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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing cola acuminata
« on: Today at 02:59:32 PM »

C.K. - you are Alva?  You got the plant from me when we had the auction / raffle when Paul Noren visited (I think it actually got delivered to you when we went to see Jim's talk -- I had forgotten to bring it to the auction since I was juggling too much stuff that day).  It did have a tag, I'll have to try to figure out what species I brought.

Sorry for the delay, I wasn't able to find in documentation on which one this was earlier but I just came across the bid sheet.  The plant is Cola rostrata.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Bakuri seed prep (Platonia insignis)
« on: December 07, 2017, 11:52:32 AM »
Are Bacuris  dioecious  ? I have a huge tall bacuri plant in my garden which every year gives pink-red flowers but no fruits . Any info on this regard would be appreciated
Yes dioecioous.
Geez, Oscar, I hope you are mistaken on that one.   I've downloaded over a dozen articles on bacuri & none say it is dioecious.  One, from the fao, says the flowers are bisexual and another from a Brazilian source, says the flowers are "hermaphrophytic" (presumably a typo for hermaphroditic).  If indeed dioecious & I am lucky enough to get one to germinate, hopefully you will have some scions in the future to graft the other sex onto my tree.

By the way, this is not meant to question you, Oscar -- just that it is very hard to get a straight story on a lot of these more obscure fruits.  On line sources are often inaccurate.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit markets in Central Jakarta
« on: December 05, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »
I did not visit Jakarta on my last trip to Indonesia.  I was underwhelmed by the variety of fruit in Jogjakarta & I suspect you may be in Jakarta as well.  If you head to central Java, I can give some pointers.  If you are heading up to Borobudor (a not to miss sight!) from Jogja, you'll pass right through Sleman which is renown for salak production.  On the main road, you'll pass stalls that will probably have a few varieties, if in season.  Coming back down the mountain (Merapi), there is a road in Sleman heading around the other side of the mountain, leading over to Ketep Pass.  That will take you right through the salak plantations and there will be stalls there selling a number of different varieties. 

On Bali, the salak center is Sibetan.  There is a farm there selling salak & various salak products as well as a few stalls nearby.  The farm is Agro Abian Salak at Banjar Karangyar in Sibetan.  It could be easy to miss, it is on a high hill right along the road (but you may not be looking up to see it).  I think you may also hit wani season (a relative of mango, held in very high regard by some) on Bali.

The Sleman area of Java has something like 15-20 different varieties of salak and Sibetan has a similar number of different varieties of a different form of salak.  If you sample salak, do not binge too heavily as it is known to cause constipation.  (i think I limited myself to something 6-8 / day and had no problems).  If you do a google search on the forum for Sleman & Sibetan, you should be able to find my reports on my visits.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Bakuri seed prep (Platonia insignis)
« on: December 04, 2017, 02:19:43 PM »
I've got a question I am directing to Oscar of FL but others may have the same question so I decided to post here.  The seed packet has instructions to "first soak seeds in distilled alcohol for 10 minutes".  I am assuming that this is ethanol ("drinking alcohol") not isopropanol or methanol.  I also assume that denatured alcohol would not be appropriate.  What percentage / proof should be used?  Could a relatively neutral high proof spirit like vodka be used?  (I can think of good ways to use the left over alcohol in that case.  :) )


Tropical Fruit Online Library / Re: Monkey colas
« on: December 04, 2017, 01:26:13 PM »
Thanks, Soren.  When Paul Noren was staying with me, he mentioned a couple of them as being pretty good but he did not seem wildly enthusiastic about them (maybe just because it is not a traditional "fruit" kind of flavor?).  It will still be several years before any of mine bear fruit to be able to assess them.


Tropical Fruit Online Library / Re: Monkey colas
« on: November 29, 2017, 11:31:09 AM »
Hi Soren,

Have you tried any of the monkey colas?  If so, I'd like to hear your impressions.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fairchild Farm Strange Mangoes
« on: November 22, 2017, 01:20:37 PM »
I've got some species mango & colorful new growth (blood red) occurs in a few of them so it is not strictly a kuini trait.  Kuini does color up well & it does hold the color until the leaves are quite large but it is not the only one with good color.  I don't recall for sure which do, I'll have to take a look & comment later.

I had done a posting about flush color in mangoes (indica) to see if anyone know of cultivars that have nice color in new growth & I think I got no response on this.  I have a seedling mango that has very good color but not quite as strong as some of the other species.  (This one is just destined to be top worked with choice mango cultivars.)  None of my "choice" mango cultivars have very good color in new growth -- I would think that there must be some good clones that have good color as well.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing cola acuminata
« on: November 20, 2017, 08:47:23 PM »
Thanks for posting about the monkey cola, I'd like to see that sometime.  It wasn't on Jim's list when I checked it.
We sometimes eat some of the aril on our cola nut fruits, not bad actually.
It could be that what is often called acuminata is actually nítida. 

Hi Peter,

It's not from Jim.  I got mine from ForestHouse in Cameroon (and Alva got his from me).  They have quite a selection of Colas, I have only ordered those that I can find documentation about edibility.

