The following material is not meant to represent encyclopaedic treatises on each species - instead it is to indicate the essential features of each so that members can decide whether they wish to grow them, after which they can then obtain more complete information from the many other sources available. We have divided them all into three sections, depending on how easy they are to grow in our sub-tropical climate. For the more exotic plants we have tried to provide sufficient detail on their native environment and conditions so that the extent of management necessary to succeed here can be judged. We have also attempted to tailor our comments to be relevant to the environment we face in the south west of WA, as so many other reference sources have been written for quite different conditions.
In Section 1 we include those fruits which are commonly available in our environment. They can be obtained at most times, and they are cheap, and easy to grow here.
Information on how to tend these plants is widely available and everyone has eaten them, so we do not give extensive coverage of their management or features.
Most of our members have some of these in their collections or orchards, and for those who may have little experience in growing fruit trees, they may be a good way to start.
As a Rare Fruit Club we give slightly more information on uncommon varieties of these common fruits.
Section 2 includes those species which can produce fruit in our sub-tropical environment but are just not seen very often here in retail outlets or nurseries. Also included are some more common species such as banana and pawpaw which are not as hardy as typical Mediterranean trees and require a little more attention to get them to perform satisfactorily.
Many people would never have tasted the more rare fruits before and would be even less likely to have experience growing them. The good news is that many of these can be grown in different regions of South West WA, provided suitable attention is given to their specific needs.
All entries in this Section are plants that our Members have had success with or know have fruited here.
Many of the plants in Section 3 are currently being trialled by Members as they have not yet fruited here. There are many possible reasons: the plants may still be too young to fruit, or learning how to manage the plant in our environment so that it will crop is still a work in progress. Plants included are those which are more tender than those in the previous two Sections, so they represent much more of a challenge to coax them to perform. It may prove to be impossible to grow some of them in our climate, but information has been included for the benefit of any dreamers who want to try anyway.
The reward is not only the personal satisfaction of knowing you have triumphed against all the odds, but the enjoyment of having your own supply of exotics on tap.
This Section will obviously change over time as members report first fruiting or new challenges are taken on. With fruiting, some of these may then qualify to be moved into Section 2.