Thursday, November 7, 2019

Feijoa taste tests

Seedlings from Mark Albert fruits

In fall of 2015 Mark Albert brought loads of fruits from his selections to the talk he was giving for the Golden Gate Chapter of California Rare Fruit Growers . I planted the seeds from his best tasting fruit, and I grew 12 seedling trees in Vacaville. Some of them already fruited in 2018, and most are fruiting this year, 2019. Some are more precocious and productive than others. Seedlings 1, 2, and 12 didn't produce any fruit this year. Some are earlier ripening than others. Seedlings 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 are early ripening. Seedlings 8, 9, and 11 are late ripening.

I asked few friends to help evaluating the flavor to find the ones that deserve to be kept and may become good selections. In total, four people tasted them, and all of us found that 10, 7, and 6 (in this order) are the best selections from the early ripening seedlings.

The first picture here is from Chuck Chan with the fruits I sent him to evaluate
And here are the cut fruits in same order from my taste test
The taste notes Chuck:
I should add that 6, 7, and 10 have good production, with #10 having the largest fruits with the most consistent shape and size. #10 also has the thickest rind.

I compared how 7 and 10 taste versus one of my favorite named cultivars, Apollo. They seem to be on a par with Apollo. I could not place them higher or lower. These all seem to be very good fruits with unique profiles. I now call these seedlings Marta 7 (this became Cosmos after the registration with CRFG) and Marta 10 (Became Oktoberfest) and have the wood available at

Evaluation of named feijoa cultivars

The fruits in the below picture were obtained from a friend growing them in Isleton. Left to right here: Albert Pride, Nazemetz, Unique, Moore, Genesis, and A9 (a seedling tree).

My favorites from this tasting were Moore and A9. Albert Pride was nice, but probably under-ripe. Unique does not have enough acid for me.  Genesis was probably not ripe yet. Nazemetz is very mild and gritty with the most thick rind.

Below are fruits from my young trees in Vacaville
Flavia had 2 fruits only, and I suspect that both fell prematurely.  They didn't seem to be ripe
Triumph is a very good sweet fruit. I collected them much later than optimal, they all were soft, but still no browning inside.
8 Ball is very nice sweet, smooth fruit, mostly small sized fruits. Good sweet-acid balance.
Albert Pride was very good in this sample. Good balanced fruit, more acidic than 8 Ball. However, it browns fast after softening, limiting it storage

Another feijoa cultivar that I had for a long time is Coolidgei. It might be a seedling of Coolidge, or just a misspelled (on the tag) Coolidge. I'm going to continue calling it Coolidgei, as I bought it under this name 2001.
The tree is partially self-fertile, produces good tasting fruits.  However, they are very variable is size and texture.  They are also very gritty.  Some fruits are very large, like the one below is 173 g.
I started top-working this tree, and already grafted known cultivars onto few large branches.  Since the production is relatively low for this cultivar, its unlikely that I'll be preserving it for future use. 

Check our sales site if we have the scions available


  1. For those of us wanting to share Scion wood is December/January a good time to cut and share it for grafting?

  2. Yes, early April is good grafting in the north, though March is probably fine in the bay area. November is a good time to try feijoa cuttings, using 3-5" long terminals, but you need a setup with bottom heat and intermittent mist or sweat tent. The need for rooting hormone is debatable. Rooting success is very dependent on the cultivar. The cuttings should have some roots and be able to be transplanted by end of January. I may have some more details on cuttings shortly from Mark O'Connor in Australia, who says he's getting feijoas cuttings to strike. Feijoa does root in time and I recommend when planting a grafted feijoa to bury the graft union 6" deep.

    1. thank you...will take cuttings now and try to root, I can mist daily and keep on a heated mat...Sandy in Sacramento

    2. Are your cutting successful? I have tried many times but no luck. I guess I will try again come Nov 2021.

    3. Rooting success is the cultivar specific and it takes a while

  3. Marta, I would like to plant Feijoas in Vacaville/ Winters area. Can you recommend a variety I can take to market? Where can I get a good cultivar to plant late this year or ealy next year. I have 5 Moore and 8 Abadaba from Mark Albert grown from seed and they are over a year old and about 2 feet tall.

    1. Try to get the NZ cultivars that are now available from One Green World nursery. Kaiteri is heat tolerant

  4. Hi Marta, Thanks for your blog. I am in Foster City close to the bay in silty soil. We wanted to plant 2 feijoas for my personal use. We like it sweet with thinner skin (and more of the white flesh). Can you please recommend which varieties would work? I was thinking Albert's pride, A'bert's supreme and Apollo. I procured one Nikita so far (tiny plant).

    1. All these are good. The main problem is the plant availability. Check if One Green World still has NZ cultivars on their site. All these should be excellent.


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