The Fruits of Persia

Delicious Additions to Your Edible Landscape!

What do figs, pomegranates, persimmons, almonds, peaches, apricots, and grapes all have in common (aside from being delicious)? They’re part of a group we like to think of as “the Fruits of Persia’, as they all originated in the Fertile Crescent region and figure prominently in Persian cuisine.

The Rogue Valley shares several similarities with the climate of Persia: Hot summer days and cooler nights, relatively low rainfall, a long enough heat spell in summer to ripen fruits, and ample chill hours in winter. Thus, it makes sense that many of our favorite fruits come from this rich and abundant area of the world. In fact, the word ‘paradise’ has a Persian root, meaning walled garden. This year, let’s create our own paradise of luscious fruits!
 
figsFigs
Love our hot summers
Very traditional in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine
Best flavor when picked very ripe and soft to the touch
Choose early ripening or two-crop varieties
Appreciate a well-drained soil
 
PomegranatePomegranates
Thought to be the ‘apple’ in the Adam and Eve story
Drought tolerant and very heat tolerant, grown as a large shrub to small tree
Like figs, locate in the hottest location you have and provide well-draining soil
Choose early ripening varieties
 
all in oneAlmonds
To avoid potential spring frost damage, choose a late blooming variety like ‘All in One’, which has the added benefits of being semi-dwarf and self-fertile
Encourage your pollinators by planting pollinator-friendly plants nearby. They’ll repay your efforts by improving pollination!
Well-draining soil is best but can tolerate some clay
 
suncrestPeaches
Nothing beats the taste of a sun warmed peach
Long history in Persian culture. In fact, the botanical name for peach is Prunus persica!
Lots of varieties so you can stretch out your peach harvest time
Look for disease resistant varieties to avoid Peach Leaf Curl, or use a dormant oil spray
Does best in a well-drained soil; all varieties are self-fertile!
 
apricotApricots
Early blooming like the Almonds. For best results, choose late blooming, self-fertile varieties like Harcot, Chinese, Moorpark, and Autumn Glo
Best flavor when picked ripe, and always better than store-bought!
Very traditional fruit in Persian cuisine: fresh, dried, and preserves
Like most fruit trees, Apricots do best in well-drained soil
 
GrapesGrapes
Love our hot summers; drought tolerant and fast growing
Very traditional in Persian and Mediterranean cuisine, leaves are culinary as well
Choose different varieties to enjoy contrasting flavors and colors and ripening times
Can tolerate different soils, but well-drained is best. Avoid overwatering
Maintain good air circulation and sun exposure to avoid mildew
 
fuyuPersimmons
Persimmons originally developed in China and Japan. However, the word “persimmon” likely come from a Persian word meaning date-plum: a nice description of the flavor!
Very ornamental tree with great fall color and decorative and edible sweet fruit
Best flavor when allowed to soften
One of the latest fruits to harvest, cold hardy to Zone 7 
Persimmons can handle clay soils better than most fruit trees