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11 unusual fruit crosses that will make your taste buds quiver

Plumcot anyone? Here’s 11 unusual fruit trees and bushes for the experimental gardener

What’s with the weird and unusual fruit? Perhaps you have tasted some of the many strange fruit crosses that are now available. Are you tempted to plant your own unusual fruit tree or bush? If so, February is a great time to plant. You might even find bare root plants to keep your costs down. These curiously addictive fruit crosses are generally created from hybrids rather than selective breeding through genetic engineering of DNA. In other words, the new fruits arise from cross-pollination of two plants from the same species or genus.

Here’s a round-up of the most commonly found ‘alternative’ fruit crosses. You can decide for yourself whether the tree or bush is the right one for you.

Pluot

new fruit, fruit cross, pluot, plum, apricot, weird fruit, grow your own, strange fruit, hybrid fruit, This is a Pluot. It's three quarters plum and one quarter apricot.

Pluots are interspecific hybrids resulting from a plum and apricot cross. The parentage of this unusual fruit is three quarters plum and one quarter apricot. The flavour of the fruit is dominated by the plum taste, but the texture in the mouth is more like an apricot. Pluots are loved for their flavour and the fruit has a higher concentration of natural sugar than the individual parent.

Aprisali® or Aprium

Prunus Aprium 'Aprisali', weird fruit, apricot plum cross, apricot, plum, fruit tree, unusual fruit, plant a fruit tree, Prunus Aprium 'Aprisali' fruit tree is a self-fertile apricot-plum cross which has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Prunus aprium Aprisali® produces sweet apricot-plum crossed fruits which are suitable for eating and cooking. The fruits are aromatic and taste mainly of apricot with just a hint of plum. The hybrid is three quarters apricot and one quarter plum. The self-fertile tree is fully hardy and relatively compact. It crops early in its life during July and has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Apriplums are a similar cross.

Plumcot

This was the original hybrid and it is half plum, half apricot. The plumcot is still a novelty because its unusual fruit tastes equally of plums and apricots.  However, it has maintained popularity even though it has largely been usurped by the more flavourful crosses that have a higher percentage of either one or the other parent.

plumcot, unusual fruit, fruit, fruit trees, hybrid cross, plumcot tree, plum, apricot, plant a fruit tree, The Plumcot looks pretty amazing with its red flesh and juicy texture: nonetheless,  it has been largely replaced by different hybrid crosses.

Tangelo and Ugli fruit

tangelo, tangerine, grapefruit, hybrid fruits, unusual fruit, fruit trees, plant an unusual tree, grow your own, Tangelos are a cross between tangerines and grapefruit and these new fruits are becoming very popular.

Tangelo is an interesting fruit arising from a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit and it has a juicy, tangy flavour that some people find irresistible.

ugli fruit, ugli, hybrid fruit, fruit crosses, grapefruit, orange, tangering, try something new, grow your own, The Ugli fruit is a mix of tangerine, grapefruit and orange.

The curiously named Ugli fruit includes oranges in the same mix.

Lemonquat

Lemonquat, orangequat, limequat, hybrid fruit, unusual fruit, fruit tree, modern fruit, grow your own, The Lemonquat is a hybrid of lemon and kumquat.

You’ve probably guessed that this unusual fruit is a hybrid of the lemon citrus fruit and the kumquat, forming a tangy fruit with an edible rind.  Look out for orangequats and limequats too!

Doughnut peaches and nectarines

saturn peach, peach tree, doughnut peach, donut peach, peach, hybrid fruit, modern peach tree, The Saturn peach tree produces doughnut-shaped peaches.

You can’t fail to have noticed the squat little peaches and nectarines that appeared a few years ago. The popularity of Saturn peach trees knows no bounds because the flattened fruits are so easy to hold, simple to eat and they are delicious too. These fruits are loved by everyone, not least children who are captivated by the name 'doughnut' and love the taste too.

Plango

Plango fruit, plango, hybrid fruit, mango, plum, grow your own, unusual fruit, fruit tree, The Plango is a tropical modern hybrid fruit that has resulted from crossing a mango and plum.

Can you guess what this is? The plango is a highly unusual tropical fruit that comes from mango and plum parentage.  The result of this hybrid cross is fruit with yellowy-orange edible skin; a sweet taste and a soft, juicy texture.

Cucamelons

cucamelon, fruit, grow your own, unusual fruit, fruit tree, taste, exotic, The Cucamelon is a little fruit that tastes like cucumber with a hint of lime.

Cucamelons are intriguing little fruits that taste like cucumber with a hint of lime. They originally come from Mexico and are not a modern hybrid. The plants are easy to grow and these unusual fruits have become popular here in the UK. Some call them doll or mouse watermelons!

Boysenberries

bosenberries, blackberry, raspberry, loganberry, unusual fruit, fruit bush, hybrid fruit, grow your own, Bosenberries are a hybrid between blackberries, raspberries and loganberries

These dark bramble fruits are a hybrid between blackberries, raspberries and loganberries. and they are delicious! They do have a slight drawback and this largely relates to their short fruiting season. The fruit  doesn’t tend to store very well and growers have to consider whether or not it deserves valuable space in the fruit garden.  Many decide that it is well worth the short season! A member of the Rubus family, there are thornless varieties of this bush plant that produces sweet and succulent fruit on canes.

Tayberries

tayberry, raspberry, blackberry, hybrid cross, grow your own, fruit bushes, unusual fruit, The Tayberry is a juicy, sweet fruit which is considered to be one of the finest hybrids.

The Tayberry is a raspberry crossed with a blackberry and the elongated fruits have a juicy, sweet flavour. Berry eaters consider this to be one of the finest hybrid berries and some say that if you have room for just one hybrid berry, choose this one! The berry was named after the Scottish river Tay.

Tummelberries

tummelberry, tummelberries, scottish fruit, hybrid fruit, grow your own, berries, fruit bushes, People seem to love tummelberries, which are Scottish-bred Tayberries.

This one’s a fairly new type of Tayberry with the added bonus of having one of the longest picking seasons of any hybrid berry.  Rubus 'Tummelberry' produces large rounded fruits with a bright red colour and superb flavour. It's a heavy cropping fruiting bush with excellent winter hardiness.

In  conclusion:

The hybridisation process knows no bounds! But this does not need to be viewed with suspicion. After all, this method of crossing one parent with another has been performed by nature for many centuries.  Hybrids shouldn't be confused with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) which have been created in a laboratory.  What we are enjoying today can be considered the best in terms of flavour, shape, appearance and content - and there will be more to come. Enjoy!