Kei Apple

Dovyalis caffra

Kei Apple fruit

Native to southwest Africa, the Kei apple forms a very drought hardy and salt tolerant shrub or small tree. With its large thorns this dense shrub makes a perfect security fence. The plum sized golden fruit is aromatic. Very sweet and tastes very similar to an apricot but with a much higher juice content. They are an excellent plant to encourage bees as both honey bees and native bees love the flowers. Male and female trees are needed for pollination in order to set fruit if planting seedling trees, plant three or more to increase the chances of having both male and female trees.Weed Warning: This plant is not to be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment in the Greater Sydney and North Coast regions of NSW due to the weed risk posed by this species. This is because it seeds freely and there are concerns regarding its weed potential. Consider this before planting all over Australia however do not buy this plant if forbidden in your region.

$17.75 ($17.75-$17.75 choose a size)

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Specifications of Kei Apple

Preferred Climate Tropical, SubtropicalLearn About Climate Zones

Grown From SeedlingLearn About Propagation Methods

Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions) 2-5m

Plants required to Pollinate 3 Plants (Male and Female)Learn about Pollination

Can it Handle Frosts? Likes Temps above 5deg, Sometimes, Yes

Amount of leaves in Winter? All Leaves (Evergreen)

Quarantine Restrictions to these Areas NSW

Water Requirements Moderate Watering

Is it a Dwarf Fruit Tree? Can be pruned to 2m

Time to Fruit/Flower/Harvest 4-5 Years

Sun or Shade Full (Sun:80%-100%)

Preferred Soil Type Good Drainage

Soil pH Neutral (6.6-7.3pH)

Fruiting/Harvest Months February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September

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Extra Information

Weed Warning: Kei Apple has been identified as a high risk weed, which is invading bushland in the Sydney region (it is spread by birds) We have a fact sheet about it at

Kei Apple Reviews & Tips

Star Rating

★★★★★ 1months ago

Woolloongabba, QLD, Australia

Kei Apple

My male and female plants grown from seeds still have not flowered in mire than 20 years. Grown in Brisbane.

★★★ 1y ago


I find Kei Apple very attractive. White bark with glossy dark green leaves. The thorns are very large and I'd imagine could cause a lot of damage if you were to step on one or fall against the bush. The fruit have a mild, but sweet flavour. Notes of A...

Kimcuong 1
1y ago

MORLEY , WA, Australia

Love to grown all types of fruits tree in my garden. Saw YouTube and one the guy said it taste very nice. Can't wait to have them in my backyard 

★★★★★ 1y ago

KENMORE, QLD, Australia

Seven in a hedge. The spines are huge! Fruited first December 2011. Fruit is impossible to see until it turns orange and soon after, drops off the plant. The fruit is surprisingly aromatic and quite tart. I stewed some with sugar, and made some into ch...

Nicola Dixon
2y ago

South Windsor, NSW, Australia

Kei Apple

Under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2017, this species is not to be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment in the Greater Sydney or North Coast regions of NSW. Please see

★★ 5y ago


Testing as a free plant, not too sure if I will ground plant it as male and female needed and may be too time and space consuming to get a pollination pair.

★★★ 5y ago

RUNCORN, QLD, Australia

These are such tough little buggers. I was told you need male and female plants, so I bought three, but I have no idea if I have different genders yet. One is a paler green than the others, but that might come down to slightly different soils?They're i...

N. Irwin
5y ago

San Diego , CALIF

Kei Apple

A large grove was planted in our cnyn in San Diego in 1908. over 100 years and going strong. they have never ever been watered. They seem to thrive on no watering even in the recent So Cal draught. Highly recommended. Easy to grow from seed.

Dale Menagh
7y ago

Topanga, Ca, USA

Kei Apple

Kei Apple love our Southern California climate & soil. Year 7 after planting from specimens obtained from commercial nursery (3-4 years old) our harvest is bountiful. Easy to separate juice & pulp from skins & seeds by using a chinois-pestle.

Everlyne Betty Mayeku
8y ago


Kei Apple

Is a fruit with the highest antioxidant properties than any other fruit known, there will be soon nectar for this fruit, which will be blended with other sweet fruit

Geoffrey Kiguru
9y ago

Nairobi, KENYA

Kei Apple

Very bitter but nutritious. can make a delicious juice if mixed with a sweeter juice like mango or passion.

Marcia Nell
9y ago

Leisure Bay, Port Edward Natal, S.A., Australia, Australia

Kei Apple

Lovely jelle and easy to make

10y ago

Nairobi, KENYA

Kei Apple

The fruits have a tart but unique flavour. Amazing jelly & try making a Kei apple meringue as apposed to a lemon meringue pie.

★★★ 11y ago

Kardella, VIC, Australia

Grown to help protect cold sensitive plants from frost.  Two have been run over by the ride on mower and have reshot. not sure that they are providing any frost protection, but I'm impressed with their staying power.

Cheryl Artman
12y ago

Gympie, QLD

Kei Apple

Beautiful shrub very dark glossy foliage we have shaped ours into a ball, looks beautiful and the bees adore it, the fruit I have not tried but smells delicious and looks very similar to apricot. Thanks for all the information on this plant

David White
15y ago

Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Kei Apple

Slow growing away from the tropics but bullet proof once established. Tolerant of most soils. The thorns are incredibly long and sharp. The fruits are delicious and unusual.

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