Fruitful N: Discovering Exotic Fruits That Start With N

Fruits That Start With N

Do you know that there are a lot of fruits that start with the letter N? Despite being less known than other fruits, these N-fruits have unique characteristics and flavors. From Nagami Kumquats to Neem, these fruits have different origins, tastes, and uses.

Check the entire list with the fruis with N on the table of content.

Nagami Kumquat

The oval kumquat, also known as the Nagami kumquat, is a small, oblong fruit eaten whole, skin and all. The fruit ripens in mid-to-late winter and is typically quite sour on the inside. Still, the skin has a sweet flavor that, when eaten together, creates a unique tart-sweet taste. The ‘Centennial Variegated’ kumquat cultivar is a mutation of the oval kumquat that produces more fruit and has variegated bright green and yellow stripes on the skin.

Nam Dok Mai

The ‘Nam Dok Mai’ mango is a popular variety that originated in Thailand and is grown commercially in Australia and Colombia. The medium-sized tree can produce multiple crops yearly. The elongated fruit is known for its sweet taste, pungent aroma, and little fiber. The variety is polyembryonic-seeded and is planted in various germplasm repositories for preservation and research purposes.


Byrsonima crassifolia, also known as nance, maricao cimun, craboo, and golden spoon, is a plant native to tropical America and valued for its small, sweet yellow fruit with an intense flavor and scent. The plant is a slow-growing large shrub or tree that can reach up to 10 meters in height and is highly drought-tolerant. The fruit is eaten raw or cooked to prepare desserts, candies, carbonated beverages, ice cream, and liqueurs. The plant is common in open pine forests and grassy savannas. It is normal to find this fruit in various tropical and subtropical ecoregions of the Americas.


Solanum quitoense, known as naranjilla or lulo, is a tropical perennial plant native to northwestern South America. The plant has large heart- or oval-shaped leaves covered in short purple hairs, and the fruit has a citrus flavor and green juice often used in drinks. It belongs to the Solanum genus and is part of the subgenus Leptostemonum, section Lasiocarpa. However, large-scale cultivation is challenging due to the plant’s extreme vulnerability to pests and diseases. In addition, the fruit’s delicate nature makes it difficult to transport when ripe. As a result, hybridization with other Solanum species, particularly S. sessiliflorum, is becoming increasingly popular to combat these issues.

Nashi Pear

Pyrus pyrifolia is an East Asian pear tree, known by many names, including Asian pear, Sand pear, Nashi pear, Naspati, or Papple. The fruit is not commonly baked or made into jams due to its high water content and crisp, grainy texture. Instead, it is typically served raw and peeled. Ground pears are used in cooking as a sweetener in vinegar or soy sauce-based sauces and when marinating meat, especially beef. The pears symbolize early spring in East Asia and are commonly given as gifts, served to guests, or eaten in a family setting. They are grown throughout East Asia and in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Natal Plum

Carissa macrocarpa, also known as Natal plum, is a shrub native to tropical and southern Africa resistant to salt-laden winds, making it suitable for coastal areas. The plant produces shiny, deep green leaves, snowy white flowers, and plump, round, crimson fruit that you can eat out of hand or use to make pies, jams, jellies, and sauces. While some claim the plant is poisonous, this is a myth, as the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, rates it as only mildly toxic. Carissa macrocarpa is easy to grow from seeds or vegetative propagation, producing fruits within the first two years. Horticultural scientists have selected and named several Carissa types that tend to produce fruits more reliably, including Fancy, Torrey Pines, Frank, Chelsey, Serena, Gifford, C. haematocarpa, and C. bispinosa.


Prunus persica var. nucipersica, also known as nectarines, have smooth skin and belong to the same species as peaches. Nectarines often arise from peach trees due to a recessive allele; they can be white or yellow, clingstone, or freestone. They are slightly smaller and sweeter than peaches, but their lack of skin fuzz makes them more easily bruised. The history of the nectarine is unclear, but they were likely grown much earlier in central and eastern Asia. References to nectarines developed in the United States date before the Revolutionary War.


