Small Fruit Trees for  hedgerows or container plants


Acerola (Malpighia punicifolia)—This small, bushy tree from the West Indies is well known for its high vitamin C yielding fruits.  The round, red fruits were once grown commercially on the Big Island and shipped to the mainland before the manufacture of cheaper synthetic ascorbic acid.  The sweet variety, Manoa Sweet, is preferred for eating fresh.  It’s a very drought tolerant tree.

Araca’-Boi (Eugenia stipitata)—A highly flavored, aromatic fruit that makes a most delicious drink.  Just the pulp from a single fruit about the size of a guava is needed to make a whole pitcher of juice by blending it together with water, sugar, and ice.  This western Amazonia fruit grows from a 6 to 7 feet high bush.

Citrus—Dwarf citrus can be grown in pots or as small trees or bushes.

Kaffir lime(Citrus hystrix)—The Kaffir lime is popularly grown in Southeast Asia for its pleasantly fragrant leaves, used as a food flavoring.  The aromatic, bumpy skinned fruits are mainly used for washing hair and is said to kill hair lice. 

                                                     Kaffir Leaves                     


Kumquat (Fortunella species)—The kumquat is an ornamental shrub or small tree from China.  The trees, bushy and symmetrical with orange yellow fruits, are highly prized as ornamental tubbed plants for open lanais or pool decks.  Two major varieties are grown in Hawaii.  The Nagami kumquat is known for its oval, brightly colored orange fruits.  The Nagami fruits are valued for marmalades, preserves, dried fruits, and for decorative purposes.  The Meiwa kumquat is known for its large round fruits.  Its thick, sweet rind and comparatively sweet flesh make this variety the best kumquat for eating fresh.


Limau Limo (Citrus limo)—This lime like fruit from Indonesia has an excellent acid flavor and high aroma.  Popularly used for flavoring satay (skewered barbecued meat) in Indonesia.

 Sudachi—A Japanese citrus whose juice is used to enhance the flavor of fish and shellfish.  In Japan, it is often served as a condiment with balloonfish soup and grilled fish at high class restaurants.

 Yuzu—A citrus from Japan valued for its fragrant, aromatic rind.  Thin slices or the  grated rind of the fruits are used to enhance certain foods, such as meats, salmon,  pickles and soups.  Many higher classed restaurants in Hawaii use the Yuzu in many dishes including sauces and sorbets.  

Blue Grape Tree (Myrciaria vexator)—This jaboticaba relative has 1 ¼ inch round dark purple fruits that taste somewhat like sweet grapes.  It’s a slow growing tree or bush

.Blue Grape

Bunchosia (Bunchosia argentia)—Commonly called the Peanut Butter Fruit because of its rich, sweet flesh which has a texture and taste somewhat like peanut butter.  It is a fast growing small tree.  Attractive clusters of yellow flowers are borne on the tree followed by an abundance of one inch fruits which turn red upon maturity from summer to winter.  The fruits can be eaten fresh or made into milk shakes.

Cabeluda (Myrciaria glomerata)—This small Brazilian shrub is a jaboticaba relative with peach fuzzed yellow, small fruits tasting like sweet apricots.  It usually starts bearing at about 3 feet in height.

Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora)—This small Brazilian tree produce round purplish- black fruit directly from its trunk and main branches.  The fruits taste very much like rich grapes with thicker skins, and are used in every way in place of grapes in Brazil.  The slow growing plants can be used as hedges or sculptured trees.  This ornamental tree produces many crops throughout the year.

Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum)—The miracle fruit is a small compact bush in the Sapotaceae family from the tropical jungles of west Africa.  The small, bright red fruit act on the sour taste receptors of the taste buds by turning all sour foods sweet for about a two hour period.  Sour, acidic fruits, such as lemons, tamarinds, and pineapples, will be transformed into sweet treats after eating just one miracle fruit.  The slow growing plants make excellent container plants.  They prefer partial shade and fruit intermittently throughout the year.

Pak Wan (Sauropus androgynous)—The edible young leaves and shoots from this tropical shrub is one of the most nutritious and tastiest of all green leaf vegetables.  Eaten either cooked or raw, the delicious pea like flavored leaves are said to have the highest protein and mineral content of any green vegetable.  The disease and pest resistant shrubs are easy to grow and can be used for hedges.  Very popular in Malaysia and Thailand where the succulent young tips are eaten like tropical asparagus.  It can be grown in semi shade with wind protection

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)—The fruiting pomegranate is an attractive spiny shrub grown for its refreshing, pleasant tasting fruits.  The drought tolerant nature of this shrub and the ornamental effect of the decorative flowers and fruits make this plant an ideal fruit candidate for arid, coral soil areas.  Plants are very attractive when growing as a hedgerow cascading over a retaining wall.


Rheedia edulis—Small, self fertile tree that bears clusters of ¾ to 1 inch diameter yellow fruits with a pleasant subacid, sweet flavor.  Trees are adaptable in dry or wet climates and will bear fruits in large containers.

Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora)—The Surinam cherry is an attractive shrub or small tree suitable for growing as a hedge or as a potted plant for open lanais.  The plant is very ornamental, producing small white flowers and round, ribbed fruits which turn scarlet or purplish-black when ripe.  Fruits can be eaten fresh or used in making jelly.  A few selected varieties have been introduced to Hawaii and are propagated by grafting.  Among these varieties are Lolita, with very sweet, rich flavored black fruits, and Vermillion, a Florida variety with large, red, sweet fruits.