Florida is experiencing a surge of interest in growing fruit for the home. Dooryard orchards have sprung up across the state. Tree sales, such as those sponsored by the Rare Fruit Council International, attract huge crowds. Fruit festivals draw thousands. Even home-supply warehouses have capitalized upon the growing popularity of rare and unusual fruit by stocking cultivars of lychee, persimmon, and passionfruit.
Much immigration from Latin America and Asia, where many of the best species described within these pages originated. However, the attraction transcends geographic boundaries and regional differences. Those who migrate to Florida from northern states yearn for something different—a taste of the tropics. Meanwhile, many long-term residents are only beginning to discover the bounty available from their own backyards. The opportunity to grow fruit that is uncommon or prohibitively expensive holds special appeal.