Azadirachta indica, also known as neem, nimtree, or Indian lilac, is an evergreen tree in the mahogany family native to the northeast of the Indian subcontinent to Indochina, but now naturalized and grown worldwide in tropical and subtropical areas. It can reach 15-20 meters height, with broad and spreading branches and a reasonably dense roundish crown. Neem leaves are pinnate and are 20-40 cm long with 20 to 30 medium to dark green leaflets. Its fruits and seeds are the source of neem oil. Neem oil is used in traditional Indian medicine for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties and in agriculture as a natural pesticide. Neem leaves are also used in India to prevent insects from eating clothes and in tins where rice is stored.

Nepali Hog Plum

Choerospondias axillaris, also known as Nepali hog plum, is a tree that grows up to 20 meters tall and is native to Nepal. Its fruit, about 3 centimeters long, has a soft whitish sour flesh and green to yellow skin. The fruit is commonly used to make pickles, tarts, and sour, spicy candy. The tree is dioecious, with male and female trees producing different inflorescence types. In addition to its fruit, the tree yields valuable wood and hard seeds, which are burned for fuel, and has parts used medicinally in Vietnam. The fallen fruits are consumed and dispersed by sambar and barking deer. In religious ceremonies, they represent an offering in some cultures.


Parkia biglobosa, also known as African locust bean, fern leaf, irú, monkey cutlass tree, two ball nitta-tree, nété, and néré, is a perennial deciduous tree that grows between 7 and 20 meters high and is primarily grown for its pods, which contain both a sweet pulp and valuable seeds. The crushing and fermenting of these seeds is an important economic activity. In addition, people use the tree for medicinal and food purposes. As a standing tree, it can positively affect the yield of other nearby crops. The bark, roots, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds are commonly used in traditional medicine to treat various health complaints, both internally and externally. 

In addition, the green pods are crushed and added to rivers to kill fish. The tree exists within a wide range of natural communities. Still, it is most abundant in anthropic communities, where cultivation is semi-permanent. The annual production of seeds in northern Nigeria is estimated at around 200,000 t. While tree products are not standard in international trade, they are essential to local and regional trade in West Africa.

Newtown Pippin Apple

The Newtown Pippin is an American apple that originated as a chance seedling in Queens, New York, in the late 17th or early 18th century. It is typically light green with yellow tinges and is often russeted around the stem. The flesh is yellow and crisp, and the flavor is complex and somewhat tart, requiring storage to develop appropriately. It was widely grown and praised in colonial America. U.S. presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew the Newtown in Virginia, where it acquired the alternate name “Albemarle Pippin” after Albemarle County, Virginia. Today, it is primarily used for cider and is still cultivated on a small scale.


Parinari nonda is a shrub or small tree that produces dry fruit, also known as Nonda or Nonda Plum, which is not very palatable but is harvested in the wild and used as a survival food by Aboriginals and early Australian explorers. The plant belongs to the family Chrysobalanaceae and is found in northern Australia and New Guinea, growing in open forests, monsoon forests, and beach forests on dunes. The fruit is ovoid-globular and covered with a hard and bony endocarp that is about 25 x 15 mm in size. The plant is uncommon, and despite numerous reports of its consumption by Aboriginals, recent trials show that it is not favored due to its texture and flavor.


Morinda citrifolia is a fruit-bearing tree that grows in Southeast Asia and Australasia and is cultivated throughout the tropics. The fruit has a pungent odor known as the “vomit fruit” due to its smell. It is a staple food among some cultures and has been used in traditional medicine. Noni is marketed in various formats, such as capsules, skin products, and juices. Morinda citrifolia is attractive to weaver ants, which protect the plant from some plant-parasitic insects. At the same time, fruit bats aid in dispersing the seeds. Noni was traditionally used primarily for the production of dyes. The fruit contains carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamin C, niacin (vitamin B3), iron, and potassium, among other micronutrients.