15 fruits we eat but don’t know how they grow

Thanks to world trade and the rapid development of traffic flows, today we can feast on the fruits of plants that do not grow in our climatic conditions. At the same time, some of them are so fond of that they have become part of our daily diet. And what do we know about how these “overseas dishes” grow?

A stalk that has grown in the form of a pear (the so-called apple-I seem). Below, the real fruit is the cashew nut. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Amar Bangladesh

Our publication will tell you which plants fruits are 15 well-known products. It should be noted that some of them, from the point of view of biology, are not considered fruits.

1. Capers


Capers, for example, are not fruits at all, but unblown buds of the herbaceous caper thorny plant. If they are allowed to bloom, then you can admire the white flowers of stunning beauty for a long time, and then collect the fruits. True, they are considered less tasty than the buds, therefore, when purchasing canned capers, we usually buy the unblown flower buds of the thorny caper.

Collection of buds of prickly capers
Collection of buds of prickly capers. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Bellina Foods

The prickly caper is an extremely tenacious plant. Its roots reach groundwater, growing up to 20 meters, the length of the branches reaches 1,5 meters. He lives in nature on stones, in cracks in walls, therefore he brings significant troubles to historical architectural monuments in his homeland – in Central Asia. Today it is grown on an industrial scale, mainly in the Mediterranean countries of Europe, whose cuisines are rich in dishes with capers. By the way, the original recipe for the famous Olivier salad uses capers, not pickles. In the wild, it grows in the Caucasus, Crimea, Kazakhstan.

2. Figs

Figs, fig tree fruit
Figs, fig tree fruits. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Maximilian

The homeland of figs is considered to be India and the Mediterranean. These fruits grow in the subtropics on trees or large shrubs, reaching a height of ten meters. On the banks of rivers, fig trees or fig trees (other names for figs) form impenetrable thickets. These plants are also loved by the southern slopes of the mountains, where they can grow up to 2000 meters above sea level.

Fig, or Fig, or Fig tree (Ficus carica)
Fig, or Fig, or Fig tree (Ficus carica). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Get Horty

In Russia, figs are cultivated only in the southern regions, and the main industrial plantations of fig trees are located in Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, South America, Portugal and Italy. This plant cannot withstand frosts below -12 degrees Celsius. But figs can be grown with success at home, as an ornamental culture. Tadochny fig trees grow no higher than 3 – 4 meters.

Read about how to grow figs in the article: Figs are a wine berry.

3. Papaya

Ripe papaya fruit
Ripe papaya fruit

The melon tree is also called the plant on which the papaya fruits grow, native to Central America and Mexico. Papaya does not tolerate sub-zero temperatures at all, even the lowest, therefore it grows only in the tropics. The plant looks like a palm tree, but it is not. It is a tree reaching 15 meters in height. The diameter of the hollow inside the trunk at the base is 30 cm, and the lateral branches are completely absent.

Growing papaya or melon tree on a plantation (Carica papaya)
Growing papaya or melon tree on a plantation (Carica papaya). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com cnseed

Papaya leaves only form on the top of the trunk and can grow up to 90 cm in length. Interestingly, the plant has male and female flowers. Moreover, more often flowers of only one sex grow on one tree. But during high summer temperatures, the sex of the flowers can change from female to male and vice versa.

4. Brazilian nut

Brazilian nut
Brazilian nut. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com zoom50

The Brazil nut is a tree native to the wild forests of Brazil, as well as Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela. This plant has two features that, like its fruits, deserve great attention. Firstly, bertoletiya (another name for it) is one of the largest plants on our planet. It reaches a height of 30-45 meters, and the diameter of a Brazil nut trunk can be about two meters. Secondly, this tree is an absolute long-liver. Although it is officially believed that Bartoletiya only lives for half a millennium, Brazilians claim that this tree grows and bears fruit for up to 1000 years. And they even show such specimens to tourists, although, of course, it is difficult to verify the reliability of this information.

Bertholletia, Brazil nut (Bertholletia)
Bertholletia, Brazil nut (Bertholletia). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Aspruder

Another feature of the Brazil nut, it only bears fruit in the wild. And the richest crops are harvested not in Brazil, as one might think, but in Bolivia. The fruit itself looks like a large box, reaching 15 cm in diameter and two kilograms of weight. And the so-called nuts are the grains of this fruit.

5. Pitahaya (dragon fruit)

Pitahaya (dragon fruit)
Pitahaya (dragon fruit). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Jordan Steadman

The dragon fruit grows on a cactus. True, not quite usual. Pitahaya is a liana-like climbing cactus, successfully grown today in Central and South America, Australia and the countries of Southeast Asia. It is interesting that these cacti are very fertile – about thirty tons of harvest can be obtained from one hectare of plantations per year. Pitahaya bears fruit up to six times a year!

