MIAMI -- A new fruit, whose developer hopes can be an alternative to citrus crops in freeze-prone areas of Florida, is thriving in a South Dade County field.
It is the unlikely union of a native American weed called the Maypop and a passion fruit, said Robert Knight, its creator. The horticulturist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture bent over microscopes for years manipulating its chromosomes in an effort to make it grow.
His creation still doesn't have a name, but it does yield a fruit that ranges in color from light green to dark purple, measures about 3 inches around and has a tangy taste that is both sweet and sour. The taste makes it marketable as an ingredient in fruit juices, said Mr. Knight.