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Messages - KarenRei

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1
I had some questions for him about Apocynaceae lianas - he was our local expert  :(

I also miss CoPlantNut. I think the old off-topic forum left a bad taste in his mouth here (it did for me as well).  Half the threads there were just fights.

Don't think I've seen Jcaldiera either... he brought me coconuts from Fiji to plant once  :(

2
Please put me on your wait list if youĺre able to get cuttings or seeds! The fruit look super delicious, how do the plants look?

Simon


When mature? 



When relatively young, and well cared for?



Flowers:



3
I do have a Jubaea in fact! But they are borderline hardy here and need protection in colder winters.  Mine spear-pulled after the winter 16/17 and is still recovering.

Here, what is dangerous aren't the absolute lows, which have never been lower than -16C in the last 20 years and usually no lower than -10/-12C, but permanent frost. Long freezes tend to be lethal at much milder temps. USDA zones are not transferable 1:1. If they were, I could grow Butia odorata without protection ľ but I can't.

Yeah, I'm working on some experiments with soil heating to zone-push palms.  It's tricky, though - if you heat the soil too much you break dormancy, which - in cold weather - will kill your plant.  You need to stop the soil from freezing too deeply, but not warm it so much that the plant decides, "Time to grow!"  And of course in the winter you want the roots to stay rather dry (to encourage dormancy / discourage rot).

4
Then yes, maypop and pawpaw are the obvious selections.  You might be able to do a chilean wine palm too. Can tap it for palm sugar and the fruits are like mini-coconuts. You'd want to get one at a reasonable size, though, unless you want a long wait.  Maybe even some Butia palms (jelly palms).

5
I've been doing a lot of research into cacti fruit species recently, and S. queretaroensis is definitely up there.  Thanks for the extra datapoint on its flavour. This definitely seems to be a well-appreciated cactus species.  Productivity commonly peaks 20t/ha, which for comparison is better than all annonas I've seen except atemoya, and triple that of mangosteen (although still a far cry from common "garden" staples like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc, which are dozens of t/ha in the field and hundreds in the greenhouse). The fact  that S. queretaroensis achieves this areas of low rainfall / low fertility makes that impressive; there's not many crops that will grow there without significant help**, and I bet that you could get even higher rates with irrigation and fertilizer.  The main downside is that it doesn't produce at those levels until 40 years of age.  Production supposedly steadily ramps up to 16t/ha in the first 20 years (yields are considered commercially viable after 10), then slows down its increase, and after 40 years starts its decline (but 100 year-old plants can still produce).  Given the poor growing conditions they're usually grown in, I'd imagine that proper irrigation and fertilizer application could speed this up somewhat. That said "some" fruiting can start as soon as the first year of planting cuttings that had been previously fruiting from an existing plant.  Planting a stenocereus is an investment in the future.

** There are, of course, higher yielding cacti out there. Opuntias for example can be up to 50t/ha with irrigation and fertilizer!  But while they taste good, they also have despised glochids, and the seeds are a pain.  Dragonfruit obviously is also a good producer (~50t/ha) when it receives proper irrigation and nutrition.  But as far as cactus grown in desert environments go, and particularly as far as columnars go, S. queretaroensis isn't bad at all. Just slow to reach full production.

Note that the area they're used to doesn't get frosts very often, and never gets hard frosts. Also, while they average 700mm a year (27"), it's mostly in the summer, not the winter like SoCal. They can still grow with less water than that and are considered very drought tolerant.  So someone in SoCal could give them summer irrigation when water supplies aren't restricted, but they wouldn't die in years where there's a watering ban.


6
Hmm, first good image I've seen so far:



That really helps contextualize it. Looks like all of the Leilani fissures are dead or dying, and they're further southeast than I was picturing.  Good.  So long as the eastern part of the flow doesn't get too adventurous, further damage should be mainly limited to roads, gas, etc and the occasional home or business in the countryside.

I've seen lots of articles freaking out about the lava going into the sea, but really, it  has to go somewhere, and that's the best spot for it. Laze is a small price to pay.  Bet the people on the eastern end of Pohoiki Road are particularly happy about the turn to the sea.  I just hope those flows to the north of them are as dead as they appear. 

7
If the air is like it was here after Bßr­arbunga, the amount it affects you is relative to how physically active you are.  Also, the weather conditions have a huge effect on it.  The biggest one, obviously, being which direction the wind is blowing and how hard.  With the pollution maps we had, the plume was like a narrow cone emitted from the fissure, aimed at whatever direction the winds were on that day.

