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Topics - Daintree

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So, I have this stuff growing in most of my pots.  Don't know what it is, as it hitch-hiked in with something a while ago.  It does not vine or spread by runners, so I don't think it is a syngonium, even though that is what the leaves look like. It never gets any taller than about 6-8 inches, and grows from a bulb that looks just like a rat turd.  Now it is blooming, with a nice-smelling, velvety purple/black spathe-like thing.
Any ideas?

Citrus General Discussion / Can I eat my bergamot orange?
« on: March 06, 2016, 04:21:47 PM »
So, I have what was labelled as a bergamot orange tree.  I just harvested the first fruit.  Orange-sized and round with an orange skin. 
I cut it open and the flesh is very pale yellow.  I tasted the fruit, and it is not bitter.  It is somewhere between an orange and a lemon.

I have read that "too much" is "toxic".  How much is too much, and what problems does it cause?
How many can I eat before I get sick, or will I even get sick? It is pretty juicy and really tasty! I really want to eat it, or squeeze some juice into my tonic water!



My sister and I built this in my greenhouse, "Daintree", over a couple of weekends as a place for my Bourkes to nest. 
We used a cool local product called KirtBag that turns mortar into a putty-like substance that allowed us to shape this hollow "dead snag".  Not perfect, but the birds seem to love it, and have stopped ripping the guts out of my vanilla "moss pole" (you can sort of see it in the background of the first picture - I had to build a cage around it…).  We numbered the nest boxes "2B', "not 2B", and "9 3/4".
Most of the weight is in the bottom third, to keep it steady, but Lord help us if we ever have to move it - it weighs 350 pounds!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / where did my vinegar go???
« on: December 09, 2015, 08:48:15 AM »
I have a 150 gallon pond in my greenhouse that I heat (aquarium heater) and use as a watering source for my tropicals.  I have a fountain pump in it, but no filter.  No fish or anything in it either.
I am trying out a hydroponics kit I just got, and it says the water pH should be way lower than what I have (my pH 7.6 and it says to use 5.5 to 6.5).
So… I added white vinegar to the water.  Day before yesterday, I kept adding and testing, adding and testing, and it took 3 cups of white vinegar (cooking strength, NOT horticultural vinegar) to get the pH to 6.8.
I thought well, that is good enough.
But I went out just now to get everything going, and my pond pH is back up to 7.6!
What the heck?  Where did my vinegar go???

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Help with plant ID, please!
« on: November 28, 2015, 07:13:25 PM »
Hi folks!
My friend went to Indonesia last winter and I sent him with a copy of my USDA permit so he could mail me some seeds.  He managed to misidentify most of them (which is weird, since they mostly came from fruits he was eating or nuts he gathered with a friend…).
Anyway, this one was supposed to be ginkgo, but it sure doesn't match any pictures I have seen of ginkgo!
At this point, he has no idea what it could have been, since it has been almost a year.
The leaves are stiff, and snap cleanly if accidentally broken.  The stems are sturdy, and the veins on the backs of the leaves are red.
Any help would be great!!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Minimum temps for marula seedlings?
« on: September 05, 2015, 04:14:42 PM »
Does anybody know the minimum temps for marula? I need to figure out whether they can stay in my citrus house over the winter, which gets down to the low 40's, and sometimes just above freezing, or whether they should go into the tropical house (50 degrees plus).  They are only about 2 ft tall.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Forest House Cameroon
« on: July 06, 2015, 09:20:20 AM »
Just wanted to put in a good word for Forest House Cameroon.
I just received my second batch of seeds from them.  Both packages arrived in good shape and in a timely manner. The entire process is very fast and easy.
I pay via Paypal and e-mail them a copy of my USDA permit, a seed list (the one the USDA wants, where you list the genus and species, who collected it and where…) AND a scanned copy of the shipping label.  They do charge $1 to print the label in color, but it is well worth the price.  They slap the label on the front of the package, fill out the seed list and drop it in the mail.
The seeds are usually gathered from the wild, so I love the challenge of trying to grow things that are not really known in cultivation.  The first batch of seeds are seedlings now, and the second batch is sprouting. 
Once "the nursery" is cleared out, I will be ordering more!


I have a large variety of tropicals in my greenhouse, and now that the greenhouse is larger, I find that I can set up zones for plants with different needs - water, temperature etc.
I am having a LOT of trouble finding information concerning photoperiodism for specific plants.
I am guessing that a lot of tropical plants, being from places where days and nights are fairly equal year-round, are either day neutral, or want 12/12. 
But it would be REALLY nice if I knew which plants preferred what (not just long short, but the critical # of hours), in order to get as many blooming plants as possible.
Is there a reliable resource for this info? Wikipedia just isn't panning out…

Here are some of the ones that I am trying to sort out -
Assorted annonas
Miracle Fruit
Ice cream bean


Citrus General Discussion / Oro blanco very shy to bloom
« on: May 08, 2015, 09:38:12 AM »
I have 9 different types of citrus trees in my greenhouse.
They all bloom and put on fruit like crazy, except my oro blanco grapefruit.
I have had it for a year, and it just sits there, acting all green and leafy.
They are all in the same location and get fed and watered the same.
Does the oro blanco need something different?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / I.D. this S. African seedling please!
« on: May 03, 2015, 10:21:50 PM »
So, a while back I bought some seeds from Stuart Daly in South Africa.
Some of them never sprouted (I thought...), so I threw the potting mix back into the "hopper".  Then lo and behold, I got a seedling!!!
But... I don't know what it is!
It SHOULD be strychnos pungent, strychnos spinosa, or dialium schlechteri.




