hot areas of Asia minor and was one of the first fruits to be cultivated there; it ranks with grapes, dates and olives as an important crop in early Mediterranean civilisations. Its fruits have always been highly prized not only for their food value but also because of their suitability for drying and subsequent storing.
Factsheet F21: Hawthorns – edible (Crataegus spp.)£1.50
The genus Crataegus or hawthorn family is a very diverse genus, containing over 200 species ranging from small shrubs to large trees, originating from many temperate and subtropical regions of the world. It is part of the Rosaceae family which includes apples, pears, plums, cherries etc., with the disadvantage that many of the same pests and diseases can attack hawthorns; however, most hawthorns are hardy and resilient species which are easy plants to grow, tolerating most sites and conditions.
Most, if not all, of the hawthorns have edible fruits, which vary in quality from dull (for example, the native British species C.monogyna and C.laevigata) to delicious (eg. C.jonesiae and C.schraderiana). Several species are also used medicinally. The wood is very hard and strong and useful for tool handles and other small items.
Factsheet F22: Cornus species of use£1.50
The genus Cornus comprises some 45 species of perennials, shrubs and trees, mostly deciduous, from temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. Often grown for their ornamental value, Cornus species can also supply a variety of useful products, from the well-known fruits of the Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) to lesser known fruits, numerous medicinal products, dyes, hard wood for small items like skewers and tool handles, food for bees etc.
Factsheet F23: Blueberries£2.00
There are several Vaccinium species called blueberries, but the fruits usually grown for home and commercial use are highbush blueberries, derived mainly from the North American species V.corymbosum and V.australe. Rabbiteye blueberries are derived from V.ashei and are not included in this article.
Factsheet F24: Grapes£2.50
Grapes are one of the earliest temperate fruits to have been cultivated – vineyards were planted in Egypt some 4200 years ago. They are the most important and most widely grown deciduous fruit and a major crop in all continents, with some 65,000,000 million tonnes produced per year, two-thirds in Europe.
Very commonly grown in the temperate and Mediterranean regions of the world for its edible fruit, there are numerous named varieties, some of which have been developed for their use as a dried fruit, others for dessert use and others for wine.