Che, 'Norris' Seedless
Cudrania tricuspidata 'Norris'
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.
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: 10-25', depending on pruning.
Hardiness: USDA zones 6-9. 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. Birds will eat the fruit and deer will browse both the fruit and foliage.
Plant size: Grafted tree, small sized 1-2', large size 3' tall. Both with strong central leader.
When we ship: Small size trees are container grown and can be shipped now, in summer 2017. Lager trees are field grown and will be shipped in fall 2017.
Shipping restrictions: None.
Organically grown by Cricket Hill Garden, in compliance with CT NOFA Farmer's Pledge.