There is a wide variety of red fruits, each with its own unique size and form. Among the most common red fruits are red apples, red pears, strawberries, raspberries, red cherries, and red plums. For those seeking more exotic options, red cactus fruit and red passion fruit are worth exploring. Unusual fruits like red dragon fruit and lychee, with their rough red skin and white fleshy interior, offer a distinctive taste experience. Pomegranates, known for their sweet flavor and rich crimson juice-filled seeds, are another delightful red fruit to enjoy.
Beyond their visual appeal and delicious taste, red fruits also offer significant nutritional benefits. The vibrant red color of many fruits, including citrus fruits, berries, and drupes, comes from compounds like anthocyanins and carotenoids. These antioxidants play a crucial role in maintaining good health, particularly in purple or red fruits and vegetables, along with natural vitamin C and other essential minerals. The shade of red can vary from orange-red to deep purple-red, depending on the concentration of anthocyanins.
This article aims to serve as a guide to help you identify various types of red fruits. You can easily find some of these beautiful crimson fruits at your local grocery store, while others, especially the more exotic and tropical varieties, might be more challenging to locate.
What Fruits Are Red in Color?
Red fruits can be categorized into groups such as drupes (stone fruits), citrus fruits, berries, pomes, and pepo. Within these classifications, it is also possible to distinguish between common red fruits and more exotic or tropical ones. Despite being referred to as vegetables in some cases, these fruits are botanically classified as red berries.
Examples of common red berries include cranberries, red currants, and red chokecherries. Tomatoes, although commonly used as a vegetable, are actually a type of sweet red fruit that grows on vines. Watermelon, with its green outer skin and red juicy flesh, falls into the category of red pepo fruits. It is important to note that, from a botanical perspective, orange pumpkins and green cucumbers are also considered fruits.
However, some red fruits that are commonly referred to as red berries are not true berries botanically. Red cherries, for instance, are classified as drupes, which are large fruits resembling berries. Certain nectarine and peach cultivars with red skin or flesh also fall under the category of drupes.
Common Types of Red Fruit
Now, let’s explore some of the common types of red fruits that can be grown in your own yard or purchased at your local supermarket.
Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa)
Strawberries, those delightful bright red fruits, are a common sight in gardens. Their petite size and vibrant color make them a true summer delight. When you hold a ripe strawberry to your nose, you’ll be greeted by a sweet caramel fragrance that instantly evokes the essence of the season. And when you take a bite, the juicy fruit bursts with a perfect balance of sweetness and a hint of refreshing acidity.
Despite their name, strawberries are not true berries. They belong to the category of aggregate fruits, where the small seeds are embedded in the flesh, giving the fruit its characteristic texture.
These luscious berries are a favorite ingredient in various summer desserts, such as jams, pies, ice creams, and even decadent chocolate-covered treats. Their natural sweetness adds a burst of flavor to any dish, making them a versatile and beloved fruit in the culinary world.
Raspberries, those delightful little fruits, are known for their vibrant red color and unique flavor profile. When you bite into a ripe raspberry, you’ll experience a burst of freshness accompanied by a subtle tang. These soft berries are gentle to the touch and have a hollow core that becomes apparent when plucked from the bush. Interestingly, raspberries are not true berries, but rather an aggregate fruit composed of multiple small drupelets, each containing a single seed.
While the most common variety of raspberries are bright red, they can also come in a range of colors. You might come across raspberries that are yellow, purple, black, or even pink. Each variation carries its own distinct taste and visual appeal, adding a touch of diversity to this beloved fruit. So, whether you prefer the classic red raspberries or enjoy exploring the different hues, there’s a raspberry to suit every palate.
Red Apple (Malus domestica)
Red apples are a common sight in temperate regions, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on the specific variety, red apples can range in diameter from 0.8 inches (2 cm) to 4 inches (10 cm). Some large red apples have a deep blackish red skin that encases crisp white flesh, while others may have a yellow base with blackish red skin. The shades of red can vary, with some apples showcasing vibrant crimson hues, while others lean towards green or yellow undertones.
Let’s explore a few examples of red apple varieties:
Pink Lady: These apples feature bright red waxy skin adorned with tiny white speckles. Known for their crisp texture, they offer a balanced flavor profile, starting with a tart taste that gives way to a sweet finish.
Envy: With a medium size and a satisfying crunch, Envy apples have a unique appearance. Their skin showcases a blend of ruby red and yellow tones, and they offer a delightfully sweet taste.
