Cricket Hill Garden
Cudrania, 'Edible Landscaping Seedless' Che Chinese melonberry
Cudrania tricuspidata 'Edible Landscaping Seedless'
Name in Chinese and pin yin: 柘 zhe
Variety description: This under appreciated fruit is a relative of mulberry and fig, and is native to central China. In addition to being grown for its fruit, traditionally Che leaves were used as a secondary food source for silk worms. Self-fertile seedless female trees bear a prolific crop of maroon-red, 1/2" fruit. Ripe fruit have a sweet flavor which is often compared to that of a fig with notes of watermelon.
We graft our Che onto Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) rootstock so that as the plant matures it will develop less of a bush and more of a standard tree form. Young plants have small thorns.
This cultivar comes from Edible Landscaping in Afton, VA.
Site requirements: Full sun location. Che will grow in a range of soil types provided that the roots stay evenly moist throughout the heat of the summer. Deep, well drained loam is ideal.
Size at maturity: 10-30' tall, up to 25' wide, depending on pruning. Keep it pruned for a smaller size. Very fast growing.
Hardiness: USDA zones 5b-9. There are some reports of Che growing in USDA zone 5. Cooler climates may have insufficient summer heat to fully ripen the fruit.
Pests and Diseases: None observed. Birds will eat the fruit if you are late to harvest and deer may browse both the fruit and foliage. We protect young trees with a circle of wire mesh to keep the deer away.
Plant size: Grafted tree. Grown and shipped in tall tree pot (4" x 9").
When we ship: Fall 2023/Spring 2024.
Shipping restrictions: None.