Where to buy rare fruit plants ?
(Non-French nurseries)

Author : Herbert Pröhl

 

 

Article updated in 2017 - first version 2003
All rights reserved

In order to have a forest garden the more diversely planted, I think that it is important to know the nurseries in the world that can provide rare fruit plants. I give you a list of the main ones I know, focused on Europe and including an American nursery which belongs to the few ones accepting to ship in Europe for retail orders. Of course, this list is not exhaustive. It exists numerous other nurseries, especially in America and in Eastern Europe, which have an outstanding offer of rare fruit plants.
When I add a nursery in the list, it is marked for a month period with
*.

For the French nurseries offering rare fruit plants, see the article published on our web site.
For the sources of Pomegranate cultivars in France and in other countries, see specific article.

 

NON-FRENCH NURSERIES OFFERING RARE FRUIT PLANTS

 

De moerbeiboom
Oudenaardsestraat 310  9500 Geraadsbergen  Belgium
Web site
This Belgian nursery is specialized in rare fruit plants for the edible landscaping. Outstanding collection of species and varieties of fruiting mulberries (Morus spp.), including two Morus macroura cultivars (a red fruited and a white fruited ones), the hybrid Morus alba x Morus rubra 'Illinois Everbearing' and its compact replica 'Gerardi's Dwarf'. One of the largest offers in Europe for Asimina triloba cultivars. An important choice of rare Diospyros kaki cultivars (astringent and non astringent), including the curious black fruited 'Kuro Gaki'. Numerous Diospyros virginiana cultivars. Two very cold resistant Diospyros kaki x Diospyros virginiana hybrids. Diospyros lotus 'Maalte' (a female form selected for its fruits quality). A fine selection of ornamental and good fruiting Hawthorns (Crataegus spp.). Other species of ornamental plants with edible fruits and wild fruit trees (Decaisnea fargesii, Hovenia dulcis, x Sorbopyrus auricularis 'Shipova', Sorbus domestica var. pyriformis, Sorbus domestica  var. maliformis...). A very rare Cudrania tricuspidata selected specimen (no particular name on the nursery catalog, but also known with the name 'Seedless'). It has three outstanding features : it is self-fertile (the type species is dioecious), with seedless fruits (the type species fruits contain a lot of seeds) and almost spineless when adult (the type species is very spiny). Moreover, it is grafted on Maclura pomifera rootstock in order to prevent the very numerous suckers which appear when grafted on the type species. Other rare fruit plants are included in the nursery catalog (red fleshed apple variety 'Dries', for example). 
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Kruisbessen ‘Proef’tuin
Bauwerwaan 62  9930 Zomergem  Belgium
Web site
This Belgian nursery offers a wide range of rare fruit plants. Outstanding collection of small fruit plants, including Lonicera, with very rare cultivars. Large collections of pawpaw (Asimina triloba) cultivars and Diospyros kaki cultivars (including the very rare weeping one). Other Diospyros species. Actinidia species and cultivars. Numerous wild fruit trees, including Cornus officinalis. Important choice of disease resistant vine varieties for the table, including the Vitis labrusca hybrid variety 'Isabelle' with its foxy taste. Note also 'Philipp' and 'Souvenir', two varieties with an original shape for the berries and the clusters. 
Export all around the world.

 

Hortensis
Gartenweg 6  37136 Waake  Germany
Web site
This German nursery provides, besides a good range of flowering plants, an outstanding selection of mostly hardy fruit plants from around the world. For many of these plants, the nursery is the only one offering them in Europe. Plant names are listed in Latin and in alphabetical order. Note that, where possible, plants are grown on their own roots. Direct access to
fruit plants list. In this list and in other lists of the web site, most remarkable : Musa 'Rajapuri' (Indian Moutain Banana, rather frost hardy, with seedless tasty fruits), collection of disease-resistant and hardy cultivars of Vitis spp., Amelanchier alnifolia cultivars, Citrus australasica (Australian finger lime), Cydonia oblonga 'Krimsk' (fruit can be eaten raw), Elaeagnus multiflora 'Sweet Scarlet', several cultivars of Elaeagnus umbellata, collection of very hardy Ficus carica cultivars, collection of Ficus palmata cultivars, hardy Fuschia cultivars, collection of Morus spp. cultivars, Prunus jacquemontii x Prunus japonica 'Jan' and 'Joel' cultivars (American shrub cherry, very late ripening), very rare Prunus spp. and cultivars, Ugni molinae 'Elite' (selection for harvest abundance), hardy Punica granatum cultivars. The nursery offers a seedless and self fertile cultivar of Cudrania tricuspidata (Che), but on its own roots. This is not the best choice because this plant is highly suckering. It would be better to order the same cultivar in a nursery which offers it grafted on Maclura pomifera rootstock, such preventing suckers.
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

