Thursday, January 21, 2010

Glycosmis, a little-grown citrus relative

Also known as Gin-berry and Orangeberry, Glycosmis pentaphylla produces small, sweet, translucent, pink fruits.  Native to tropical Asia and Australia, they will grow in the same conditions as citrus. Fruits that are not completely ripe have a faint juniper or gin-like aftertaste, hence the common name.

Individual fruits are about the size of a pea.  You would need several plants to get enough fruit to do anything with, but they are a delicious snack right off the tree when wandering through the garden!

The leaves are about 6 inches in length, but may be single or with up to five leaflets. This one branch shows leaves that are simple, and with 2, 3, and 4 leaflets.
The white flowers are tiny, and barely open at the tip. They appear in clusters at the ends of the branches.

Flowering and fruiting occurs throughout most of the year, and plants normally show all stages of fruit development at the same time.

Gin-berry grows only about 10-12 feet tall, and the trunks never get more than about 1½ inches in diameter. Here's a row of plants that are about 20 years old:

Glycosmis pentaphylla is hardy to at least the mid-20°F range.  Mine have taken several hours at 26°F with no damage at all.

Click here to buy Glycosmis seeds


Ian Percy said...

Jim This plant sounds interesting.
Probably something I could grow here. Always good to hear about a new plant which is edible
cheers Ian

Teresa said...

These are very pretty. I knew I hadn't run across them around here after reading the hardiness temperatures. Oh well, I can enjoy seeing yours.

Flowers said...

Beautiful.... the pictures and words were a joy to see and read... :O)


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