Plantation of hilocereus, plants producing pitahaya fruits
Plantation of hilocereus, plants producing pitahaya fruits. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com thejakartapost

Another feature of the plant, which gives us these sweet fruits with an incredibly delicate creamy pulp, it blooms only at night. Large white flowers have a very pleasant, persistent scent.

6. Wasabi

Wasabi paste and Japanese eutreme root
Wasabi paste and Japanese eutreme root. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com maguro

A perennial herb eutremus japonica, from the rhizome of which the world famous spice for Japanese cuisine is prepared – wasabi, grows up to half a meter in height. It is noteworthy that the rhizome itself grows very slowly, maximum, gaining 3 cm in length per year. The root is considered to be mature only in the 3rd – 4th year. The people call wasabi Japanese horseradish, although this plant has little in common with horseradish – just belonging to the same family.

Wasabi, or Japanese Eutrema (Eutrema japonicum)
Wasabi, or Japanese Eutrema (Eutrema japonicum). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Maria

Another feature of wasabi is that the rhizome in different parts has a different acuity. But this is a feature of only real wasabi – a plant that grows exclusively in the flowing waters of mountain streams. A vegetable grown in a garden does not have even a tenth of the beneficial properties that “honwasabi” (this is how the Japanese call real wasabi), however, such a vegetable wasabi is much cheaper.

How to grow Japanese euterma – wasabi, read the article: Japanese Eutrem – “Japanese horseradish” wasabi.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric root and dried powder
Turmeric root and dried powder

A perennial plant of the ginger family turmeric can grow up to one meter in height. Today it is grown on an industrial scale in Japan and China, India and Indonesia. In these parts, turmeric is considered the most popular spice.

Turmeric plant (Curcuma)
Turmeric plant (Curcuma)

For the preparation of spices, only the rhizome of Indian saffron (the second name of the plant) is used, but the plant itself is quite decorative. Small flowers are combined into large (up to 20 cm in length) inflorescences and boast very beautiful bracts. A single turmeric bush (long leaves growing directly from the soil) may have several of these buds. At the same time, the flowering of turmeric is very long – up to three months. Therefore, today this plant is gaining popularity in our home floriculture.

For information on how to grow turmeric, read the article: Daring forms of indoor turmeric.

8. Carnation

Cloves - a spice
Cloves are a spice. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Thamizhpparithi Maari

The world-famous spice of carnation is the non-blossoming flower buds of a large evergreen tree (up to 20 meters high), which grows mainly on the islands of Pemba and Madagascar. A third of the world’s supply of cloves comes from there.

Buds (flower buds) of a clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum)
Buds (flower buds) of a clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum)

Blossoms and, accordingly, “bears fruit buds” of carnation twice a year. The process of assembling them is simple, so this spice is relatively inexpensive. In greenhouse conditions, carnations are also grown, but this is a rather troublesome process. However, as well as caring for any exotic indoor plants.

9. Avocado

Avocado fruit
Avocado fruit

From the point of view of biology, avocado is a drupe. It grows on an evergreen tropical tree with a wide crown and a height of up to 15 meters. Most growers routinely prune their avocado trees at a height of about 5 meters to facilitate harvesting.

Inflorescences and fruits of an avocado on a branch of a Persea americana tree
Avocado inflorescences and fruits on a Persea americana tree branch. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com agric.wa.gov

The peculiarity of avocados is that they never fully ripen on the tree. After harvesting the fruits, at least 1-2 weeks pass, during which they reach the desired condition at room temperature. Therefore, if you bought an unripe avocado, this is normal. Just put it in a dark cabinet for a few days.

How to grow an avocado, read the article: Secrets of growing avocados at home.

10. Black pepper

Black pepper: green, dried without the skin and dried with the skin
Black pepper: green, dried without the skin and dried with the skin. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Liliana Usvat

The most common spice on planet Earth is black pepper. This is the fruit of a perennial evergreen tree vine of the pepper family.

Malabar berry (also called black pepper) grows in tropical forests, twining trees and reaching 15 meters in length. On an industrial scale, black pepper is grown on special trellises or supports.

Black pepper plantation (Piper nigrum)
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) plantation. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Liliana Usvat

At the beginning of ripening, the fruits of the plant are green, darkening over time and acquiring a more intense aroma. If the berries are overripe, peel them off, leaving only a white core. Such black pepper is called “white” on the market. Its taste is less pungent, but the smell is more intense.

