Some fruits that often appear on our dining tables are commonly found in our home gardens. These fruit trees bear edible fruits and provide shade for people. Actually, common fruit trees are beneficial to environment as well.
Animals use different parts of the trees to feed, rest and lay eggs. Some fruit trees such as Limau Kasturi (Citrus × microcarpa) and Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.) provide food for caterpillars of various butterflies and moths. Fruit-eating animals like to visit fruit trees such as Mango (Mangifera indica), Papaya (Carica papaya L.) and Cempedak (Artocarpus integer).
Aside from animals, common fruit trees also create suitable growing conditions for other plants. Some large, densely crowned trees allow saplings and shade-loving plants to grow underneath. Deep-rooted plants like Nangka (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) help to maintain soil structure.
Many common fruit trees are native to Malaysia. They grow naturally in the forest. For example, the wild bananas (Musa spp.) are relatives of domesticated bananas. Their fruits are less edible to humans. However, these wild species are important genetic resources as they can contribute beneficial traits e.g. pest or disease resistance for improving production of cultivated bananas.