When I was a kid growing up in South Florida I had no idea how blessed I was to be in the tropics.
I knew a few edible plants (I started gardening when I was six) but they were generally common things like coconuts, apples, spinach, radishes, beans, etc. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized there were a lot of delicious (and sometimes less delicious) wild edibles… and by that time I had moved out of the tropical paradise that birthed my gardening career.
The fruit above is a pond apple. Now that I’m much more sophisticated in my plant-spotting skills, I regularly see edible plants in the woods and on the roadsides that once would have passed me by unnoticed.
I admit: I haven’t eaten a pond apple yet since the ones I spotted along a canal (and picked the fruit above from) were not quite ready. Some reports say they’re good; others say they’re not.
They can’t grow up here in North/Central Florida, unfortunately, so I’m going to have to try and catch the season right with my next trip so I can try some. They are ALL OVER the place down south in wet places.
Pond apples are a cousin of the very tasty soursop fruit, among other edible relatives. The trees are short and attractive but will not grow in dry areas. If your backyard is a tropical swamp, this plant is for you.
One of these days I’ll get to eat one. One of these goldurn pond-appley Florida days.
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