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THE PLANTS Fruit Home
Near Wild Fruits New and Exotic
Deep in the dark water swamps and hammocks of the lower South, down along the sandy riverbanks, grows the wispy, delicate Mayhaw tree. For generations, southerners have made the yearly trek by boat to harvest the floating orange fruit with nets. The fruits are boiled in a kettle until they burst open and release their flavor. The juice is strained to make a beautiful pale coral jelly. The flavor is exquisite, like sweet apple with overtones of mango and an aroma of pineapple. When you can find Mayhaw jelly in elite gift shops or progressive produce stands, it will cost around $6 a pint and is well worth it. The success of modern day Mayhaw growing can be attributed to Sherwood Atkins, famous for "taking the swamp out of the Mayhaw."
Mr. Atkins spent long days in the Lousiana swamps locating superior varieties of Mayhaw that will survive and thrive in ordinary garden soils.
Mayhaw needs little care: just provide a good vegetable garden soil and fertilizer. You can forget about having to spray or pamper this old swamp treasure. Our trees are grafted on wild Cratageous rootstock. Most Mayhaws need pollinators. They prefer part sun to shade and moist, well-drained soils. Buy two for cross pollination.
T.R. Barnette's Mayhaw Jelly
Ralph "T.R." Barnette was Val's grandfather and a country farmer from Alabama mistakenly stuck in the modern world of suburban Tallahassee. He crammed his 1/4 acre lot full of fruit trees, organic gardens and edible flowers that he used in salads. He made wine and jelly out of everything. A visit to his garden left you with a wealth of knowledge and a little tipsy from tasting his funky wines. His most treasured plant, however, was his beloved Mayhaw tree. What follows is his recipe, which has been handed down to friends and family. T.R. didn't use Surejell and didn't think too highly of people who did, so it takes a little longer.
for the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to find out your areas hardiness zone.
Mayhaw Varieties (Cratageous opaca)
BETSY Heavy bearer with very large red, round fruit.
The flesh is bright red. Blooms in late February - early March. Ripens in late April - early May.
Needs pollinator. Zones 7-9. $45.99 3 gal (4-5ft).
BIG RED Upright spreading tree, large fragrant fruit,
red-skinned with pink flesh. Blooms in early March. Ripens in late April- early May. Needs pollinator. Zones 7-9.
$45.99 3 gal (4-5ft).
GEORGIA GEM Just a cloud of white when
in bloom in spring. Light red fruit is up to 3/4 of an inch
in diameter. Red flesh makes a dark, coral jelly.
Blooms in mid-late March. Ripens mid-late May. Needs pollinator. Zones 7-9. $45.99 3 gal (4-5ft).
MARLENE Marlene is a medium sized tree with good, consistant production of red mayhaw fruit.
Good fire blight resistance.
Blooms in mid February. Ripens early May. Needs pollinator. Zones 7-9. $45.99 3 gal (4-5ft).
Available in December.
MAXINE Found by James Eaves near DeRidder LA, Maxine has arge fruit, over 3/4 inch.
Consistent heavy producer and ripens uniformly
- 95% of the fruit can be harvested at one time. Maxine is very resistant to fire blight and considered on of the
very best varieties found in the wild. It's also a beautiful tree with a natural inverted umbrella shape.
Blooms in late March. Ripens in late May. Needs pollinator. Zones 7-9. $45.99 3 gal (4-5ft).
Available in December.
RELIABLE Late bloomer, rarely caught in late frost. Large,
3/4 inch fruit with bright red skin. Excellent flavor. Blooms in mid-late March. Ripens
mid-late May. Needs pollinator. Zones 7-9. $45.99 3 gal (4-5ft). Available in December.
Are we out of what you are looking for? Email us at Justfruits@hotmail.com and we'll put you on the "Call When Available" list. We will call you!
Please come to see us if you can (Wednesday to Sunday, 9:05-5:08). We are located 19 miles south of Tallahassee, just off US Highway 98, 1 mile east of the intersection with US Highway 319 (South of Crawfordville center and actually in the village of Medart). If you need further directions, feel free to call us at 1-850-926-5644 or enter 30 Saint Frances St. Crawfordville FL 32327 (or Just Fruits Nursery) into Google Maps ( CLICK HERE).