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Just spotted this fruit while walking to school. It's the size of a small coin.The taste is almost sour and tangy and somewhat sweet (I only tried one of them and very little of it). I admit, I've never seen it before. Does anyone know what this is?

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Welcome to Biology.SE! For this particular question, knowing some details about where you picked this (where you live, the climate, etc) would be helpful. –  Daniel Standage Aug 28 '12 at 1:02
    
I live in Berkeley. It was actually two or three blocks north of UC Berkeley. See this link maps.google.com/… It's the one right in front of the brown building. –  darksky Aug 28 '12 at 2:12
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Soda Hall? :P Oh, I remember those days... Anyway, my first thought was also a lychee/litchi. But I thought the fruit is usually whiter and there's usually a seed in the middle.. –  jello Aug 28 '12 at 3:29
    
So you can eat it? Damn, I wasted my childhood! I always walked by such a tree but was too afraid to try. –  Konrad Rudolph Aug 30 '12 at 16:18
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

strawberry tree

It's probably Arbutus unedo, strawberry tree. Native to Mediterranean region and some part of western Ireland.

Edit: I've just spot that you found it in California, so it's probably one of north american Arbutus species, eg. Arbutus menziesii.

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Awesome! Thanks so much. Now I'll eat the rest of them without fearing dying. –  darksky Aug 29 '12 at 0:42
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@darksky I've never eaten this kind of fruits so please don't blame me nor the SE community if they appear not edible. –  Marta Cz-C Aug 29 '12 at 16:10
    
Yes it is Arbutus Unedo. We have several in the garden. In Spain it is called a Madroño. The fruits are edible, but they don't taste that great. They are not very sweet and can have a mushy texture. Use them to make jams. –  Poshpaws Sep 12 '12 at 13:07
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Litchi chinensis

Native to Asia, apparently.

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But litchi's are white inside with a big hard seed in the middle. This is yellow inside with tiny black seeds. –  darksky Aug 28 '12 at 3:28
    
The interior of a litchi is not like that. Plus is definitely not a fruit which I would classify as sour. –  nico Aug 28 '12 at 5:59
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