Spied in a Mount Maunganui garden recently, a fruiting Rainbow Valley tree, a cross between a papaya and a babaco.
The gardener had obtained the tree in the Far North and brought it with him when he shifted. It is in a sheltered spot, although cops an occasional frost. The fruit is yellow inside and “delicious”. The tree seems to “self-regulate” as to the number of fruit it carries.
This is from the catalogue on Russell Fransham’s Subtropical website (not to be confused with the Subtropica site below): ‘Outstanding female mountain pawpaw selection by the late Joe Polaischer of Rainbow Valley Farm, Matakana. Sweet small fruit, few seeds; uncharacteristically delicious for a mountain pawpaw. Eat raw (skin too)or stewed, in jams, sauces or pies.’
The Subtropica website describes it thus: ‘A pawpaw/babaco cross, with larger fruit than the mountain pawpaw, and tastier fruit than either of its parents. The fruit can be eaten skin and all. It crops prolifically for nine months of the year.’