The RFCI is an international, non-profit organization that promotes fruit. Of course.

Locally, we are a diverse group of people who push the limits to increase the variety of edibles we grow where we live . . . driven by curiosity and a sense of adventure . . . interested in experimentation and learning . . . and excited to try new things and to share the experience.


The Tampa Bay Chapter of the Rare Fruit Council International seeks to inform the public about the merits of fruit common to this region. The club collects and distributes information about–and encourages the cultivation, collection, propagation, and enjoyment of–fruit that is exotic or unusual to west central Florida. The club also encourages the development of new fruit varieties, and cooperates with local and foreign agricultural agencies, private institutions, and individuals engaged in tropical pomology.

We grow FUN things: praying hand bananas, humongous jackfruit, lumpy-looking fruits with names like sugar apple (cherimoya); grape-flavored jaboticaba  (a fruit that forms directly on the tree’s bark); soursop (guanabana), which tastes like “wet pear;” and tendrilled dragonfruit, the fruit of a vining cactus which, eaten cold, tastes like fantastically healthy sorbet.

Formally, our Purpose Statement reads that we strive to:

  • Inform the public about the merits of rare and unusual fruit in order to encourage their cultivation and consumption.
  • Collect and distribute information on the propagation and growth of exotic rare fruit.
  • Encourage the development and breeding of new rare fruit.
  • Cooperate and share knowledge with all other groups and individuals engaged in the growing of rare fruit.

And we have fun doing it.