Does anyone have any kava seedlings for sale?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jakfruit with weird leaves
« on: November 14, 2014, 02:23:16 PM »
Ok, so I have several jakfruit that I grew from seed. 
The current batch all came from the same delicious, crunchy fruit.  They all have normal-looking leaves, except for this one.
It seems perfectly healthy other than the leave shape. 

Is it a new or known variation? 
A virus? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cold and snowing at my greenhouse!
« on: November 14, 2014, 01:46:58 PM »
Brrr... it has been snowing all day.  We have about 9 inches so far (really weird for us.  We are high desert, and get COLD in the winter, but only about 20 inches of snow all winter, usually).  Supposed to get down to 14 degrees the next two nights, then down to 7!

This is what it looks like outside right now.  I have shoveled twice!

I love it when the sign to the greenhouse gets covered in snow...

My 5 gallon HD bucket makes the perfect mouse trap.  They jump in to get the spent birdseed, then can't get out.  I usually turn them loose in the park, but this little guy is just going to have to hang out until the snow melts!  I gave him a little rag with water on it (I know, I'm nuts...).

My pond is now heated with two big aquarium heaters (thanks to forum member ideas!).  The birds love to shower under the fountain, and it helps warm the tropical house.

The birds are enjoying their breakfast while it snows outside!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jumanji-style bindweed
« on: August 10, 2014, 11:27:17 AM »
Ok, this isn't a fruit... but...
A bindweed suddenly appeared out of a light socket in our sunroom the other day! This is an INTERIOR wall, the socket is more than 8 feet from the edge of the house, and there is no crawlspace.  We took the socket apart, and it did not originate there.  We managed to pull about 3 feet of (pale and desperate-looking) stem out of the depths of the wall before it broke.
Creepy.  Literally!

I have some solanum scabrum seeds (a type of garden huckleberry).  The line is originally from Cameroon, but the plants these seeds are from were grown in Maryland...
I also have some Santa Claus melon seeds, some moringa seeds, and two varieties of dong qua winter melon (round and a really big long one).
I am looking for egusi seeds to plant.  All the ones that I can get here at the world market are already dried or roasted.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / mushroom eradication ideas, anyone?
« on: July 09, 2014, 07:24:58 PM »
So, I seem to be growing, for the second year, a REALLY healthy, LARGE (like, pounds...) crop of non-poisonous but bad tasting mushrooms in my greenhouse.  The spores rode in last year on a load of bark.  Aargh!  I have the name of what they are written down somewhere, the local mushroom club came out last fall to ID them for me because I was worried about my birds.

I have tried Physan, which is the only thing labeled to kill mushrooms, and it hasn't made a dent.  I pick them daily and throw them away. 
I can't keep the floor dry because we flood irrigate, and it just comes in with no stopping.

I don't think I can physically dig up the floor without killing myself trying - it is about 6 inches deep with packed, composted bark, and some of the pots I would have to move are huge.  Then there is the expense of replacing the bark...

I am trying REALLY hard to not resorting to permanently sterilizing the floor with vinegar because I don't know if it will work on mushrooms, I have a fair number of feral yams and other vines that I don't want to kill, plus, I am thinking that if mushrooms like my greenhouse so much, I should try my hand at morels!

My latest technique is pouring boiling water on the areas where I know there are spores.
Any other ideas???????

This probably isn't a fruit, but I got some seeds from it while in South Africa.
Anyone know what it is?  Supposedly from Madagascar?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Oddly shaped leaves on Jackfruit seedlings?
« on: January 11, 2014, 12:29:18 PM »
I have sprouted a whole bunch of Jackfruit seeds.  I have gotten them from two different fruits.  The ones from one fruit all have normal, ovate shaped leaves.  The ones from the other fruit have some seedlings that are normal, and others that have oddly lobed leaves.
Any idea what is going on here?  Normal variation?  Some sort of disease or nutrient problem? Am I providing improper care in the "nursery" setup?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Brrrrr! Its cold out there, everywhere...
« on: January 08, 2014, 12:44:44 PM »
Oh the weather outside is frightful...

But the greenhouse is so delightful...

Don't put me out in the snow...

Let me grow, let me grow, let me grow!

