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Messages - KarenRei

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dogs eating jaboticaba!
« on: Today at 03:09:53 PM »
I keep my parrot out of my plant room, but he's dug up planted seeds out of pots on the warming mat in my living room  :   Likes to eat the dirt, too, for some reason.

I worry about him.  Every so often he gets into something that I have to spend half an hour googling whether it would be toxic. E.g. believe it or not there's no website that answers the simple question, "Are santol seeds toxic to amazon parrots?"  ;)

This type should fit your needs. I don't have them but join and someone will sell them.

Yeah, I grow those.  Beyond the fruit, while the leaves are pretty normal, the stems are pretty.  I could donate a couple pups for free if you were in Iceland at some point, lol   ;)

Cassabanana isn't even close to being related to bananas; it's a member of the cucumber family.  Wouldn't personally call it "cherry red" either.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What does a pawpaw taste like?
« on: October 17, 2018, 08:58:34 AM »
Until the drought killed my paw paw we had great crops every year from one tree.  It was a Corwin Davis seedling.  We rarely get below 26-28 degrees in the winter.  We are in the CA cool coast and our summer temperatures are usually in the 40s at night and a high in the mid 70s during the day, fog morning and night.  Don't think that it is accurate to say that the paw paw requires high temperatures to ripen, certainly its relative the cherimoya doesn't.  Cherimoyas are quite happy here, as was the paw paw.  Now most citrus does have difficulty ripening to full sweetness here.

One way to find out....ignore the naysayers and plant it. 

I do have sprouts coming up from the paw paw and will encourage them and increase the water.  It was a flavorable fruit and appreciated by most who tried it.

Summer heat hours info is straight from KSU. Personal correspondence. Posted in the temperate fruit forum.  Same basic story here:

Summer heat hours is not so much an issue of whether you can get fruit off of them, as the fruit quality.

I know nothing about how Corwin Davis fits into the chill/heat spectrum. The least heat-requiring cultivars are Pennsylvania Golden and KSU-Benson. But in San Diego, I expect the challenge to be about chill hours.

But sure, if you have land to experiment, nothing wrong with that  :)

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Annonaceae that are temperate
« on: October 17, 2018, 07:06:31 AM »
Nice to hear about Annona stenophylla cold hardiness. I have a few seedlings they are being planted out in zone 10a. Should have to worry about the a rare frost event.

I wouldn't call being native to an area with an average winter low of 8,7C cold hardy, but yeah, as far as annonas go, it's native to climates that are on the colder end of the spectrum.  It's not native to as high altitudes as cherimoya (500-1700m vs. 700-2400m) but it's less equatorial and more continental. Its range is densest in highlands in southeast Angola / far east Namibia / northern Botswana / southwestern Zambia, and these areas do get the occasional frost.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What does a pawpaw taste like?
« on: October 17, 2018, 06:50:56 AM »
Indeed - needs both chill and summer heat.  It's the latter that prevents me from growing them here.  They're quite temperature-hardy, but even the least heat-demanding cultivars can be hard to ripen in for the example the Pacific Northwest due to heat requirements.

Pawpaws are adapted to continental climates, where it gets both cold and hot.  That said, there are California pawpaw growers (for example, Lagier Ranch in the San Joaquin Valley), although I've never heard of any growing as far south as San Diego.  You can always contact KSU (the foremost experts in pawpaws) and ask.  But I imagine chill will be a big problem (in the SF area, both chill and heat can be problems, depending on the location and cultivar)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Bellucia sp. pollination
« on: October 16, 2018, 11:09:46 PM »
Yep.  Ran into this a while back while working on my database:

Whoever chose to use that font in a scholarly paper deserves to be lashed, but apart from that, it's a good read.  The incompatibility is gametophytic rather than the flowers being protogynous or protoandrous, so you can't artifiicially cheat the timing. And there's no apomixis or parthenocarpy.

Note that you can make fruit with few (but viable) seeds by crosspollinating B. grossularioides and B. dichotoma.  There appear to be natural hybrids like this in the wild.  May be a desirable characteristic.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Annonaceae that are temperate
« on: October 16, 2018, 05:27:58 PM »
You'll have to look outside of annonaceae, unfortunately!  But feel free to assign me any database tasks you might have  :)

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Annonaceae that are temperate
« on: October 16, 2018, 05:20:18 PM »

Sorry to report, but I checked my database, and with 177 Annonaceae species in it, not a single one was even close to A. triloba in hardiness  :(  A. triloba's natural range averages a winter low of -4,9C. The next closest I have is Polyalthia cerasoides, but its average winter low is 7,4C, followed by Annona longiflora (8,4C), Annona stenophylla (8,7C), Annona rugulosa (9C), Guatteria carchiana (9,6C; afaik not edible), Xylopia odoratissima (9,7C), and Annona cherimola (10,5C).  So basically you have one standout, and things jump straight to "pretty tropical".

