The large, deep green, leathery leaves are oval to nearly circular and 7 to 10 inches in diameter. Young leaves and shoots are coated with red hairs, while mature leaves are dark green and hairless on the upper surface, downy-white with prominent, light colored veins beneath.
The large (1 to 2 inch diameter), white to cream colored flowers are somewhat fragrant and produced as singlets to triplets in the leaf axiles. The flowering period extends over several weeks from early May to June, depending on climatic conditions. The plants are dioecious, bearing either male or female flowers, thus needing plants of both sexes to produce fruit. Self-fruiting males are known to exist but produce less desirable fruit.
The oval, ovoid or oblong fruit is up to 2-1/2 inches long, with russet-brown skin densely covered with short, stiff brown hairs. The flesh, firm until fully ripe, is glistening, bright green or sometimes yellow, brownish or off-white, except for the white, succulent center from which radiate many fine, pale lines. Between these lines are scattered minute dark-purple or nearly black seeds, unnoticeable in eating. The flavor is sweet/tart to acid, somewhat like that of the gooseberry with a suggestion of strawberry.
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