Red Delicious: Sporting dark burgundy red skin, Red Delicious apples are recognized for their elongated shape. They boast a mildly sweet flavor with minimal tartness, making them a popular choice for snacking.
Honeycrisp: Honeycrisp apples exhibit a mottled skin that combines vibrant red, yellow, and green hues. Beneath their enticing appearance, you’ll find a crisp and juicy flesh with a harmonious blend of sweet and tart flavors.
Whether you’re drawn to the classic appeal of Red Delicious or prefer the tantalizing combination of sweetness and tartness in a Honeycrisp, red apples offer a range of options to suit different tastes and preferences.
Red Cherry (Prunus cerasus or Prunus avium)
Cherries, those delightful little red fruits, offer a range of flavors depending on the variety. Sweet cherries, with their vibrant red or crimson hues, are a treat to savor straight from the tree. They boast a lusciously sweet taste that is hard to resist. On the other hand, sour cherries display a spectrum of shades, from dark red Morello cherries to light red Amarelle cherries, and are known for their slightly tart and acidic flavor.
Aside from their delectable taste, cherry trees are adored for their beautiful white blossoms that adorn the branches in spring. These delicate blooms fill the air with a fragrant floral scent and paint gardens with shades of pinkish-white. For those with limited garden space, there are also captivating dwarf weeping cherry tree varieties, which add a touch of elegance to small gardens.
Whether you’re enjoying the sweetness of ripe cherries or admiring the beauty of cherry blossoms, these fruits and their trees bring joy and beauty to our surroundings.
Red plums are large stone fruits with thick, juicy flesh that can be either red or yellow in color. The plums have a slightly cloudy appearance due to their smooth skin, which may have a waxy texture. These medium-sized fruits typically measure between 0.8 to 2.7 inches (2 to 7 cm) in diameter and can be round or oval in shape.
Just like cherries, red plums come in both sweet and sour varieties. The round plums often feature wine red or dark red skins with vibrant orangey flesh. Additionally, there are unique plum hybrids that have been crossbred with other drupes. Plumcots, apriums, and pluots are examples of such hybrids, combining the flavors and characteristics of plums and apricots. For instance, a pluot may resemble a crimson-colored apricot but possess the delicious taste of a plum.
Red plums, in their various forms and hybrids, offer a delightful range of flavors and textures for fruit enthusiasts to enjoy.
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)
Watermelons are refreshing and delicious fruits known for their large size, juicy red flesh, and vibrant green exteriors. These massive fruits have a distinct spherical to oval shape and are typically recognized by their light green skin adorned with dark green stripes. When sliced open, watermelons reveal a sweet, pink to dark red flesh that is filled with black seeds (although seedless varieties are also available), making them a delightful treat to enjoy.
Watermelons belong to the pepo berry family and grow on sprawling vines with long stems. They are known for their impressive size, with some varieties reaching up to 24 inches (60 cm) in diameter. With numerous cultivars available, watermelons come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and flavors, offering a delightful diversity for fruit lovers to savor.
Red Pear (Pyrus)
Red pears are delightful fruits that grow on fruit trees and are characterized by their dark wine-red skin. These pomes, or fruits with a core and seeds enclosed in a tough outer layer, have a distinct shape with a broad and rounded bottom, tapering to a thinner top, much like pears of other colors. Some pear varieties also exhibit green skin with red blushes, adding to their visual appeal.
Red pears offer a range of flavors, from spicy to sweet to tangy, making them incredibly juicy and satisfying to bite into. Among the red pear varieties, the red Anjou stands out as the most popular. These egg-shaped fruits typically have a short and squat appearance, with a wide base that gradually tapers to a rounded top. With an average diameter of around 3 inches (8 cm), the red Anjou pears are a delightful addition to any fruit bowl or recipe.
Red Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
Red chokecherries are small drupes that grow on compact trees and are characterized by their round shape and dark red or black color. These little fruits have a unique flavor profile, described by some as astringent, sour, and bitter. As the chokecherries ripen, they undergo a transformation, accumulating high concentrations of anthocyanins and turning from a vibrant red hue to a deep black shade. The diameter of red chokecherry fruits typically falls within the range of 0.25 to 0.5 inches (0.6 to 1.4 cm), making them a petite addition to the berry family.
Types of Red Citrus Fruits
Red Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)
Red grapefruits are a delightful citrus fruit with a vibrant deep orange skin and luscious tangy red flesh. These subtropical fruits have a flavor profile that ranges from sour to semi-sweet, with a pleasant acidic kick. When fully ripe, the tree produces clusters of red grapefruits that can reach a diameter of 4 to 9 inches (10 to 15 cm), offering a generous serving of juicy goodness.