PflanzenSpezl
Meraner Str. 2  81547 München  Germany
Web site
This German nursery only provides fruit trees and is managed by rare fruit enthusiasts (interested in endangered old varieties and unusual species). The nursery offers a good range of uncommon fruit trees, mostly very cold hardy. Plants are only shipped in pots, even for rather large specimens (no bare root plants). Direct access to fruit trees catalog. In this catalog, most remarkable : twelve Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) cultivars, including 'Prima 1216', a self fertile one ; several cultivars of Diospyros virginiana, particularly 'Meader' ; cultivars of Diospyros kaki with astringent and non astringent fruits ; two very cold resistant Diospyros kaki x Diospyros virginiana hybrids ; Diospyros lotus 'Albert', a female selection with bigger fruits than the type species ; numerous plum x apricot hybrids and peach x apricot hybrids from America and Italy ; Japanese plums ; Asian pears ; four red fleshed apple cultivars ; some old and pleasant fruit varieties from Italy, including the red fleshed pear called 'Cocomera' ; some wild fruit trees (Mespilus germanica 'Kandera', Sorbus domestica, Morus nigra, Morus alba 'Bella Alba') ; the 'Isabelle' vine variety (a Vitis labrusca hybrid, disease resistant and with a special foxy taste). Quite exceptional : the nursery sells Pawpaw fruits (by unit, restricted quantity) in mid-September, as soon as the harvesting is over. A unique opportunity for the curious about this outstanding fruit. For 2014, fruits of 'Prima 1216' and 'Overleese' varieties were offered. 
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Bernhard Voß
Moorende 149  21635 Jork  Germany
Web site
This German nursery offers an outstanding collection of hardy Citrus.
No shipping outside Germany. But partnership with Eisenhut nursery (see below) which ships in European Union countries.

Szkólka Carya
ul. Wylot 8a  05-822 Milanówek  Poland
Web site (English version)
This Polish nursery offers a very interesting choice of wild fruit trees (and of hybrids from the former USSR). Especially : outstanding collection of 
Cornus mas
cultivars (red fruited and yellow fruited) ; Mespilus germanica cultivars, including 'Süssmispel' with a sweet fruit which can be consumed before being overripe ; Amelanchier cultivars ; two Ukrainian cultivars of Chaenomeles x californica ; Sorbus domestica 'Sossenheimer Riesen' (big fruited cultivar) ; x Sorbopyrus auricularis cv. Bulbiformis.
Shipping in the European Union countries. 

 

Agroforestry Research Trust
46 Hunters Moon  Dartington, Totnes  Devon TQ9 6JT  United Kingdom
Web site
This efficient English nursery and Forest Garden centre offers a large rare fruit plants choice : cultivars of unusual (for Europe) cultivated fruit trees, wild fruit trees and ornamental plants with edible fruits. Most remarkable : Sorbus devoniensis 'Devon Beauty' ; x Sorbopyrus 'Shipova' ; Cydonia oblonga 'Aromatnaja' (syn. 'Krymsk') and 'Iranian', two cultivars with non-astringent fruits that can be eaten raw ; Fuchsia magellanica 'Vielebachen', selected for its fruit value ; cultivars of Cornus mas selected for the fruits (including one yellow fruited specimen). Beware : as the years pass, this nursery replaces grafted cultivars by seedlings of these cultivars, keeping the cultivar name. But, unlike most of the nurseries that do the same thing, it demonstrates botanical rigor and honesty specifying the concerned plants. And everyone can make it's own purchasing choice...
Shipping in the major part of the European Union countries.

 

