There aren’t many kinds of produce that start with the letter X, but we have done our best to list all of the fruits that begin with the letter X.
They are from all over the world, so you might not be able to purchase many in your local grocery store. Still, it is good to know about uncommon fruits, and their role in the cuisine of other cultures – you might even be able to wow your friends with your produce based knowledge.
The fruit names are listed in alphabetical order, and then followed by their English translations.
Read on to learn about all kinds of fruits that begin with the letter X.
Xanthium strumarium (Common name: Cocklebur)
Xanthium strumarium is a plant species native to Eurasia and North Africa. It also has been introduced into Australia, New Zealand, South America, and North America, where it is considered to grow as a weed.
The plant itself is a thorny shrub, and can grow to three meters tall. The fruit is yellow in appearance, and has a very spiky looking, shell-like skin, much like the more common lychee fruit.
It is a popular fruit in Chinese herbal medicine, because it can be used as a painkiller, to reduce soreness and headaches, especially ones that have been brought on by nasal congestion and sinus infection. It even has a specific name in Chinese – Cang Er Zi, which is derived from its color and shape.
The medicinal properties are so strong that the cocklebur has even made its way into pharmaceuticals and western medicine, where it is a treatment for headaches, cold and flu.
Don’t dive headfirst into this fruit, though – as it is considered to be pretty poisonous when not treated properly, as the seeds inside them are toxic.
The toxicity can be eliminated by rinsing the fruit in freshwater, or exposing the fruit to high temperatures. Hence, you can eat the fruit if it has been roasted beforehand.
A light-colored species of grape that produces wines with strong flavors. Xarel-lo grapes come from Spain, and are used to make sparkling wines. The fruit itself is white or green in appearance, and sometimes has some brown dots on the skin.
The Xarel-lo is cultivated predominantly in the Catalonia region, where they use it to make a regional delicacy – Cava, which is a sparkling wine (which you will probably be able to pick up at your local grocery or European store).
The beverage goes well with Gouda cheese, or Parallada and Macabeo (which are other types of grapes utilized in the wine making process).
The Xarel-lo variety of grape is the favorite of winemakers and Catan sommeliers, as it is more fragrant, and has a notably stronger taste than other similar varieties of grape, and produces superior wines.
Xiangjiao is the Chinese world for banana – so we are finally getting to some common, familiar ground here. You can definitely find these in your local grocery, as they are one of the most common and widely eaten fruits in the world.
Bananas are a very healthy fruit, as they contain minerals such as potassium and vitamin C, and other nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants.
In addition to the rich nutrients that they offer, they are also a favorite as they don’t have a specific fruiting or harvest season, i.e., they are available all year round. The Xiangjiao also keeps ripening even after being picked, which makes it a great fruit to store.
They are also a great option for those of us who are susceptible to a sweet or a dessert. They can be used as a substitute for sugar, sweets, and even eggs in a whole range of desserts and beverages, like muffins, cookies, cakes, and crêpes.
There are also a number of xiangjiao/banana plants that are native to China. The Musa lasiocarpa (also known as the Chinese Dwarf Banana Plant, or the golden lotus banana) is a variety of banana plant that is native to the mountains of china, and thrives in altitudes of around 2500 m.
However, it doesn’t produce banana fruit like the ones that we are used to finding in our grocery stores, as the ones we eat have been bred specifically to be fleshy and sweet. Instead, the Chinese dwarf banana plant should be grown for ornamental reasons in a tropical style garden.
The xigua is another familiar plant – as it is another name for the watermelon. Specifically, a xigua is a variety of watermelon that is predominantly grown in Africa. However, it is a pretty similar species to the commercially grown watermelons that we are used to eating.
Watermelons are delicious fruits that belong to the gourd family, alongside other fruits and vegetables like pumpkins and cucumbers (which lead to the development of hybrid fruits like the cucamelon.
Xigua is a delicious fruit that helps people stay hydrated during hot weather, as it contains more than 90% water. It is a representative kind of food in many countries, and is a staple summer delicacy.
A xerophyte is a kind of plant that is adapted to live in any kind of environment that does not receive very much water. This means that they grow in arid areas, deserts, dry regions, and places where there isn’t enough rainfall.
These kinds of plants are often found growing on rocky slopes, hillsides, and cliffs, because they need less water than regular plants. There are a few notable examples of xerophytes, such as cacti, the gymnosperm plants, and pineapples.
So – the common pineapple is a xerophyte fruit! You can see some of the adaptations the fruit made because of its arid environment. The skin is thick and waxy, to minimize water loss, and is tough and spiny so that it isn’t eaten.
In fact, the pineapple is one of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world, dating back over 5,000 years ago. It was first discovered by the ancient Egyptians, who were able to cultivate them successfully.
The xinomavro grape is a red heirloom grape that grows only at high elevations in Greece. They are extremely hardy, and can thrive in cold climates. The variety gets its name from a combination of the Greek words for sour (which is xino – ksino) and black (which is marvo).
It is predominantly grown in the mountainous regions of northern central Greece, such as Macedonia and the neighboring Thessaly.
This means that they are really popular for winemaking, where they can be used to make wine that has a unique, distinctive flavor profile.
Wines made from the Xinomavro grape have a solid structure, but other than that, it is a really diverse grape. You can make red, rose and white wines, which have dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, fresh, matured, and even sparkling wines. The possibilities are endless.
Another type of xylocarp fruit is the jackfruit, which belongs to the same genus as the guava. They are native to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Guinea, and Papua New Guinea.
Jackfruits are large fruits with a yellowish-orange exterior, and a soft pulp inside. Their shape varies depending on the cultivar, but generally they look something like large American footballs, encased in crusty, spiky green skin.
They contain lots of fiber and protein, and are also rich in vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium, and copper. They are a great source of energy, and in recent years they have become known as an excellent substitute for meat.
Ximenia Caffra Fruit
Ximenia caffra is a tree that is native to South Africa. It’s been around for thousands of years, and is still being planted in tropical regions today. It is also known as the sour plum plant, which gives you an idea of what the fruits are like!
Its leaves are small, thin, and oval shaped, and it produces small, round fruits that resemble pears. The fruits start off green, then turn brown, and finally ripen into a deep purple color. They can be eaten raw, and have a refreshing, sweet acidic taste.
Typically, these plants are found in eastern and Southern Africa (particularly in the countries Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique and South Africa), as well as on a number of the Pacific islands.
There are four main varieties of this fruit:
- Mulungu (or Mulungu plum)
- Kamalzili (or Kamalzili plum)
- Ngwele (or Ngwele plum)
- Sebilinde (or Sebilinde plum)
As you can see, these seven fruits starting with “x” are all quite different, but they each have their own special qualities. Some of them are familiar, while others may be new to you. Either way, they are all amazing foods that you should try out!