Alternative fruit species

PERSIMMON (Diospyros kaki)

Persimmon originates from China. In late autumn, the sweet, orange fruit, that resembles a large tomato on the outside, is offered in almost all Austrian supermarkets from Italian producers. Persimmons are ebony plants (Ebenaceae), the scientific name `Diospyrus kaki´ means "fruit of Zeus".

Kaki trees are generally very frugal and adaptable to different soil types, but in our climate the limited winter hardiness of the wood and the long vegetation period that persimmons need to mature are the limiting factor in cultivation. In winter, the wood can tolerate temperatures down to -15° C. Various factors such as tree age, nutritional status and rootstock have a significant influence on winter hardiness. Young trees that have been blown with nitrogen are at particular risk.

Optimum lighting and high temperatures promote tree productivity and fruit quality in particular. Although pests and diseases do exist, they are of little importance in hobby farming.

The fruit of the gods only ripens when the leaves of the tree have fallen for the most part (October - November). The furry taste, caused by the tannins, is lost during the ripening process on the one hand, and during frost on the other. Joint storage with apples significantly accelerates the ripening process and the tannin degradation of the persimmons (ethylene excretion of ripening apples).

Also the varieties are decisive for harvesting and storage conditions. Under favourable climatic conditions, non-astringent varieties (NA) can be consumed directly from the tree while still hard and they can be stored for some time in a cool place. Astringent varieties (A varieties) should either be harvested overripe and muddy or stored together with apples. Once the fruits are ripe for consumption, they are only very little storable.

When overripe, the otherwise existing slightly bitter and furry taste has disappeared and persimmons have a very interesting and multi-layered aroma, are very healthy, versatile and a great change in the winter fruit assortment.

Due to their variety properties, persimmons are divided into two large groups - non-astringent (NA) and astringent (A), which in turn are divided into two subgroups depending on their reaction to pollination:

PCA (Pollination Constant Astringent) varieties: The fruits are always astringent and have a light orange flesh, irrespective of the pollination during harvest.

PVA varieties (Pollination Variant Astringent): The fruits are always astringent during harvest, but show a darker discoloration around the seeds during cross-pollination.

PCNA varieties (Pollination Constant Non Astringent): Under suitable climatic conditions, the fruits lose their astringency until harvest, independent of cross-pollination.

PVNA varieties (Pollination Variant Non Astringent): Without cross-pollination the parthenocarp formed fruits are soft and astringent during harvest. However, if the blossoms are pollinated by foreign pollen, the resulting fruits have the same properties as those of the PCNA varieties.

Tipo (PVNA)

is a main variety in Italy mainly because of its high yield, taste and its very large (up to 260 g) and tender fruits. It is considered `THE PERSIMMON´. The fruits are rather flat, very sweet and of the best taste. The tree forms dense, compact crowns and begins to bear very early. Tipo is self-fertile and is usually planted without fertilizer in Italy because it is too rich, the fruit size suffers and the fruits form more seeds. Under Austrian climatic conditions, cross-pollination can be recommended, as it does not ripen here until the end of October and the fruits produce less tannin from the very beginning.

Vainiglia (PVNA)

the particularly sweet, juicy fruit flesh - scented with a hint of bourbon vanilla - gives this name. Vainiglia is the earliest persimmon that will ripen here from mid-October. Medium-sized, tall, sweet fruits (140 g) and regular yield make them interesting also in our latitudes for admirers. The tree grows vigorously. Tipo and Cioccolatino are very good fertilizers for Vainiglia.

Cioccolatino (PVNA)

has its name from the dark coloured veins that run through the flesh of the fruit and also give it a darker colour from the outside. The fruits are rather small (d 90 g), round, edible even before fully ripe, particularly sweet and very crunchy. Cioccolatino ripens between Vainiglia and Tipo and is particularly interesting for the home garden and as a robust fertilizer for Tipo and Vainiglia.