(My data in this regard comes from a program I wrote that crossreferences edible species lists, GBIF habitat data, and IPCC climate data)

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Rubus sp.
« on: October 16, 2018, 07:59:27 AM »
Thanks KarenRei for all your reseach !

According to my information it was not sure that E. hermaphroditum occurs in Icelands flora. Besides Empetrum hermaphroditum berries being a little bit larger, do you get any information about fruit quality differences between E. n. var. nigrum and E. n. hermaphroditum ?

I've been meaning to head out to my land but the weather's not been too great, and the evening is now too short after work to get much done, so that mainly pushes me off to weekends.  I want to do a berry survey while I'm there next time  ;) 

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything out about eating quality except for size.  Given that most people here seem completely unaware that there's two entirely different types of crowberries, they can't be that different!  ;)

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Annonaceae that are temperate
« on: October 16, 2018, 07:55:34 AM »
Oh geez... I'll try to remember this thread when I get home, I have a whole database of this sort of stuff.  :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fermented egg shells
« on: October 16, 2018, 06:39:57 AM »
You don't have to "ferment" them (note: that's not fermentation, just dissolution, and it doesn't require frying, although it might speed up the process by oxidizing CaCO3 to CaO if hot enough and/or burning off the membrane).  But if you want to add calcium to your soil, eggshells are a calcium concentrate  :)  Eggshells are basically calcium carbonate plated out around a thin organic membrane. Vinegar is a weak acid and dissolves the calcium carbonate, akin to acid rain dissolving limestone (which is also calcium carbonate).

Dissolving with eggshells with vinegar will create calcium acetate. Honestly, there are better anions than acetate for supplementing soil nutrients (sulfates, phosphates, nitrates...), and you definitely don't want residual acetic acid (would you dump plain vinegar on your soil? ;) ), but it's certainly workable, and has a history of use. Soluble forms of calcium of course go straight to work in the soil. However, calcium carbonate itself is active in the soil - that's what agricultural lime is.  It just takes longer to act.  Also, it reduces soil acidity, while calcium acetate should be pH neutral.  But the effects are not going to be huge because you're not going to be using huge amounts.  If you're just talking kitchen waste, it's not going to be that much calcium, and even less effect on pH.

Doing some quick checking I see that the most desirable use for acetate fertilizers is for foliar sprays, due to their high solubility.  But again, you definitely don't want to be dumping residual vinegar on your plants.... unless you also are dumping some olive oil and calling it a salad  ;)  If you decide to dissolve eggshells in vinegar, make sure it's the *eggshells* that are in excess, not the vinegar!  If you want to speed up the reaction, in addition to grinding the eggshells as fine as you can, and heating as hot as you can get them, having the dissolution occur in hot vinegar will greatly speed up the process (and help make it more thorough). When I'm testing mineral samples for their calcium content, I always use hot vinegar rather than cold; cold will dissolve small calcite crystals, but its a much more vigorous, obvious reaction with hot vinegar.  Just be aware that hot vinegar is... well, pungent!

I'm taking on a project going to attempt to breed Helen's Hybrid (seeded) with Blue Java (as the pollen parent).
From my research, I believe moderate fraction of the offspring will be tetraploid, which can then be hybridized again (with seeded normal diploid) resulting in seedless (edible) triploids in the third generation.

The reason the fraction of tetrapoids would be higher is that a majority of the triploids parental cells that undergo meoisis fail to even properly form normal haploid gametes, so the natural percentage of gametes that escape unreduced then becomes much higher relative to the total number of viable seeds.

Alternatively, it possible to just treat the apical shoots with either Colchicine or Oryzalin (right concentration) to double the number of chromosomes (to tetraploid), then breed one more to get an edible triploid that is now seedless.

Very cool project. Banana growers in marginal climates will be indebted to you if you can pull it off  :)

Simple solution:

Weboh: you were looking for banana plants with interesting looking fruit, correct?

Praying Hands and Thousand Fingers have no ornamental look to the.  They are just like any other green-colored pseudo stemmed banana.

To repeat: "My take on the question was that they were looking for a banana cultivar that had interesting-looking fruit.  Hence I gave examples of bananas with interesting-looking fruit."

The fruit. Not the pseudostem.  In this thread, and in the previous one that Weboh posted (, they were talking about bananas with neat looking fruit that are still worth eating.

