SCIENTIFIC NAME: Casimiroa edulis
FAMILY: Rutaceae

Casimiroa would have to be one of my favourite fruits, predictably a winner, and once the varietal selections are made I believe a new and exciting fruit to be introduced to the Australian population.

The tree will survive -4°C; it will also withstand drought, although don't go expecting a bumper crop. At this point, they appear to be either seasonal trees or everbearing (ideal from the point of view of the house orchard).

The first casimiroa we planted was seed from a fruit we ate in northern N.S.W. (it had 3 seeds). We ate the fruit at Christmas four years ago. We then found an older tree in Nambour and field budded our seedling. The grafted side has kept us in seed and fruit for two years now and has plenty of pollen and is everbearing (great for your backyard). The seedling side of the tree produced last Xmas, big fruit, 40 on one branch, all the same size, definitely seasonal. We did rush in and pick some a little too early, but the taste improved with age.

We have somewhere between 20 - 30 grafted trees of all varieties field-planted - and we wait. They bud beautifully in the field. Some of the fruit is reported to be golden-yellow, some are white. We look at consumer appeal in colour and we hope that we find great taste as well.

We have imported three varieties from New Zealand. They also have yet to prove their worth in Australia.

The fruit mature 3 - 5 days after picking. They do have a thin skin (we always eat it, although some skins are reportedly bitter), so will need fairly gentle handling. For anyone with colder land, the casimiroa is shaping up to be a great prospect. If however, you have a lovely warm, frost-free piece of land, with a little time to wait, I would go all out on Sapodillas, another fruit of unlimited potential. This year Rossmount has set fruit on several varieties of its sapodillas - the fruit take up to 8 to 9 months to mature.

We also have set Cherimoyas, and our Star Apple is presently flowering. The Miracle Fruit set a bumper crop, about 50 in all. We are using our Tahitian limes and Meyer lemons to their full as we do the taste test on all our visitors. We don't tell them too much prior to eating the berry, and I hesitate to say that sometimes people are a little distrusting.

Happy fruit munching. . .

Jeanette Wilson, Gympie,
Gympie Newsletter No.22

DATE: July 1985

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