Australia has a variety of climates that range from tropical to desert. Most of the fruit trees are grown in the tropical areas of Australia where the temperatures do not get cold, and there is an abundant amount of rainfall. The fruit produced in Australia is unusual and exotic. Most fruit is unrecognizable to people in the United States. The closest growing environment to Australia in the United States is Hawaii. Florida is a close second but still has too cool temperatures to grow Australian fruit trees.
Durian (Durio zibethinus) is an upright, tropical fruit tree that reaches up to 130 feet in height. The trunk is about 4 feet in diameter. The evergreen, oblong leaves are thick and dark green. They are shiny on top and covered with gray hairs on the underside. The white and gold-brown flowers are 2 to 3 inches across. These bell-shaped blossoms cluster on the ends of the branches. The round fruit grows 6 to 12 inches long and weighs up to 18 pounds. The yellowish-green fruit is covered with pointed spikes. The creamy-white flesh produces a strong aroma of cheese and overripe onions mixed with turpentine. The durian is commonly eaten fresh and tastes like almond custard. The durian tree needs abundant rain and deep, loamy soil.
Grumichama (Eugenia brasiliensis) is a short-trunked tree growing 25 to 35 feet tall. The oval, 3-1/2 to 5 inch long leaves produce dense foliage. The white flowers are 1 inch wide followed by 1/2 to 3/4 inch cherry-like fruit. The fruit changes from green to bright red to nearly black as it ripens. It tastes like a sweet cherry. Grumichama is a subtropical tree that can survive temperatures as cold as 26 degrees Fahrenheit. This fruit tree prefers sandy, fertile soil.
Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is related to breadfruit and suffers damage at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. This evergreen fruit tree grows 30 to 70 feet tall. The leathery, oval leaves are glossy and 9 inches long. Short, flowering twigs sprout from the tree trunk and large branches. Jackfruit trees produce fruit that are up to 3 feet long and 10 to 60 pounds in weight. Jackfruit turns green or yellow when they ripen. Unopened fruit smell like over-ripe onions. The flesh inside smells like pineapple and tastes like bananas. The jackfruit tree needs plenty of moisture and deep, rich soil.
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is an upright, tropical fruit tree that grows very slowly. This 20 to 82 foot tall tree has a natural pyramid shape. The evergreen leaves have short stalks. These oblong, dark green leaves are glossy above and dull below. Fleshy, 1-1/2 to 2 inch blossoms have four green petals with red spots on the outside and yellowish-red coloration on the inside. Mangosteen fruit is round with a smooth, dark-purple skin. The snow-white flesh has an acidic flavor. The mangosteen tree has little tolerance for temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This fruit tree requires high humidity, at least 50 inches of annual rainfall and no periods of drought. Mangosteens are commonly eaten fresh and taste like strawberry-peach vanilla ice cream.
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