Thanks for the tip about the aril on acuminata, I also have a couple of small trees of that.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Growing cola acuminata
« on: November 20, 2017, 02:05:09 PM »
Hi Lance,

I had posted a link about C. acuminata before in the library section.  Hopefully, it will be helpful.

C.K. - you are Alva?  You got the plant from me when we had the auction / raffle when Paul Noren visited (I think it actually got delivered to you when we went to see Jim's talk -- I had forgotten to bring it to the auction since I was juggling too much stuff that day).  It did have a tag, I'll have to try to figure out what species I brought.

Peter - I just posted a link about monkey cola in the library section.  I have 3 or 4 sp of monkey cola, all still very young trees -- laterita, lepidota, pachycarpa, rostrata.  These are used for the aril, not the nut.  If you do a search, some of these sound pretty interesting but the flavor comparisons are not typical fruit flavors, they tend to be compared to carrots or sweet peas.


Tropical Fruit Online Library / Monkey colas
« on: November 20, 2017, 01:48:59 PM »
Info on some monkey colas, where the aril is eaten instead of the nut:

An interesting article on a Puerto Rican Eugenia, also includes a key to identify Eugenias in PR & Virgin Islands


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Grafted atemoya in hawaii
« on: November 10, 2017, 12:26:27 PM »
Have you checked Frankie's on Oahu?  Last I checked with them, they did not seem to be grafting Annonas anymore but worth checking with them.  Kauai nursery has atemoya trees listed (; I have never ordered from them but when I checked a couple of years back, they will ship.  David Frenz at Birds n' Buds in Hilo (808-987-6455) may be worth a try but I doubt that he ships.  Chances are, you will only find oe or two clones at any of these nurseries, not the variety that you see discussed on this group.

If you know how to graft & want to grow up some rootstocks, I believe that Oscar at Fruitlovers has scions available.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Rauls's illama (annona diversifolia) seeds
« on: November 01, 2017, 06:18:19 PM »
Raul's illama (annona diversifolia) seeds cracking open, one week after 24hr soak in GA3.

What concentration of GA3 did you use?


I was in Bali in June of 2016.  I was looking for salak but hoped I might also find wani stragglers.  It turned out the season ended about about two months prior.   We discussed fruit with some of the hotel staff in Bali.  When we were talking to some waitresses & asked about wani, they just about swooned -- obviously both were very fond of the fruit.  One of these waitresses was from Java, either the Solo or Jogja area, don't recall which.  She said they did not have wani on Java (or at least that part of Java?).  M. caesia is well documented from Java so perhaps they just don't have the white fleshed wani form of caesia?

There are several forms of wani.  I believe I posted a link to a paper earlier in the library section.

I visited Medan many years ago (probably about 30?).  I don't recall a lot of fruit but it may have been when I visited.  Be aware you are getting very close to Aceh province.  Muslims in that area (Aceh) are especially devout so it may be a good idea to brush up on proper etiquette if visiting that area so as not to unintentionally offend anyone.  People were pretty friendly there years ago.



John , you are absolutely right , I got seeds of several varieties from all over the Ilama growing areas in Mexico . Unless you have all the time in your life , GA is the only way to go , I had 100% germination on all in 2 weeks . Some were about 3 weeks in the mail ..didn't make a difference . Actually I am gonna do a lot of test with GA on other seeds that take more than one month to sprout .

Did you scarify the seedcoat in any way or just GA treat?  Do you recall what concentration of GA you used & for how long?  It would be good to compare your methods with others reported here.


Are you suicidal or running away from your wife....LOL...For no amount of money I would go over-there and traveling in a bus at night !!! You have no fear man . Good luck , I'll keep the GA3 ready ....

It took two years to sprout the seeds of annona diversifolia cv. white without Gibberellic acid. Really tough seeds, two years underground without demage.!

2yrs for the seed to sprout?  What if you nip it a bit so that it can absorb water , would that speed up the process?

Try using some sand paper on the coat and ga3 with around 50ppm to 200ppm.

I would not try these without the GA.  I got a couple of lots 2-3 years back from Luc & Raul.  At the time, there was talk about scarifying & I think Adam had suggested trying to remove the seed coat.  I managed to remove 1/2 the seed coat from the seeds without any apparent damage to the seed.  I think even with this course of action, only one germinated (& I lost it anyway).  So, it is not a simple matter of water getting to the seed.  Try the GA.


Bear in mind, you are asking about a species, not a clone, so impressions about quality could vary quite a bit.  I suspect that the ones from Fairchild are seedlings so probably best if you can get advice from someone who has fruited trees from their same seed source.  If you think about it, what kind of responses would you get if you asked if asked questions about Mangifera indica, not specific clones?

It has probably been 2 or 3 years since I have had kuini.  The ones I tried did not seem to have objectionable fiber.  They are highly fragrant (some call them durian mango but the smell is nothing like durian, just very strong).  I think the fragrance is supposedly linked a good deal to the skin.  I cut up the ones we had & put them in the frig to minimize the odor.  My wife liked them & did not comment on the odor when eating them but always asked when she opened the frig, "what is that smell"?  The flavor was not exactly the same as mango but, if you had to compare it to something, mango certainly comes to mind.

