Home of Leo & Betty Manuel,
And - Free Newsletter - Since 1996
Rare Fruit News Online

Cherimoya (pictured above)

Rare Fruit News Online

I am Leo Manuel, now in San Diego, and this publication comes twice monthly as a free e-mail newsletter with world-wide circulation. It has been described as a circular, or round-robin type of newsletter. Letters are sent to me and I collect and publish them in the newsletter, on the first and fifteenth of each month.

Most subscribers live in California and Florida. There have been readers in Australia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Israel, Thailand, Canada, and Russia, among several other countries, and in both Alaska and Hawaii.

Some people who live in colder climate zones grow rare fruit in a greenhouse, or in pots which they bring inside during cold weather. The rest of us (by far, the majority) live in climate areas where there is little or no frost during the winter.

What is a rare fruit? My definition of a rare fruit is any fruit that is unusual, undeveloped, unexploited, or a new variety - normally grown in tropical or sub-tropical climate regions. So, a hard-to-find apple, plum, or peach, is less of a rare fruit than a 'common' mango. However, deciduous fruit trees are frequently a topic, in the newsletter, if they will produce in warm-winter climates.

Rare Fruit News Online began in the Fall of 1996, and now has a readership of almost 500 in 2008 .

Want to read any of the previous issues? At the bottom of this page, click on one of these: 1996, 1997, 1998, ...., and you will get ALL issues for that year. If you click on the current year, you will get the cumulative issues up to the last one that was posted.

Remember, it is free!

To Subscribe:


Send e-mail to rarefruit@san.rr.com and introduce yourself by sending the following information (in your own words is better) including:

Your real name (first and last)...

Where you live...

Your e-mail address-for receiving newsletter-if different from this email address...

Fruit trees you are now growing....

Some you want to grow....

Comments, anything readers will find of interest about you:

Questions to be answered by newsletter readers:

I'll edit and include your letter in the next issue of Rare Fruit News Online, and add your name to the mailing list for the Rare Fruit News Online.  

Want to write a letter for inclusion in the newsletter?

When you write letters to be published, try to make the 'Subject' fit the actual contents of the letter.  Please take time to use standard punctuation, and it helps if you use the name of the reader to whom your comments are directed, when you reply to a letter in the newsletter.

Letters will be edited and I must reserve the right to refuse to publish anything I believe to be false or inflammatory.

For some strange reason, names 'fall off' of the mailing list, and I won't know about it until a reader tells me. Don't hesitate to let me know, if you don't receive the newsletter on the first and fifteenth of each month.

If you find web pages with useful information, please let us know.

At our home in San Diego - Rancho Peñasquitos suburb - you will find such fruit as Mango, Cherimoya, Pitanga, Guava, Rose Apple, Cherry-of-the-Rio-Grande, Atemoya, Capulin Cherry, Longan, Passion Fruit, White Sapote, Papaya, Carambola, Citrus, Jujube, Pineapple, Japanese Persimmon, Pitaya, and a few others. Most people in the United States would call those rare fruit. 

Mango is my favorite fruit, but pitahaya (aka Pitaya, Dragon Fruit, etc.) has taken up much of my time and energy in recent years. Paul Thomson in nearby Bonsall experimented with crossing different Hylocereus varieties. Most of my plants came from him. His death in 2008 created a huge vacancy in many of our lives.

We also have fruit not so rare: Apple, Plum, Peach, Apricot, Nectarine, Fig, Mulberry, Raspberry ....

Please tell us what's growing at your home.

Our family moved to San Diego in 1963, from Kansas, and lived about three miles from the coast for almost thirty years, where it was too cool to satisfactorily grow some of the rare fruit. In 1992, we moved farther inland, and have had greater success. I have been a member of California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. since about 1970. I retired from teaching in 1993 and don't spend as much time outdoors as I would like, because too much time is also spent in front of the computer.

We have three children: Brenda, Peggy, and Leo, Jr.

Brenda lives in St. Paul, Minn., and plays violin in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She and husband David are parents of our only two grand-daughters, Erin and Sara.

Peggy lives in Del Mar, near San Diego, is a pediatrician. She and husband Michael Stelmach are parents of our youngest grandson, Robert.

Leo, Jr. lives in Poway, only a few miles from our home, and is a computer software engineer. He and wife Noy are parents of our older grandson, Joshua.

Betty (Cox) is a retired school teacher, from Pittsburg Kansas. She wrote an autobiography of her mother's life in the Ozarks of Arkansas, Winfrey Valley Girl ? Stories of a Child of the 1920s Ozarks. If you want information about her book, send e-mail to Betty, Betty (Cox) Manuel, with questions or comments. Her mother's maiden name was Pense, and their many relatives are discussed. The book will appeal to you if you have lived in the Ozarks, had relatives who did, or if you're just interested in reading about people who are isolated, independent, and deeply caring about their neighbors.
Back Issues Of Rare Fruit News Online

Click on one of these to get ALL of the issues for that year. Hopefully, in time, they will be edited and presented in a more uniform style.

















Dragon Fruit! Who Says!

Interested in Pitaya, Pitahaya, or Dragon Fruit? Check out the Pitaya Fruit Newsgroup at
Also, read about this fruit in Paul Thomson's book.

Paul Thomson Book On Pitahaya

The Pitahaya, Pitaya, or 'Dragon Fruit' is unknown to most gardening books. It is even omitted in the Sunset Western Gardening Book. The revised "Pitahaya - A Promising New Fruit Crop For Southern California" is a pioneering book by the California pitahaya pioneer grower. Paul Thomson, experimenter and grower near San Diego, California, gave us insider information about culture, species descriptions, fruit quality, and his hybrids.

The revision has ten color pictures, including front and back, and eight color plates within contain a total of more than 50 pictures. The binding allows the book to lie flat while open.  Write to me for ordering information. rarefruit@san.rr.com.

I enthusiastically recommend the following links:

California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.

David Archer's Bonita Creek Nursery

Fruit Lover's Megalinks, Oscar Jaitt

Pitaya Fruit Newsgroup


Revised February 2013