Kore Wild Fruit Nursery
Warren Fields Farm  Trellech  Monmouth  Gwent NP25 4PQ  United Kingdom
Web site
Small scale Welsh (UK) nursery with a large offer only devoted to wild fruit trees and wild ornamental plants with edible fruits for temperate climate. The plants are classed as : trees, larger shrubs, smaller shrubs perennials and tender. Some species are quite rare and difficult to find elsewhere. Plants are seedlings ;  plants of dioecious species are unsexed ; no cultivars - only type species. Under the heading "Tender" you will find plants for the warm Mediterranean climate or greenhouse.
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Vivaio Noaro
Via Vittorio Emanuele 151  18033 Camporosso (IM)  Italy
Web site
This Italian nursery provides fruit plants for tropical and subtropical climates, fruiting Passiflora spp., species and varieties of
Myrtus, Eugenia, Syzygium, Ugni, cultivars of pecan (Carya illinoinensis), an Olea europaea cultivar bearing white olives, Hovenia dulcis.
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Vivaio Tara
Via Cassia, 9  Km 112,00  01023 Bolsena (Vt)  Italy
Web Site
This Italian nursery, which owns an outstanding collection of hydrangeas, also offers 15 cultivars of Punica granatum (Pomegranate), some of which very rare. 
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Kwekerij Arborealis
Dirk de Ruiterpad 2  8384 DD Wilhelminaoord  Netherlands
Web site (English version)
This Dutch nursery is specialized in plants for the "Food Forest". Unusual presentation for the catalog : the food plants (most of them being fruit plants) are grouped by "layers" (tubers and rhizomes, ground-cover, herbaceous, climbers, shrubs, low trees, canopy). The nursery offers numerous rare fruit plants, especially : Pinus koraiensis 'Silveray' ; Sorbus devoniensis 'Devon Beauty' ; Juglans regia 'Broadview' (more compact than the species, starts to carry fruits at an early age) ; Diospyros kaki 'Dunaj' ; Prunus x 'Carmine Jewel' (dwarf hybrid Cherry tree, self-pollinating) ; Actinidia arguta 'Ananasnaya' ; Asimina triloba (6 cultivars) ; Amelanchier species and cultivars (including 6 Amelanchier alnifolia cultivars) ; Elaeagnus umbellata (8 cultivars, including the yellow-fruited 'Amber') ; Mespilus germanica (4 cultivars) ; + Crataegomespilus 'Jules d'Asnières' ; Cornus mas (4 cultivars) ; Sorbopyrus auricularis 'Shipova' and several Sorbus hybrids (obtentions from the former Soviet Union : 'Burkinsa', 'Granatnaja', 'Rubinovaja'...) ; Ugni molinae ; Chaenomeles cathayensis Cornus kousa 'Milky Way' ; Cornus x 'Porlock' ; Prunus spinosa 'Purpurea' ; Lonicera caerulea (7 cultivars) ; Rubus nepalensis ; Rubus phoenicolasius (Japanese Wineberry) ; Gaultheria shallon ; white-flowered Akebia quinata (2 cultivars) ; Akebia trifoliata Stauntonia hexaphylla Schisandra rubriflora Mahonia aquifolium (2 cultivars) ; Rosa rugosa (big-fruited cultivars).
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Rein en Mark Bulk
Rijneveld 115  2771 XV Boskoop  Netherlands
Web site
This Dutch nursery offers cultivars of Asimina triloba (pawpaw), Amelanchier species and cultivars, cultivars of Arbutus unedo, several ornamental Malus (edible fruit), other wild fruit trees and ornamental plants with edible fruits like Hovenia dulcis, Cornus officinalis, Corylus avellana var. pendula, Viburnum sieboldii 'Seneca'.
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Fa. C. Esveld
Rijneveld 72  2771 XS Boskoop  Netherlands
Web site
This Dutch nursery offers :
Actinidia species and cultivars ; wild fruit trees and ornamental plants with edible fruits like Hovenia dulcis, Prinsepia sinensis and Viburnum sieboldii 'Seneca'.
Shipping in the European Union countries.

 

Edible Landscaping
361 Spirit Ridge LN  Afton   VA 22920-0077  USA
Web site
This american nursery has a arge offer of rare fruit plants. Especially : pawpaw (Asimina triloba) cultivars, pecan cultivars chosen for cross pollination and suitable for colder areas, cold hardy pomegranate cultivars, Elaeagnus umbellata 'Amber' with yellow fruits, Elaeagnus multiflora 'Sweet Scarlet' with sweet fruits, a rare self fertile and seedless cultivar of Che (Cudrania tricuspidata) grafted on a non suckering rootstock, contorted  Ziziphus jujuba 'So',  Morus alba x Morus rubra 'Illinois Everbearing', Morus macroura 'Pakistan Red', Diospyros virginiana 'Meader', Passiflora incarnata.
This nursery belongs to the few ones which accept to ship in Europe for retail orders.

 

Beware : two American nurseries to be avoided...
All nurseries to which I bought plants proved to be honest. That was not the case for the two following nurseries. A French rare fruit plants collector sent them an important amount and they have both of them cashed in down payments without ever sending the ordered plants or refunding the whole payment made, despite his repeated requests. You must avoid these nurseries OREGON EXOTICS NURSERY (1065 Messenger Rd.  Grants Pass OR 97527  USA) and EXOTICA RARE FRUIT NURSERY  (2508-B E. Vista Way  Vista  CA 92085  USA).

 

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