Rosseyanka (D.Kaki x Diospyros Virginiana)

This variety combines the winter hardiness of D. Virginiana and the size of the fruits of Diospyros Kaki. However, the fruits are smaller and contain more tannins than commercially grown varieties. The mother tree of our scions is eight years old and has already survived winter with -18°C without any frost damage. It produces very high yields annually with up to 300 fruits with 50-70g fruit weight.

Hana Fujo (PCNA)

is the main variety in Japan, Florida and China that needs more heat than Tipo or Vainiglia, but protected particularly high in yield, very large (d 220 g), flat, one of the best in taste (although not quite as sweet as Tipo) and never astringent, seedless. The tree is early bearing, self-fertile (cross-fertilization promotes yield security) and should be protected from frost at a young age.

Rojo Brilliante (PVNA)

Besides the good taste, the particularly high yield of Rojo Brilliante makes it a main variety in Spain. The fruits are large (d 180 g), tall, firm fleshed and therefore easy to store; not as sweet as Tipo but also very aromatic. The tree begins to bear very early and is self-fertile. These persimmons are not astringent and are eaten like an apple. Rojo Brilliante ripens 2 to 3 weeks later than Tipo and needs a lot of heat. Even in Italy the quality is not as good as in southern Spain.


There are two types of kiwis: the large-fruity, hardy varieties as we know them from the food trade = Actinidia chinensis; and the small-fruity, absolutely hardy Actinidia arguta varieties.

Actinidia chinensis


Hayward is the classic, very large-fruity, cylindrical kiwi as known from the grocery trade. It needs protected locations, e.g. on a house wall with a climbing scaffold and necessarily a male pollinator.


are male ´actinidia chinensis´ varieties, which are also available for all ´arguta´ varieties as pollinator. You can plant up to five - also different - female kiwis per male pollinator.

Actinidia arguta


Issaj brings 2.5 to 3 cm large, smooth-skinned fruits with an intense kiwi flavour which can be eaten with the skin. Issaj is very resistant to winter frost and it is self-fertile. A male pollinator leads to higher yields and larger fruits.

PAWPAW (Asimina triloba)

Paw Paw is a new, interesting type of fruit for direct marketers and home gardens in the wine-growing climate. Due to its weak growth, this hardy and robust deciduous tree can be grown very easily similar to a stone fruit spindle. The bell-shaped purple-violet-coloured flowers and the yellow-coloured foliage in autumn have a high decorative value. The edible, oblong-oval to club-shaped fruits, which are yellow-green in colour and have an exotic fruity taste - fruitier than conventional bananas - ripen here from the end of September to mid-October.

SUNFLOWER, OVERLEESEand PRIMA currently stand out from the range of Paw Paws.

FIGS (Ficus carica)

Basically figs need warmth, but they can also be cultivated outdoors in our climate. We have two so-called "hardy" and resistant varieties on offer. Nevertheless, we recommend that they are planted in a pot for the first two to four years, protected during the winter and only planted outdoors in spring. Once they spent a year outdoors, exposed to wind and weather, they also withstand temperatures below -15°C, especially if these cold periods do not last too long. A protected site or antifreeze protection with fleece, brushwood, straw, reed,... is always recommended.

Figs need some care: On the one hand they love warmth, but in the heat they consume a lot of water through their large leaves. However, they also react sensitively to too much water and accumulating moisture - especially in the pot. Figs need a good nutrient supply. With an excessive supply of nitrogen, however, winter frost resistance decreases rapidly.


Firoma produces numerous, large, tasty, reddish brown - violet fruits with a very long harvest period. They ripen in favoured locations as early as August. Often many fruits can already be harvested on biennial plants. Firoma is self-fertile and very robust.


Sea buckthorn is a wild fruit that widespread all over the world and that has become increasingly popular among consumers in recent years. Especially the high content of vitamin C and secondary plant substances are important arguments for this undemanding fruit species. It copes quite well with light soils, is heat-tolerant, frost resistant and wind resistant. Soils rich in humus are recommended for commercial cultivation. Since many types of sea buckthorn are very thorny and the harvest is often difficult, we have selected varieties with particularly few thorns ad large fruits that are easier to harvest.

