EVEN when it’s not fruiting, the Tamarillo, or tree tomato makes an attractive foliage specimen tree.
Originally from South America it thrives in the sub tropics and grows to about 2.5 metres and can be trimmed if necessary.
Like most fruit trees they can be grown in large pots.
Popular in New Zealand, it also grows well in the Ipswich area.
The fruit come in bunches, between two and five to a bunch, starting off green and gradually colour with purple stripes, which in turn morph into a burgundy/red colour appearing oblong in shape about the size of a small tomato.
The red fruit hang down and is like having a Christmas tree in your yard with baubles.
The skin is very tough and not eaten but rather halved with the juice and seeds being scooped out, not unlike eating a passionfruit.
The fruit is picked when a little soft to touch which makes it easier to scoop out with a spoon and can be enjoyed on your morning cereal or with deserts or eaten separately.
Taste is somewhere between a passionfruit and a rock melon.
Boiling in water for a minute or so, the skin peels off and one can enjoy the whole fruit or can be sliced.
The tamarillo is different than anything in the shops and can be made into a delicious jam, ideal for scones or toast. There are a number of fruiting trees that can be grown in Ipswich.
Most of the citrus trees, especially the mandarin are easy to grow while the good old mulberry, given space to grow will last for many years.
The large leaves in years gone by was a favourite food for the silk worms that kids used to keep. The tree can be cut to shape and kept small if desired.
Another fruiting tree that’s a little different is the panama berry. This small grape like fruit is red in colour and has a sweet taste.
This tree is a fast grower and can be cut back if necessary to suit the area.
It fruits continually but has a limited life span.Its leaves have a sticky consistency when touched.