There are various varieties of tangy red grapefruit to choose from, including Ruby Red, Redblush, Rio Red, and Ruby-Sweet, each with its own distinct characteristics and flavors.
Blood Orange (Citrus x sinensis)
Unlike most citrus fruits, blood oranges stand out due to their unique red coloration. While their peel is a vibrant orange, it is adorned with dark red blushes, giving them an eye-catching appearance. However, the true surprise lies within the fruit. Once cut open, blood oranges reveal a mesmerizing dark red flesh, creating a striking contrast.
What sets blood oranges apart extends beyond their appearance. They offer a distinctive flavor profile that combines the sweetness of oranges with a tangy hint reminiscent of raspberries. This exceptional combination of visual and sensory appeal makes blood oranges a truly remarkable citrus fruit.
Types of Red Spiky Fruits
Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum)
Rambutan is a unique and curious fruit with a distinct appearance. Its vibrant red outer skin is covered in soft, hair-like spines, giving it a shaggy and intriguing look. These peculiar fruits grow in large clusters on evergreen rambutan trees, hanging down and creating an unusual sight.
The spiny red fruits are encased in a leathery skin, which, when peeled away, reveals a translucent white or light pink flesh. The texture of the flesh is similar to that of lychees, and the berries themselves can be spherical or oval in shape.
When it comes to taste, rambutan offers a delightful sweetness, akin to fresh grapes. Each individual fruit, known as a drupe, measures approximately 1.1 to 2.3 inches (3 to 6 cm) in length and 1.5 inches (4 cm) in width. The combination of its intriguing appearance and sweet flavor makes rambutan a fascinating and enjoyable fruit to experience.
Red Durian Fruit (Durio)
Red durian fruits are a rare and unique sight, as they are exclusively found in Sabah, Borneo. Often referred to as Sabah durians, these fruits possess a striking appearance. Encased in a spiky green or orange skin, reminiscent of a horse chestnut, the entire fruit is covered in these distinctive spikes. Due to their limited distribution, red durians are not commonly found in local shops, making them a sought-after natural treasure.
These fruits are notable for their substantial size, typically growing to be 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 cm) long. Their elongated shape adds to their visual appeal, with their spiky green or yellow casings adding an extra layer of intrigue.
When it comes to taste, red durian fruits offer a unique experience. Their distinctive and pungent flavor sets them apart from their milder yellow counterparts, creating a flavorful competition between the two. The remarkable taste of red durian fruits adds to their allure and makes them a coveted treat for those fortunate enough to encounter them.
Types of Red Berries
Cranberry (Vaccinium subg. Oxycoccus)
Cranberries, those vibrant red berries, thrive on low-lying bushes or trailing vines that grow in clusters. Renowned for their tart and acidic flavor, red cranberry fruits are a distinctive culinary ingredient. Measuring about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter, these berries boast a smooth skin that encases their juicy flesh. They commonly exhibit a circular or oval shape, adding to their visual appeal.
Cranberries undergo their ripening process in late October, making them a seasonal delicacy often harvested during the winter months. Their unique flavor profile and characteristic deep red hue make cranberries a sought-after ingredient in various culinary creations, from sauces and baked goods to beverages and beyond.
Red currants, resembling tiny spherical jewels, flourish in clusters on petite bushes and are closely related to gooseberries. These crimson fruits boast a tart and vibrant red flesh encased in lustrous, glossy skins. Known for their sharp and acidic flavor, red currants are frequently used in the production of jams, jellies, and sweet preserves.
Each cluster of these delectable redcurrant berries contains an array of up to ten glossy fruits, each measuring approximately 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in diameter. Their petite size and captivating appearance make them a delightful addition to culinary creations, both for their visual appeal and their tangy flavor.
Red Grape (Vitis)
Clusters of small red berries come together to form the beloved fruit known as grapes. With their crimson to purple skin and blackish red flesh, dark-colored grapes offer a delightful burst of flavor. These versatile berries find their way into various culinary creations such as red wine, grape juice, jams, currants, and raisins.
When it comes to table grapes, there are magnificent varieties to choose from, such as the ‘Red Globe’ or the ‘Crimson Seedless.’ These large red grapes are perfect for snacking, as they offer a deliciously sweet and crisp experience. Their shades range from brick red to pale red, adding a vibrant touch to any fruit bowl or table spread.