Hi All,
I am heading to Cape Town South Africa in about a month.  Although Cape Town not what I would consider tropical, I am figuring that they probably have access to a lot of tropical fruit from farther north.
Does anyone know of any fruit markets?  I have been checking the web with no luck.  Just a lot of apples and peaches and such.  I can always use the "wander around the waterfront" method, but any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!


I am trying to find a fruit from Cameroon.  My daughter-in-law calls it casmango, kazmango, not sure of spelling.
It grows on a tree, is tennis ball sized, yellow skin, yellow flesh, very juicy and delicious.  It has a single, very prickly seed. The seed is not edible.
It is NOT cas guava, or bush mango.  But since it does not have a long, flat seed, I am guessing it is not a mango either..
Sound familiar to anyone?
I have been scrounging the internet for days, with no luck.
Sorry, no picture at this point, but she is trying to get her cousin to take one and forward it on...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Does anyone use AzaMax???
« on: November 02, 2013, 12:11:15 PM »
I was wondering if anyone is using AzaMax (organic insecticide/anit-feedant/IGR made by General Hydroponics) as pest control.  Some of my greenhouse plants get mealy bugs very easily (especially my coffee and citrus) and I usually use Neem/Py.  It works, but you have to keep on top of it ALL the time.
I bought some AzaMax this summer to try.  It came in little vials that you mix into a 1 pint "trigger style" spray bottle.  Of course, my hand cramped and my enthusiasm wore out long before the little bottle was emptied.  The results I saw were about the same as for the Neem/Py, but I don't feel like I gave it a fair shot. The organic nursery here in town uses it by the gallon, including as a soil drench, and swears by it.

I am tempted to buy the larger bottle of AzaMax, but it is outrageously expensive.
Does anybody have any experience with this product? 


Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Wanted: Dacryodes edulis seeds
« on: October 22, 2013, 11:53:33 PM »
I am looking for some "butter fruit" seeds, scientific name is dacryodes edulis.  My daughter-in-law is from Cameroon, and goes on and on about this fruit.  She calls it a "plum".  Took quite a while to figure out what it was that we needed to find!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pictures of my greenhouse
« on: October 20, 2013, 03:03:49 PM »
I wanted to share my greenhouse, since I love it so much.
We named it Daintree, after our favorite tropical area in Australia.

We built the 15x20 ft tropical portion of the greenhouse from a kit in 2009.  It is twin-wall 8 mil polycarbonate, and came with an exhaust fan, intake vent, and 15,000 btu gas heater.  It is oriented with the front door to the east, and the long walls face north and south.
Immediately, it became too small!

We built a 10x10 foot addition, for those things that prefer chill hours.  It was stick-built, with corrugated polycarbonate on both the inside and outside of the 2x4 frame.  In the winter, I can shut the door between the two houses and keep the temps in the temperate house above freezing using a 16x16 inch window between the two houses.  I get night-time lows of 50F in the tropical house.

There are weeks in the winter when the daytime temps never get above freezing, and nighttime temps are in the single digits or below 0 F.  But we get about 250 clear sunny days per year, so the heat gain during the day, even in the winter, means the furnace rarely kicks on until late afternoon.  The furnace make a LOT of water vapor, so there are some winter days when it actually gets foggy in there!

We get very hot in the summer (weeks over 100 F), so I put up a 30% shade canopy around the end of May.  There is a HUGE benefit (additional 10-20 F of cooling!) to having the canopy elevated above the roof, instead of laying on it. 

We located Daintree so that it gets some shade from our maple tree in the summer, increasing the total shade to about 50%.  There is a powerful exhaust fan that turns on at 90 F.  I take the shade down in September but leave the frame up all year.

In the winter, I use full-spectrum flood-lights at various heights that come on in the morning and evening.  The plants all get adequate light to bloom and fruit, except for my dragonfruit (aargh!).

I built a 150 gallon pond that I fill using filtered city water.  I drop a sump pump and fertilizer into it and water everything with a hose.  I also give frequent “rain showers” to prevent spider mites (although I am still arguing with the mealy bugs about who is boss, sometimes!).

There is a BIG slug problem, especially in summer, because we flood irrigate, and get 2 inches of water on the floor every week.  A favorite night-time activity is slug-picking!

I raise Bourkes grasskeets, and they fly free in the greenhouse year-round (there are nets under the perches, which eliminates “poop-fall”).  They help prune the monstera, epiphylums and dragonfruit!  Anything they are not allowed to touch has a net over it…

So far, it has held up to marble-sized hail, sustained winds of 65 mph, and a couple of HUGE branches breaking off the maple tree.

I have 3 Tetracarpidium conophorum (conophor nut, African walnut) vine seedlings (about 3 feet tall) grown in my Idaho greenhouse using nuts from the Kumba area of Cameroon.  They SHOULD be unrelated, but I'm not positive.
I would like to trade them for Dacryodes edulis (butter fruit, African plum) seeds or seedlings, and/or Synsepalum dulcificum (miracle fruit) seeds or seedlings, or another fruit seeds or plants from West Africa.  Would also be interested in buying any of these outright.

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