Myrica rubra is a native breed in China and they mainly grow in the south of the Yangtze River. It is a subtropical tree grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red, edible fruit. In Chinese it is called Yangmei (杨梅), also known as Chinese bayberry, red bayberry or waxberry. Ways to eat the fruit vary from fermenting the berry with some alcohol, putting them into iced juice, or just adding them on top of some cold dishes.
Waxberries become ripe in early June, sometimes during the end of May, thanks to the warm weather in Kunming. Locals love to appreciate the taste of the berry and they also enjoy the fun of picking them from the tree. In Kunming, Fumin County is probably one of the best places to pick waxberry during the season. It is about 23 km away from Kunming and it is known for the name the “town of waxberry in China”. This year, Fumin County is having its yearly waxberry festival until the third of June.
With more than 400mu, Jianguo Myrica Rubra Orchard is the biggest waxberry orchard in Fumin County. The best time for waxberry picking is from May to early July.
Address: Jiangguo Myrica Rubra Ochard, Yongding Street, Fumin County, Kunming
Address in Chinese: 昆明市富民县永定街道建国大树杨梅基地
Price: 20 yuan/ kilogram, no entrance fee
Being one of the main regions for waxberry to grow, Luomian Township is popular with locals and visitors due to its high quality of waxberries. During summer, the orchard also lures visitors with abundant fresh nectarines and apricots.
Address: Luomian Township, Fumin County, Kunming
Address in Chinese: 富民县西北部罗免镇
Tel: 13669743951, 13888248535
Price: 15 yuan/ kilogram (orchard 1), 20 yuan/ kilogram (orchard 2). No entrance fee.
Waxberry trees in Chengjiang is not too high, therefore, it is easy for kids to pick them. The best time for picking them in Chengjiang is from the end of May to the middle of June. After picking the fresh fruit, you can stay for a lovely dinner at the orchard. Most restaurants offer authentic Chengjiang dish, such as boiled fish in copper pot and potato with rice and Yunnan ham in copper pot.
Address: Chengjiang Waxberry Orchard, Chengjiang County, Kunming
Address in Chinese: 昆明市澄江县澄江杨梅公社
Price: entrance fee is 10 yuan/person and 30 yuan/kilogram for waxberry picking
Wangjahua Garden is only 6 km away from Shilin Stone Forest Scenic Area. It produces different fruits as seasons vary. On the first week of June, it is ready to open its door for fruit lovers to enjoy the fun and the freshness of what the season has to offer.
Address: No. 1 Alishan Road, Taichuangyuan District, Shilin County, Kunming
Address in Chinese: 昆明市石林县台创园核心区阿里山路1号
Please be aware that the dark purple-red colour from the berry is not easy to clean up when you have them on your shirt (especially white shirt).
Sunblock is essential when picking waxberry during the day.
(photo credit: Kunming Youlife)