Also writing that Ae Ae is variagated... it's almost as if I didn't write, "... there's also variegated bananas that look pretty cool. Ae ae is supposed to be a pretty decent eating banana." :  But you're right, they're certainly not hardy.

Back to the topic at hand: Weboh, do you have a picture of the "cherry red" banana you're thinking of?

My take on the question was that they were looking for a banana cultivar that had interesting-looking fruit.  Hence I gave examples of bananas with interesting-looking fruit.

Well, 1000 Fingers and Praying Hands are neat looking, and edible - although there are certainly better cultivars for eating.

I've never tried any, but there's also variegated bananas that look pretty cool. Ae ae is supposed to be a pretty decent eating banana.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit identification
« on: October 14, 2018, 04:50:00 PM »
One of the dominant characteristics of rutaceae (citrus family) is essential oil glands in the leaves (pellucid glands). Leaves could go a long way toward narrowing this down  :)

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Cherimoya/Pawpaw hybrid
« on: October 12, 2018, 08:11:44 PM »
And now I am collecting some Chermimoya pollen to pollinate some Asimina flowers next spring;-)

You expect it to be viable for that long?

Thanks - good to know that G. intermedia is easy.  :)

Jabos extreme sensitivity to chlorine is well known. I'm really lucky that our tapwater up here isn't chlorinated.

I have a new order of seeds arriving (as per the thread title), should be getting them just an hour from now  :). To help maximize my success, I'm looking for any tips you have with these - germination, transplantation, soil, watering, ferts, etc.  Here's what I know so far

Myrciaria spp (several): Love having a tray of water under them. Hate chlorine. Love iron. Like acid soil, pH=5,5-6,5.  Like both organic and inorganic soils?
Eugenia candolleana: Similar to myrciarias?  Don't know as much about this one's soil preferences, but from some searching it sounds like they like acid, don't like chlorine, like iron, and don't like drying out.
Garcinia intermedia: I see recommended pHs ranging from 5 to 7. Long germination times. Supposedly not picky about soil types. Soil should be watered frequently but not kept in a tray of constant water, perhaps?

Hmm... better to use a more inorganic mix for better aeration / less risk of rot, or an organic mix for better moisture and nutrient retention?  On-hand I have moss, fine vermiculite, a peaty soil, a richer soil, and sterilized beach sand that I've had running through flowing freshwater for a day to strip any salts out.

I once grew a myrciaria before, and if I recall it wasn't too transplant sensitive; don't know about the other two.  I imagine in all cases it'd be best to germinate in plastic bags or tupperware and then transplant.  I remember having a big problem however with E. stipitata transplantation.  I had like a dozen germinate and grow great, but every last one died when I tried transplanting them, no matter how gentle I was  :  But I've had other eugenias which could care less when I transplant them, so I don't think it's a genus-wide problem.

Tips?  :)

I see there are a few banana plants on sale at Ken's Nursery: Musa Velutina and Royal Purple. Has anyone had these before? How do they taste? How do they compare to Cavendish bananas? I've had blue java banana and some type of dwarf red banana before and didn't really notice much of a difference. Based on that, do you think I would notice a difference in these? They look beautiful, anyway.

M. velutina = ornamental banana.  Possible to eat, but has numerous hard seeds.
Royal Purple = M. ornata = generally inedible fruit.

If you want good bananas that taste different from a cavendish, go with something in the mysore subgroup.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Leaf Scorch?
« on: October 11, 2018, 09:49:05 AM »
In my experience, fertilizer burn becomes most pronounced when soil conditions are dry (it concentrates the minerals in the remaining moisture in the soil).  Since your symptoms resemble that (even though you haven't been applying fertilizer), it would make sense that your similar-looking symptoms occur when the soil is dry. It might just be overconcentrating whatever's naturally in the soil.

If you're up for holding a reservation until spring, that's a deal.  :)  I'll take 2 lucs and 2 C. hirsuta.  Just PM me where to send payment.  :)

Just heard back this evening  :)


Hi Karen,

The earliest ripening pawpaw varieties or varieties requiring the fewest heat units to ripen are Pennsylvania Golden, and KSU-Benson.  I do not believe either of those would ripen in as cool a summer climate as you have in Reykjavik however. They have trouble ripening even in the pacific northwest region of the US, with average July high temps of ~24C.  If you were to experiment with them though, I would try Pennsylvania Golden, Prima which is widely grown in northwest Europe so I believe may be more tolerant of cool summers; or KSU Benson (but I dont believe any European nurseries have Benson in stock yet). 

Soil heating helps germination and growth but I dont know that it would help fruit ripening- that hasnt ever been tested. If you do give it a try please let me know how they do there!


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