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Fruit Tree ID
updated: Aug 09, 2014, 10:16 AM

By Patrick

I saw this tree the other day as I was riding my bike past it and assumed it was a loquat. When I rode by it again, I stopped to taste the fruit and it wasn't a loquat. It the fruit was about the size of a quarter, it tasted sweet, and it had small whitish seeds. The leaves were much smaller than a loquat's. Can anyone help ID it?

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 PAMSB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 10:24 AM



 COMMENT 543308 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 10:45 AM

That's the Siberian Death Tree. One drop of the juice is enough to kill most horses. A human...considerably less.


 COMMENT 543315 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 11:10 AM

Not a kumquat, which is a citrus. This fruit's skin is sort of like an apricot's.


 COMMENT 543329P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 12:05 PM

Perhaps a lemon guava? Pulp on the pinkish side?


 COMMENT 543331P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 12:11 PM

Seeds small, round, crunchy? Guava. Some different type than my lemon guava. There is a lemon guava that is just like the strawberry guavas (tall shrub, usually grown as a hedge) that can be found locally. But my lemon guava fruit is much smaller, more round.

Please show photo to La Sumida people. I'd love to know what this shrub is----exactly.


 COMMENT 543332P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 12:12 PM

oops. Reread your post. Size of a quarter, you say? Lemon guava.


 COMMENT 543342 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 12:38 PM



 COMMENT 543345 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 12:44 PM

Please go back, pick a fruit and show us the photo of the fruit sliced open. Definitely not a kumquat, as they are tart.

Skin like an apricot, though? The leaves look like guava leaves to me.


 COMMENT 543351 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 01:09 PM

Key Apple


 COMMENT 543382 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 03:39 PM

Sorry, I spelled it wrong, it's Kei Apple.


 COMMENT 543449P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-09 09:23 PM

If the tree has sharp spikes on its branches it is a Kei Apple. The Kei App;e is native to South Africa.


 COMMENT 543465P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 02:37 AM

351/449P: (other commenter here). Many thanks for the i.d. I have never seen these in SB, but info says you need male and female trees, and that Zone 9-11 is ideal. Our planting Zones here, i.e. Wonderful. I would love to try this fruit.


 COMMENT 543475 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 07:18 AM

I am the OP. I went back to the walkway leading from Modoc to Junipero overpass (by Pilgram Terrace), and the shrubs do have long spikes and do appear to be a kei apples. The skin of the riper fruits turns almost translucent making the fruit look like egg yolks. I picked some and thought they tasted quite good. Thanks for the help!


 COMMENT 543485 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 08:09 AM

My kids love them


 COMMENT 543488 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 08:17 AM

Kei apple, i know this particular planting well, great barrier planting, long nasty thorns, bears prolifically, sidewalk will stink of fermenting windfall in a few weeks.


 COMMENT 543507 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 09:35 AM

Isn't it a bit odd to pick fruit off someone's tree...where apparently both the tree species is unknown to you as well as the owner of the tree...and eat it? How did you know it was edible? I grow a lot of exotic plants and would be displeased if someone happened by and plucked fruits off my plants to sample them. Where's the asking permission...both to see if the fruit is okay to eat...and to get the owner's permission to take the fruit?


 COMMENT 543509 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 09:49 AM

Re 507: The particular fruit that I picked and tasted was located on a public walkway and there are literally piles of fruit laying on the ground rotting and attracting fruit flies. I don't see this as an issue and I'm sure someone would love to have the mess cleaned up. I never set foot on private property. It is obvious no one cares about these particular plants.


 COMMENT 543527 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 11:04 AM

In the old English common law (if one were on private property) it was a crime to pick fruit from a tree, however, if it had fallen to the ground beneath the canopy of the tree, it was NOT a crime to pick it up and take it away, even if it was taken from private property.


 COMMENT 543531P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 12:06 PM

I don't know about old English common law, but I've heard that here in the states, if the fruit is located on someone else's property, that person can pick it (i.e. if our neighbor's avocado tree has a branch hanging over our property, I can pick the fruit located above our property.) In this case, it sounds like the fruit was hanging over public property (ie.e a public walkway).


 COMMENT 543537 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 01:14 PM

Fair enough about the access to the fruit. Really I'm more intrigued by the sampling of an unknown fruit. And I'm using the word "fruit" in the botanical sense. How could you know this fruit wasn't poisonous. It truly is a leap of faith when a plant is unknown and the family of plants is unfamiliar. Neither Salicaceae nor Flacourtiaceae (the two families this genus has been placed in) are well-known for comestibles. There are more than a few ornamental trees and shrubs around town that bear fruit which is poisonous (like Thevetia and Cyphostemma) but looks temptingly edible. Better to ID first and sample second to avoid an unfortunate trip to the ER or worse!


 COMMENT 543561P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-10 04:39 PM

Never eat a plant you are unfamiliar with. A surprisingly high percentage of plants contain compounds that are toxic. Of course, the dose makes the poison, but if you don't know if the dose is kilograms or grams you could regret your ignorance.


 COMMENT 543638 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-11 10:26 AM

Some of my most enjoyable adventures occurred when I took a small risk. Hey, sample the fruit, ride a motorcycle, have a serious conversation with a stranger, try windsurfing --. Do things!


 COMMENT 543708P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-11 02:37 PM

It's cute, the people who suggest these are loquats. Loquats are ripe here in March-April now, and never in August.


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-11 10:16 PM

708 I was thinking the same thing, although along C.O, there was a tree producing around June or July, because I picked some for my tortoise, and he didn't even come out until close to June, but it was near the end of the crop I think.


 COMMENT 543768P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-11 10:42 PM

CORKY: 708P here. Glad my screen came up on this thread again, or I would have missed your comment.

I have pomegranates that are nearly ripe now, and they're not supposed to be ready to eat until Nov- Dec! (It used to be they didn't ripen until late Dec-January.) Our changing weather is the cause.

Also: I think the loquat tree you found with ripe fruit in June/July may be a different variety to the more common types found around here? There are many different species of loquats. In Ojai, I picked loquats that were huge, round and orange. Tastier even than those we grow in SB, with the exception of one tree: Nirvana Rd (Westside) used to have THE BEST loquat tree ever, ever, ever. But someone chopped it down, more's the pity.

Good for you, feeding your tortoise wonderful fruits. May s/he live a long and fruit-filled life.


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