Read about how to grow black pepper in the article: Black pepper, or “Malabar berry”.

11. Quinoa

Quinoa grains
Quinoa grains

The quinoa plant looks like tall grass. It grows up to four meters, has a rigid branching stem, large round leaves and large inflorescences. Biologists classify the culture as pseudo-grain, due to the absence of a hard shell on the fruit. Hundreds of quinoa varieties are known today, but only three of them are grown commercially.

Quinoa plantation
Quinoa plantation. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Michael Hermann

Quinoa has been proven to be the mainstay of the ancient Indian diet. “Golden grain”, as the Incas called it, who considered these fruits to be as important a product as potatoes and corn. At the beginning of the 21st century, quinoa became popular all over the world thanks to its followers of healthy eating. However, this product must be introduced into your diet very carefully: it is a strong allergen.

For more information on how to grow quinoa, read the article: Quinoa is a dietary crop in your garden.

12. Vanilla

Vanilla powder and pods
Vanilla powder and pods. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com lafaza

Real vanilla has little to do with the vanilla or vanilla sugar we buy from supermarkets for baking. It is indecently expensive, because its cultivation is very difficult, and the yields are meager – a maximum of two centners per hectare. Vanillin is a product of the chemical industry, and vanilla is the dried and powdered fruit of the perennial vine of the orchid family.

Vanilla orchid: flower, green and dried pods
Vanilla orchid: flower, green and dried pods. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Averater

This plant, twisting around a tree, climbs to a height of 15 meters. The vanilla trunk is very thin and the leaves are fleshy and flat, long and oval. They grow directly from the stem, which does not branch out. Vanilla flowers bloom no more than one day. After fertilization, the ovary is found only in the 7th – 9th month! The vanilla fruit is a narrow, oblong cylinder about 25 cm long and one and a half cm wide with small seeds inside. The difficulties with growing vanilla are associated, first of all, with the problems of its pollination. Oddly enough, but in the wild, only one species of hummingbird and bees of the same genus, which live only in Mexico, can pollinate it. On an industrial scale, vanilla is manually pollinated. To do this, use a special brush. This is a very lengthy and not always effective process. Only half of the artificially pollinated flowers produce an ovary.

13. Ginger

Ginger root
Ginger root

A perennial herb with long narrow leaves and a valuable rhizome – ginger – is now rarely found in the wild. What we eat is a crop grown mainly on plantations in India and Southeast Asia. The flowers of ginger are slightly reminiscent of the well-known irises.

Rooted ginger plant (Zingiber officinale)
Rooted ginger plant (Zingiber officinale). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Eric

Interestingly, in the Middle Ages, ginger was brought to Europe, where it became famous as the most effective prophylactic agent against the plague. Its price was simply fabulous. In cooking, ginger began to be used much later than in medicine.

Read about how to grow ginger in the article: Ginger – Seasoning and Medicine. Growing methods.

14. Pistachios


We used to think of pistachios as nuts, although botany science claims that these are seeds of a fruit – drupes. They grow on small trees, often called bushes, that have a dense crown. The pistachio tree blooms in April, the fruits ripen by September-November, depending on the variety and region of growth.

Plantation of real pistachio, or pistachio tree (Pistacia vera)
Plantation of real pistachio, or pistachio tree (Pistacia vera)

In the wild, pistachios grow almost everywhere in Asia, in areas of North-West Africa. The nature of Syria, Mesopotamia, Iran and Central America is rich in pistachios. This plant is cultivated in the south of Europe.

Pistachio trees are long-lived. It is believed that in favorable conditions, they live for at least 400 years.

For more information on how pistachios grow, read the article: How do pistachios grow?

15. Cinnamon

Cinnamon stick and cinnamon powder
Cinnamon stick and cinnamon powder

The spice cinnamon is not a fruit, but the dried inside of the bark of the Ceylon cinnamon tree, which belongs to the laurel family and the cinnamon genus. Cultivated plantings of cinnamon have the appearance of plantations of shrubs. Twice a year, bark is removed from young shoots of plantations. This is a very troublesome business. Firstly, you need to wait until the end of the rainy period, then it is not so difficult to remove the bark and its smell is the most intense. Secondly, it must be removed in strips with precise length and width parameters – 30 cm and 1-2 cm, respectively.

Young cinnamon tree
A young cinnamon tree. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com 7_Heads

Sri Lanka is considered the homeland of cinnamon, but today it is grown everywhere in India, Brazil and the countries of Southeast Asia. The best varieties of Ceylon cinnamon are those that have a paper-thin bark.


15 fruits we eat but don't know how they grow
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Anna Evans

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