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Edible Tropical Plant Glossary

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2010

Potted tropical plants are a simple way to grow fresh fruit year-round, says horticulturalist Byron Martin from Logee's Greenhouse.

Keep the plants in a sunny indoor spot during fall and winter; in warm weather, move them outside. Byron recommends these varieties for novice and experienced gardeners alike.

Olea europaea 'Arbequina' (Black Olive)

Hailing from northern Spain, this easy-to-grow plant produces an abundance of small, dark, and tasty olives in late summer and fall. It requires lots of sun but will tolerate dryness, humidity, and wide variations in temperature.

Averrhoa carambola 'Dwarf Maher' (Star Fruit)

Known for its sweet juicy fruit, the Dwarf Maher thrives in warm temperatures and direct sunlight.

Hylocereus undatus (Dragon Fruit)

Hylocereus undatus is a climbing vine cactus species that blooms at night with beautiful, fragrant flowers. The plant produces scaly dragon fruit, which taste like a cross between a kiwi and a pear, after three to four years of growth.
Theobroma cacao (Cocoa)

An evergreen tree that grows well in humid, warm climates, the theobroma cacao will yield cocoa pods full of 20 to 40 cocoa beans each in about five months.

Ananas comosus 'Royale' (Pineapple)

The ananas comosus is a decorative plant whose delicious pineapple is about half the size of those commonly found in supermarkets. It requires heat, direct sunlight, and a bit of dryness between watering during its growing period.

Passiflora edulis 'McCann' (Passion Fruit)

Native to South America, the passiflora edulis is a vigorous plant that produces sweet oval passion fruit from early spring through fall. When growing indoors, keep in full sun, above 60 degrees, and supported with a trellis or stake.

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