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Discovering Fruit and Nuts

A comprehensive guide to the cultivation and uses of fruits and nuts


Fruit and nut book cover

"This book explores old favourites as well as many little-known yet exciting food plants. As well as an A to Z guide to over 220 species, and lists of the most popular cultivars, a general introduction gives a background to various aspects of horticulture and plant nutrition. A table of plants for different garden situations at the back of the book is a useful ready-reference.

The Introduction gives information on Planting out and establishment, Propagation, Yield and harvesting, Pruning and training; Pests and diseases; Plant mineral deficiencies, and Food nutrition.

This thorough and extensively researched book is a vital reference, with everything a gardener needs to know and much that a commercial producer would find valuable in terms of choice of varieties and marketing of the harvest.

It includes over 400,000 words with more than 200 colour illustrations, plus full-colour diagrams. (Publisher blurb)


Inspiration for this book came after moving from the UK to New Zealand, to a subtropical climate. What could be grown in my new garden? I had long been interested in growing more unusual crop plants, so I set out to explore the multitude of fruit and nut plants that could be grown from the coldest temperate regions through to the subtropics. Information on more than 300 species was collected. Although tempted to include tropical species too, I realised these would hugely expand the book size. Instead, perhaps these could make a further project...

Thus, this book includes common-place fruits and nuts, but also many lesser known food plants, some of which are little known outside their indigenous regions. In addition, other species that are often grown ornamentally, can be used as a food source.

This book includes many unusual food plants that have been overlooked commercially: they may not have good storage properties, or maybe don't look too beautiful, or simply may just have been bypassed despite their delicious fruits. It is exciting to grow these new foods, particularly at harvest time, when we can enjoy the 'fruits of our labours' fresh from the garden.

Although plant foods with commercial potential are included, there are also many plants that are suitable for the smallest garden, or can even be grown in a container. Food can be grown in the midst of a city. Growing in pots also allows flexibility: scenarios such as a forecasted frost can be avoided.

As well as growing plant foods, I am also excited by the wondrous nutritional benefits of many of these plants. Often rich in antioxidants, minerals and healthy oils, they are often more nutrient packed than commercial food varieties.

With a little planning, a varied and interesting garden can be grown that will supply food for most if not all of the year, provide fragrant flowers, create visual juxtapositions within the flower border, provide autumn colour and colourful fruits, and attract a wide range of wildlife.

Main fruits and nuts described

Acerola, Acorns, Akebia, Almond, Ambarella, Amla, Apple, Apple-berry, Apricot, Aronia (chokeberry), Asimoya (pawpaw, American), Atemoya (Mountain soursop), Australian citrus spp., Avocado, Babaco, Bael fruit, Banana, Banana yucca, Barberry, Beech, Berberis species, Bilberry, Birch, Black apple, Black sapote, Blackberry, Bladder nut, Blueberry, Buffalo berry, Bunya-bunya pine, Burdekin plum, Calamondin, Camu-camu, Cape gooseberry, Capulin cherry, Carob, Carrisa (natal plum), Cashew, Casimiroa (white sapote), Ceriman (Swiss cheese plant), Ceylon hill gooseberry, Che, Cherimoya, Cherry, Cherry of the Rio Grande, Chestnut, Chilean bellflower, Chilean guava, Chilean Palo Verde, Chinese parasol tree, Chinese water berry, Chinquapin, Chupa chupa, Cider gum, Citron, Cloudberry, Cocona, Coffee, Cordia species, Cornelian cherry, Cranberry, Currant, Damson (greengage, sloe), Darling plum, Davidson's plum, Dewberry, Elaeagnus spp., Elderberry, False spikenard, Feijoa, Figs, Fuchsia, Gevuina, Gingko, Glossy privet fruit, Goji berry, Gooseberry, Governor's plum, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava (strawberry, cattley and hill gooseberry), Guava, tropical, Hawthorns, Hazel, Honeylocust, Honeysuckle (edible), Hop, Hottentot fig (ice plant), Huckleberries, Illawarra plum, Imbe, Inga bean, Jaboticaba, Jakfruit, Jujube (Chinese date), Kaffir plum, Kakadu plum, Karanda, Kei apple (dovyalis), Kiwifruit, Kumquat, Lemons, Licorice, Lillypilly, Limes, Lingonberry, Longan, Loquat, Lotus, Lucumo, Lychee, Macadamia, Mango, Manketti nut, Marula, Mayhaw, Medlar, Melons, Mesquite (prosopis, creosote bush), Midgim, Miracle fruit, Monkey puzzle tree (Chilean pine), Mulberry, Muntries, Muscadine, Naranjilla, Olives, Orange, Oregon grape, Oyster nut, Palms (edible), Pandanus, Papaya, Paper mulberry, Passionfruits , Pawpaw (papaya), Peach (nectarine), Peanut, Peanut tree, Pear (Asian and European), Pecan, Pepino dulce, Persimmon, Phalsa, Pincherry, Pineapple, Pinenut, Pistachio, Pitanga (Brazilian cherry, Surinam cherry), Pitaya, Plum (prune), Plum cherries, Pomegranate, Porcelain berry (blueberry climber, pepper vine), Prickly pear, Pumpkin seeds, Quandong, Quince, Raisin tree (Japanese), Raspberry, Rhubarb, Rose apple, Rose hips, Roselle (and other Hibiscus spp.), Rowan, Sapodilla, Saskatoon (Amelanchier, Juneberry), Schisandra, Sea almond, Sea buckthorn, Sea grape, Stevia, Strawberry, Strawberry tree, Sugar cane, Sugar maple, Sugarberry, Sumach, Sunflower seeds, Tamarillo, Tamarind, Tangerine (mandarin), Tea, Thimbleberry, Tigernut (chufa), Tomatilla, Torreya, Totara, Tree fuchsia, Viburnum species (nannyberry, wayfaring bush), Walnut (black, green, white), Wampee, Watermelons, Wineberry, Wintergreen (shallon, salal, snowberry, checkerberry), Wolfberry, Yucca, Zabala fruit

  • Publisher: David Bateman Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • ISBN: 1869536215, First published 2006; EAN: 9781869536213
  • Dimensions: 28.0 x 21.0 cm, portrait, 480 pages, hardback, full-colour cased & jacketed