Mystery Number Three for this week

October 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Another puzzle from our trip along the Hiwassee River...

Tall bush, probably over ten feet in height, with yellow fruit and sharp thorns. What is it?

I wondered if the thorns were preventing me from being poisoned or guarding a delicious snack.

After an internet search, it appears to be Kei-apple plant. Apparently tastes similar to apricots. But it's home is southern Africa. In the late 1940's some kei apple plants were grown in California and Florida, but the fruit was difficult to pick with the large thorns and challenging to process. Some places have used it for a tall, uninviting, but fragrant hedge. So after we discovered what we think it must be, a new mystery emerges---what is it doing in southeast Tennessee? It was thriving along the river, planted behind an old church near Reliance, Tennessee. It makes me wonder who planted it there and how they came across the plants. Life is full of mysteries!


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