CRFG "Fruit Gardener" Vol.27 No.5 1995

Fruit,Nut, and Berry Varieties for Southern California


The following recommendations are based on UC and the California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. evaluations of fruit, nut and berry varieties in coastal and intermediate valleys of Southern California. Varieties are listed alphabetically and have proven to be good annual producers in warm winter climates. If a variety does not appear in this publication, it is not necessarily one which will not produce well in Southern California, since new varieties are continually being introduced. However, before planting a variety not shown on this list, be sure to determine that it will do well in your area.


Most deciduous fruit and nut varieties need cold weather (22~ to 450F) during November, December, January and February to allow the flower and leaf to develop normally. This is called their dormancy or chilling requirement, and ranges from 300 to 1,500 hours below 450F, depending on the kind of tree.

Most inland areas of Southern California below 2,500 foot elevation receive from 350 to 400 hours maximum of cold temperatures (below 450F). Coastal areas get from 200 to 250 hours of sufficiently cold temperatures. Thus, only those varieties needing a minimum of winter chilling will flower and leaf out properly in March or April. Other varieties may not leaf out until May or June, and then only sporadically, and produce few or no fruit.

Following long, cold winters, many varieties of deciduous fruit trees flower and fruit adequately, but in Southern California, most winters are warm or often have two to three weeks of hot weather (60 to 800F) in December and January that counteract the effects of cold weather received earlier. Evergreen or subtropical fruit trees, including citrus and avocados, do not need cold weather for flowering or fruit production.


Pollination of fruit, nut and berry varieties is required for quantity and quality of yields. The list below indicates those varieties requiring cross-pollination of two different varieties for effective production. The appropriate variety can be in the same home orchard or on neighboring property.



• Nonpareil, Ne Plus Ultra, Sonora

• Plant more than one variety for pollination.


• Anna, Beverly Hills, Dorsett Golden, Early Dawn, Ein Shemer, Gordon, Granny Smith, Red Gold, Tropical Beauty, White Permain, Winter Banana.

• Warmer areas: Anna, Beverly Hills, Dorsett Golden, Ein Shemer, Tropical Beauty and Winter Banana will bear reliably; most other varieties are not as reliable.

• Mountain areas at elevations of more than 3,500 feet: most varieties, including Red and Golden Delicious, will grow and fruit.

• Select varieties that are grafted to dwarfing rootstock.

• Plant more than one variety for good bloom overlap and pollination.


• Blenheim (Royal), Earligold, New Castle. Dwarf: Aprigold, Florigold.

• Warmest areas: Many apricot varieties are not reliable.


• Bacon, Fuerte, Gwen, Hass, Pinkerton, Reed, Whitsell, Zutano.

• Hass is the most popular backyard and commercial variety.

• Fuerte is a big tree that often produces erratically.

• Warm areas with little or no frost: Hass.

• Colder areas with light frost: Bacon and Zutano (contain less oil).


• Boysen, Comanche, Cherokee, Logan, Nectar, OIlaIie, Rosborough, Shawnee, Thornless Hull, Young.

• Coastal areas: Boysen and OIlalie.

• Comanche, Cherokee, Rosborough and Thornless Hull are erect types and require minimal support.


• Becky Blue, Brite Blue, Climax, Delite, Garden Blue, Southland, Tifblue, Woodard.


• Bays, Booth, Pierce, Spain, White.

• Recommended for frost-free areas only.

• Hand-pollination is necessary.


• Sweet and sour types not adapted for elevations below 2,500 feet.


• Conadria, Flanders, White Genoa, Black Mission, Brown Turkey.


• Alexandria, Blackrose, Cardinal, Concord, Flame Seedless, Mars, Red Malaga, Black Monukka, Muscat of Alexandria, Niagara, Perlette, Pierce, Ribier, Ruby Seedless, Thompson Seedless.

• Coastal areas: Campbell Early, Concord, Black Emerald, Flame Seedless, Early Muscat, Niagara, Perlette.

• Interior valleys with hot summers: Cardinal, Black Emerald, Flame Seedless, Italia, Black Monukka, Muscat of Alexandria, Niabell, Perlette, Pierce, Ribier, Redglobe, Black Rose, Ruby Seedless, Thompson Seedless.

• Concord, Niagara and Pierce are American-type grapes and are suited for juice and jelly.


• Marsh, Melogold, Oroblanco, Redblush, Star Ruby.

• Grapefruits produce sweeter fruits in hot summer areas.

• Melogold and Oroblanco, crosses of grapefruit and pummelo, require less heat to develop quality fruit.

• Coastal areas: Redblush and Star Ruby may not color well.


• Feijoa or Pineapple Guava: Coolidge, Nasemetz, Trask, Triumph.

• Tropical or Lemon Guava: Beaumont, Benjamin, Detwiler, Red Indian, White Indian.


• Abbott, Bruno, Hayward, Monty, Tiwi, Vincent.

• Cooler areas: Hayward requires the greatest chill.

• Warm areas: Tiwi and Vincent require little chill.

• All need male pollenizers.


• Meiwa, Nagami.


• Eureka, Lisbon, Improved Meyer, Ponderosa.

• Eureka is grown commercially. It produces fruit all year in coastal areas, and in winter and spring inland. Recommended for home garden because it’s less thorny and less vigorous (so needs less pruning).

• Lisbon is grown commercially but not recommended for home garden because it’s thorny and vigorous (requires much pruning).

• Meyer is a small tree (good container plant) and is almost always everblooming.

• Ponderosa produces grapefruit-sized fruit.


• Bearss, a seedless variety that fruits all year in coastal areas.

• Other varieties are extremely frost-sensitive.


• Champagne, Gold Nugget.


• Fantasia, Goldmine, Panamint, Silver Lode, Sunred.

• Coastal areas: Sunred.


• Manzanillo, Sevillano.

• Plant one Sevillano row every 200 feet to ensure good fruit set on Manzanillo tree.


• Parent (Washington) Navel, Robertson Navel, Valencia.

• Navel: winter production, best for eating.

• Valencia: summer production, best for juicing.


• Coastal areas: Desert Gold, Earligrand, Early Amber, Flordasun.

• Inland areas: Babcock, Desert Gold, Earligrand.


• Baldwin, Flordahome, Fantsil, Hood.

• Plant more than one variety to help pollination.

• Better suited for inland valleys.

Pear, Asian

• 20th Century, Nijisseki, Shinseiki, Tsu Li, Ya Li.

• Tsu Li and Ya Li need each other as pollenizers and need fewer chilling hours than the others.


• Hachiya (heart-shaped, astringent), Fuyu (flat shape, non-astringent).


• Green Gage, Mariposa, Santa Rosa, Late Santa Rosa, Satsuma.

• Plant more than one variety for better pollination.

• Mariposa and Satsuma need another variety as pollenizer.

• Santa Rosa is self-fruitful, the most popular home and commercial variety.


• Fleishman, Wonderful.


• Cooke’s Jumbo, Orange, Pineapple, Smyrna.

Sapote, White

• Blumenthal, Chestnut, Cuccio, Ecke, Lemon Gold, Louise, McDiIl, Pike, Suebelle, Vernon, Vista.


• Chandler, Douglas, Sequoia.

• Day neutral: Fern.

Tangerine (Mandarin Orange)

• Algerian, Dancy, Kara, Kinnow, Satsuma.

• Algerian needs pollenizer.


• Concord, Lompoc, Payne, Placentia.