Planting female and male varieties is necessary in order to achieve a fruit yield. A male plant fertilizes up to 10 female plants. The small, inconspicuous flowers do not attract insects, but are primarily pollinated by the wind. Therefore, the fertilizer should not stand too far away.


large, oblong-oval, bright yellowish-orange fruits, very stable in colour and with little hair, dense fruiting already from the middle of September until the end of September - a top variety from the breeding programme of H.-J. ALBRECHT, Berlin, which can be described as the culmination of this breeding series. Growth is strong, broadly upright with a broad lateral branching, only slightly thorny;


Medium strong growth, taut upright, very few spines, few suckers; bred by H.-J. ALBRECHT, Berlin, from crossing of a Siberian variety with H. r. Pollmix; fruits are large (100 fruits = 52 grams), elongated oval to cylindrical, red-orange in colour, pleasantly sweet; fruit stems are relatively long and therefore easy to pick; ripe from late July to early August - recommended for private gardens due to fruit colouring, good taste and early ripening. Sirola(s) is a protected variety - unauthorized reproduction prohibited!


Male variety for Orange Energy® and Sirola(S); grows broadly erect, medium-high, is slightly thorny; leaves dark green silvery shaggy (beschülfert); in commercial cultivation we recommend the classification of ´Pollmix 1´ and ´Pollmix 3´; marketed by H.-J. ALBRECHT, Berlin, 1986.

Goji berry

Only few fruit species polarize as much as Goji currently. On the one hand it is traded as the "wonder berry" from the Himalayas, the anti-aging sensation in Hollywood that no star can do without, on the other hand Goji has long been known to us in Austria as "devil's thread" or "boxthorn" and grows in the Weinviertel in almost every cellar alley and every ravine path. It has always been warned against eating large quantities, especially of leaves and flowers.

Of course, the new goji varieties are Chinese or Tibetan selections, which are bred with regard to content substances and other fruit-growing properties.

Due to the great demand and the interest of some fruit growers to cultivate this type of fruit here, we have included some of the best varieties in our assortment:


High-performance variety, selected according to taste, ingredients and yield. - Cultivated millions of times in Chinese commercial plantations, mainly in the region ´Ningxia´. Variety protected by trademark law!


Like the species, but stronger growth with larger leaves and fruits - a Chinese selection. Variety protected by trademark law!


Like the species; compact, finer shoots; smaller leaves; large number of sweet fruits - a Chinese selection for commercial cultivation. Variety protected by trademark law!

POMEGRANATE (Punica granatum)


The pomegranate thrives in our climate best as a potted plant in a sunny location, on the balcony and terrace. It might also gives an exclusive Mediterranean touch to some vineyards in the midst of oleander, marguerite or agave.

It is a symbolic, mythological plant and is known in all cultures of the Old World. It is a symbol of fertility and love, and the synergy of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-oestrogenic ingredients has been shown to slow down the development of prostate and breast cancer.

For the ripening of fruits the pomegranate needs a long vegetation period (5 to 7 months). For "Götting Juno", a particularly sunny, wind-protected outdoor spot has proven to be the right choice at the end of April. On its branches will soon appear large, bell-shaped, crumpled flowers (reminiscent of crepe paper), which are fire-red in colour and are white-fringed. Its leaves are relatively small, green and elliptic in shape. The new shoots are reddish-orange in colour.

To improve the ripeness of the fruits, the plants should be placed in a winter garden from the end of September in order to harvest the ripe fruits in November / December. Pomegranates are not climacteric, i.e. the fruits do not ripen after harvesting. But they can be stored for a very long time.

From January onwards, the pots should be wintered at approx. 0 to 4°C, even light frosts (up to max. -10°C) are no problem. At degrees above 0 it should not be too moist, at temperatures minus 0°C moisture is important, so that no roots freeze to death. Whether light or dark does not matter, since the leaves are shed during hibernation.

The apple-like fruit has a diameter of up to ten centimetres, is initially green and turn orange to bright red in colour while ripening. Inside it has many walls and chambers with 300 - 400 seeds, which are surrounded by a red seed coat that can be eaten. The flesh itself is not edible.