I believe that kuini is a bit more tropical than mango so it may be more inconsistent there -- better for someone else to comment on that.  I have been trying to train mine to stay compact (~12' height limit) but it is too early to say if that will be successful.  I am skeptical that they would do well as a potted plant.  They are supposed to be very resistant to anthracnose.  I have heard that they are self-fruitful but I don't know for sure.

One thing you will notice with kuini (& also some other Mangifera species) -- new growth is a beautiful blood red color, very showy.


I would make fencing my first priority, otherwise, the pigs can wipe out a lot of trees fast.  I assume you are probably along Hamakua, so you probably have plenty of pigs to deal with, especially if there are any active mac farms near you.  You would be amazed at the amount of damage a few pigs can do in a night -- you'd swear someone was out there with a tractor & plow.  If the land is undisturbed, the pigs do not tend to bother it that much.  However, if you cut or clear some land or start a compost pile or mulch plants, pigs love to root around there.

I would suggest hogwiring whatever you plan on planting (you don't need to do it all now).  Standard practice here is to also run a strand of barb wire along the bottom to discourage the pigs from digging under.  If you run the standard hogwire, you will find that baby pigs go through it readily and can still cause some damage.  As some added advice, if you plan on fencing along a pali, put your fence line a good distance back from it.  The pigs will put in a pig highway along your fenceline &, if you are too close to the pali, the soil will erode & you will have to be replacing that section of fence.

Get quotes & references for the fencing.  Prices vary ENORMOUSLY here & it is not an indication of quality of the job or materials.  If you are interested, shoot me an email & I can give you the contact info for the guy I used.  He does a lot of ranches here.  I got a tighter hog wire (no piglets getting through) with an aluminum / zinc coating that is superior to conventional galvanizing for less than most other bids (using conventional materials).


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Breeding/selecting with dioecious plants
« on: August 18, 2017, 01:00:21 PM »
This sounds like an interesting project you are undertaking.  However, going with a dioecious species will make it more challenging and probably more frustrating.  Peter's advice on male flowering is good and it will be one of the few attributes you will be able to see on the male trees (you won't know if they have genes for good fruit flavor, good fruit size, freestone, etc).

A grower here did similar work for peach palm.  He raised out the seedlings, graded them A to C with A being superior fruit, B being acceptable, and C being inferior fruit.  He then would cull out all C trees.  It was sort of "passive selective breeding".  He would then take the seed from the select palms & plant out a new grove; I think he did this 2 or 3 times to select for his desired traits.  He was able to develop peach palm with nice flavor, good oil content, and a thinner, more palatable peel (as well as being spineless).  Since you are working with a dioecious species, I think your work will be a lot more challenging.

Good luck, keep us posted!


That stinky smell and bad taste was something specifically selected out when the solo papayas were developed. This was done at least 50 years ago? And people still haven't caught on?  :o I don't know anybody that doesn't like them here or that complains about their smell. Often they are just ignored just because they are so super common here. It's kind of like bananas, great fruit, but so many of them around people forget to appreciate them.

Regarding being common & unappreciated, I kind of think the worst period here is behind us -- I remember a few years ago, papaya going as low as 6 / $1; now I think ~2/$1 is more the going rate so I think the glut is subsiding.  Most of the fruit here is apparently from nice clones.  However, most vendors do not treat them well & you often end up with bruises turning to mush before the rest of the fruit is anywhere near ripe.  (I still see pick-ups with the bed filled with loose papaya and 2 or 3 guys laying on top of the load of fruit.  Nice way to treat your produce.)  That kind of experience has certainly decreased my enthusiasm for papaya so I tend to buy them a lot less often.

Hopefully, Mike T will chime in on this.  As I recall one of his descriptors he uses for flavor/aroma in some papaya is "puke"  -- yum.  Just call me biased but that is not a characteristic I am fond of.  (Not typically encountered in any of the main Hawaiian types, by the way.)


I don't recall Montoso having Catui.  I have heard that it is possible to get reasonable (but low) germination from green (unroasted) coffee beans.  If you do a search on line you will find articles about this.  If you then look for sellers of green beans, you will find quite a variety of things available.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dwarf mulchi production
« on: July 30, 2017, 06:08:58 PM »
Nice, Peter, thanks for posting.  How tall is the tree in the pic?  How old was it when it started fruiting at .5 m?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Maesobotrya barteri
« on: July 12, 2017, 02:39:00 PM »
I have tried this one but the end result was the same for all -- they all eventually died.  I got very good germination (I'm thinking I had about 7 germinate, if I recall correctly) but I gradually lost them all after maybe 1 1/2 yrs.   I did get some that had multiple leaves & started to look like a little tree but would take a turn for the worst.   It sounds like an interesting fruit so I think I will try them again at some point. 

I would suspect you may have them too damp if you are keeping the seedling in a baggy.  I think I may have lost some to fungal problems.  The baggy may not be a bad idea but I would make sure the baggy is large enough that the seedling is not in direct contact to it and perhaps punch a few small holes in the bag so that it can keep it humid but not too humid.


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