How Good are You at Identifying Tropical Fruits?

December 11, 2009

Maybe you’re a whiz when it comes to local fruits and vegetables, but how good are you if we shift the landscape to the Caribbean? Today’s post will give you a perfect opportunity to test your identification skills and take a shot at winning a prize!

All you need to do is guess the identify of the following photos that were taken during my recent trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands and a stay on the island of St. Croix. It’s such a lush environment where the vegetation is amazingly productive and exotic.

There are always exciting plant discoveries and new fruits and veggies to sample. We won’t waste time rehashing past tropical edibles like the sour sops, sugar apples, and tamarinds that I shared the last time I was in St. Croix.

Take Advantage of all the Help You can Get for this Challenge

Those were easy compared to what’s in store for you today, but guess right and you’ll be in the running to receive a nice little prize from my OpenSky storefront. If you’ve subscribed and read the latest issue of the Gardening Secrets Newsletter you will have a huge advantage because the names of all the plants in question were mentioned there!

It’s not too late to sign up for the newsletter and snag copy of the November issue from the archives if you want to improve your chances of coming up with all the correct responses. Or if you’re feeling pretty confident, just jump right in and list your answers in the comment section below.

Be sure to place the names in the same order as the photos appear. If more than one person gets them all correct a winner will be selected at random. Good luck and here is the lineup of exotic vegetation found growing in St. Croix that will challenge your plant identification skills:

Unusual and Exotic Vegetation Spotted in the U.S. Virgin Islands:










Go right ahead and give it your best shot to identify all of the plants pictured above. One final clue, which you’ve probably guessed by now if you follow this site, is that some part of each plant is edible or medicinal, but the catch is it may not be the part that is pictured in the photo.

I’ll return in a couple days to post the correct identification of these tropical plants and announce the winner of the contest and the prize that they will be receiving.

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  • vrtlaricaana

    Third from the bottom is passiflora? But I’m very interested to know what it is on the 6th from the bottom (red with white inside and lots of black seeds).

  • James

    Thanks for the challenge, Kenny. Here’s my best guesses (with a bit of research):

    2.caribbean sorrel
    3.malabar spinach

    I actually just recently tried a dragonfruit myself, having read about them in Adam Gollner’s, The Fruit Hunters. Sadly, my southern California supermarket’s dragonfruit was almost completely flavorless.

  • Barbee

    WOW! This is a hard one! I’m trying to think of all my tropicals and can’t identify very many. Can I guess?
    Is #1 a sapote? #2 and 3-no clue! If #4 were yellow, I’d guess dragon fruit (but it’s not yellow! LOL) 5, 6, 7: Breadfruit, banana, passionflower. #8 Is that a baby papaya? Looks a lot like a baby papaya. and that last one-#8-that looks like a cuke but can’t be a cuke(too easy?) maybe loofah?

    I LOVE #2 that is a very striking flower-it must have benn quite a lovely plant.

  • Ida Hunt

    This is hard.
    1 Not sure
    2 Sorrell, used to make a delicious drink, especially with a touch of ginger
    3 Green stemmed spinach – a little slimy. There’s also a red stemmed one. The abundant
    purplish black seeds are dried and used for replanting
    4 No idea, but could be the fruit from cactus
    5 Breadfruit
    6 Banana or Plantain
    7 Passion fruit flower
    8 Not sure
    9 Kareila, or Bitter Gourd

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  • Stewart

    Here goes: Eggfruit, Sorrel, Malabar Spinach, Dragon fruit, Breadfruit, Banana, Passionfruit, Papaya, Loofah. Thanks for the interesting stuff. Keep up the good work.

  • http://n/a Chris

    the answers can all be found by hovering your mouse pointer over the photo. thanks for the challenge, i didn’t cheat. hope to meet you at the PASA conference in a few weeks!

  • Kenny Point

    Hi Chris, I didn’t make it quite that easy, the names were added after the contest was over and James was crowned as the winner in the following blog post. Thanks for stopping by and playing along.

  • David

    OK, lessee…

    Malabar spinach
    Dragon Fruit
    Passion fruit

    I first began visiting the Caribbean when I was twelve
    and have resided in South Florida off and on, for the last 38 years. I love the Caribbean cultures, cuisine, music, and natural beauty of the islands and the waters.

  • June

    1. eggfruit, or canistel
    2. roselle (type of hibiscus)
    3. malabar spinach
    4. dragon fruit
    5. Breadfruit
    6. banana
    7. passiflora
    8. papaya
    9. loofah

    contest is probably over, but this is still fun. These are my guesses off the top of my head.

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