Kino Heritage Fruit Tree Project

Desert Survivors has been working with the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum since 2004 on the Kino Heritage Fruit Tree Project. The project involves reproducing the oldest heirloom fruit trees in southern Arizona and northern Sonora, especially species grown by Father Kino hundreds of years ago in the area at Spanish Missions. The trees are reproduced by vegetative propagation or grafting to ensure that they are identical genetic copies of the original plants. We are growing an assortment of pomegranites, figs, quince, and some stone fruits (pears, apricots, peach, etc). Some of the original trees have persisted on private properties, while others have been found growing wild in riparian areas.

Jesus Garcia-Yanez and Robert Emanuel of the Desert Museum have been instrumental in starting the program as well as providing direction throughout. Many other organizations have been involved including the Santa Cruz Heritage Alliance, Tumacacori National Historical Park and Native Seed SEARCH.

In spring of 2007, the orchard at Tumacori National Historic Park was replanted for the first time in over 200 years, using trees grown at Desert Survivors as part of this project. Finally trees from this special project are available to the general public. The following is a list of some of the species and localities of plants that are being grown:



Sosa Carillo - Black Mission, planted in 1880’s from Tucson

Ruby - found near perennial spring near ghost of Ruby near border

Oro Blanco - found near Ruby Fig, this is probably a White Fig Variety


Sosa Carillo - A delicious soft-seeded Pink pomegranite, that appears to have been originally grafted onto a white pomegranite, planted in 1880’s in Tucson

Ruby - Red pomegranite found near spring near ghost town of Ruby near Border

Josefina - White pomegranite from Tucson, extremely sweet with white fruit

Garcia Camp - from mining camp on the north side of Santa Catalina Mountains


San Pedro - old tree from settlement along historic San Pedro River Valley
Oracle - old tree from close to old post office in town of Oracle, growing near a spring at a residence on the north side of the Santa Catalina Mountains
Aravaipa - from the riparian canyon in the Galiuro Mountains



Donna Adelina - a tasty Tucson heirloom



Comondu - 300 year old heirloom from mission in Baja in Comondu

Las Parras - 300 year old heirloom from Rancho Las Parras in Baja

*3 out of our 4 guava localities have white fruits, with being red


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