Types of Exotic Red Fruits
Red Prickly Pear — Red Cactus Fruit (Opuntia humifusa)
The red prickly pear, also called red cactus pear, is a stunning fruit with a vibrant crimson-pink rough skin. When they first appear, the fruits have a green hue, but as they ripen, they transform into a rich crimson color. Beneath the rough red exterior, you’ll find a vibrant magenta-colored flesh adorned with numerous black edible seeds.
The mature red cactus pear offers a sweet flavor reminiscent of watermelon, making it a unique and enticing fruit. These delightful fruits typically measure between 2 and 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length, making them relatively small in size.
Red Passion Fruit (Passiflora)
Red passion fruit is a unique and tropical fruit with a spherical shape that reaches around 3.5 inches (9 cm) in diameter. Its vibrant green flesh is filled with numerous seeds, all encapsulated by a deep reddish-purple skin. Compared to the yellow variety, the reddish-purple passion fruit tends to be smaller in size.
Passion fruit is renowned for its sweet and delicious flavor, making it a popular choice for both eating and extracting juice. The combination of the juicy flesh and the richly colored seeds creates a delightful sensory experience.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Pomegranates are luscious, round fruits with a vibrant red hue and a unique structure. Resembling a large, oblong red apple, they boast a crown-like feature on their glossy skin. Each pomegranate is filled with an abundance of seeds, known as arils, encapsulated in sweet, red juice capsules.
These delectable fruits are generously sized, measuring similar to that of a big, red apple. The leathery skin adds to their distinctive appearance. Inside, pomegranates house anywhere between 200 to 1,400 seeds, making them a delightful and satisfying treat to indulge in.
Red Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum)
Red tamarillo is a distinctive and rare fruit known for its tangy flavor that carries hints of citrus. The small fruits, which resemble elongated eggs, grow on tamarillo shrubs and display a captivating crimson hue. They typically measure between 1.5 to 4 inches (4 to 10 cm) in length.
Red tamarillo is often referred to by various names such as tree tomato, blood fruit, or Dutch eggplant, highlighting its unique shape and characteristics. It stands out as an intriguing and flavorful addition to the world of fruits.
Types of Tropical Red Fruits
Red Banana (Musa acuminata ‘Red Dacca’)
Red bananas offer a delightful twist to the typical yellow-skinned variety we are accustomed to. These tropical fruits are a rarity, characterized by their smaller and plumper size compared to regular bananas. With their dark reddish-purple skin and pinkish-white flesh, red bananas captivate with their unique appearance.
What sets red bananas apart is their distinct flavor profile, which carries a hint of raspberry and a sweeter taste compared to their yellow counterparts. When you encounter a bunch of red bananas, you can expect around 80 of these tropical treasures, each measuring approximately 6 to 7 inches (16 to 18 cm) in length.
Lychee (Litchi chinensis)
Lychees, those delightful tropical gems, are small round fruits with a captivating appearance. Their rough, bumpy red skin adds texture to their allure. Peeling away the leathery exterior reveals a sweet surprise—a white, crunchy flesh that offers a delightful burst of flavor. The taste of lychees is often described as a delightful blend reminiscent of watermelons and strawberries.
These tiny spherical fruits hold within them a delightful combination of sweetness and juiciness. As you savor their unique flavor, you’ll appreciate the refreshing qualities that lychees bring to the palate.
Red Dragon Fruit – Pitaya (Selenicereus costaricensis)
Red dragon fruit, with its vibrant scarlet-pink skin and deep magenta flesh filled with black seeds, is truly a unique tropical fruit. Its texture resembles that of a kiwifruit, while its flavor is sweet and delightful. The striking scarlet-red flesh, adorned with black specks of seeds, adds an exotic touch to tropical fruit salads, earning it the nickname “Fire Dragons” fruit.
Belonging to the cactus family, this fruit is known as pitaya. Typically, its milky white flesh is covered by bright red skin with green bracts. However, if you seek the tropical delight of red-skinned fruit with vivid red flesh, look no further than the Selenicereus costaricensis variety. Its captivating appearance and delicious taste make it a sought-after treat for fruit enthusiasts.
Red Mango Fruit (Mangifera indica ‘Irwin’)
Mangos, with their large size and tough skin that comes in shades of red, green, and yellow, are a delightful tropical fruit. When the red mango variety, specifically the ‘Irwin’ cultivar grown in Florida, reaches its ripe stage, it offers a mouthwatering treat. Encased in the vibrant red skin is sweet, yellow flesh that carries a hint of spiciness. These red mangos have an oval to egg-like shape and typically weigh around 12 to 16 ounces (340 to 450 grams).