Are you getting a "blue haze"?  That was the key characteristic here.  When you're looking at distant mountains it often made them look like they were floating in the air.  The period of time in Iceland's history after Laki went off were known as "Mˇ­uhar­indin", or "The Mist Hardships"; 20% of the population and 75% of the livestock died, and Denmark considered evacuating the whole island.
No blue haze here. Measurements of SO2 close to fissures at over 100 ppm, which is extremely high. I'm guessing when it's really bad at my place it is over 5 ppm, but don't know for sure as don't have a meter.

Ugh, 100 can kill you without a gas mask  :Ů.  Hope nobody is breathing anything close to that.  Now, when Bßr­arbunga went off there was so much gas that even a gas mask wouldn't save you near the main crater - the CO2 was so high and the O2 so low that you had to breathe from oxygen tanks near it. But we were lucky that the fissure was so far from cities; yours is basically right next door by comparison, so you're very likely getting well higher levels than we did.  You're close enough that it's probably mostly still SO2 and hasn't oxidized to SO3 / H2SO4 yet, which would explain the lack of a vog haze (since that's tiny droplets of H2SO4, since SO3 is so hygroscopic that it sucks moisture right out of the air until it dilutes to a certain H2SO4 droplet size).  Of course, both SO2 and SO3/H2SO4 are bad for both humans and plants, so that's not necessarily an improvement  :Ů

8
If the air is like it was here after Bßr­arbunga, the amount it affects you is relative to how physically active you are.  Also, the weather conditions have a huge effect on it.  The biggest one, obviously, being which direction the wind is blowing and how hard.  With the pollution maps we had, the plume was like a narrow cone emitted from the fissure, aimed at whatever direction the winds were on that day.

Are you getting a "blue haze"?  That was the key characteristic here.  When you're looking at distant mountains it often made them look like they were floating in the air.  The period of time in Iceland's history after Laki went off were known as "Mˇ­uhar­indin", or "The Mist Hardships"; 20% of the population and 75% of the livestock died, and Denmark considered evacuating the whole island.

9
Anybody can apply for a phyto sanitary certificate. But if you have a registered nursery it is easier to know how to apply for it, where to get it, and how to be succesful in doing so. Plants need to be in stermile medium or bare rooted to get a phyto.
Are you sure your country requires a phyto? Some countries will inspect plants on entry and no prior phyto is required. (The USA used to be like that until about 20 years ago.)

Yes, unfortunately.  Apart from the exceptions, the regulations require:

Quote
Einungis er heimilt er a­ flytja inn eftirfarandi pl÷ntur e­a pl÷ntuafur­ir ef ■eim fylgir opinbert pl÷ntuheilbrig­isvottor­ (Phytosanitary certificate) frß ˙tflutningslandinu sem er ekki eldra en 14 daga mi­a­ vi­ ˙tflutningsdag:

Pl÷ntur me­ rˇt e­a pl÷ntuhlutar s.s. grŠ­lingar, blˇmlaukar, st÷ngul- & rˇtarnhř­i o.fl.
FrŠ og vatnapl÷ntur Štla­ar Ý fiskab˙r eru ■ˇ undanskilin.
Afskorin blˇm og greinar.
Rˇtarlaus barrtrÚ og barrtrjßgreinar frß Evrˇpu (ath. innflutningsbann ß řmsum ŠttkvÝslum).
Trjßvi­ me­ berki, me­ og ßn rˇtar (ath. innflutningsbann).
Kart÷flur (Solanum tuberosum).
Mold.

Which is:

Quote
Its only permissible to import the following plants or plant products if they're accompanied by an official plant health certificate (Phytosanitary certificate) from the exporting country which is no older than 14 days before the export date:

Plants with roots or plant parts, particularly cuttings, bulbs, stalks, rhizomes, etc
Seeds and water plants intended for aquariums are however excepted
Cut flowers and branches
Rootless conifers and conifer branches from Europe (note: there is an import ban on several genera).
Tree wood with bark, with or without roots (note: import ban)
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum).
Soil

The Europe exceptions allow for a "bouquet" (up to 25  flowers or cut branches (without roots)), roots still sealed in shop packaging, and up to 3 herbaceous plants, without a phyto.  And of course you can just import seeds by filling out a form, it's trivial (I've actually bought from you a couple times in the past  ;)  Never any problems with the import, MAST has always been very helpful ).  But of course seeds usually take years to reach maturity.  We're going to be meeting later this week to decide how much money we want to allocate to plants of different sizes; it's not just a productivity issue, but also an issue of not having the place look barren for the first several years.

10
Photo of glow in sky at night through almost completely defoliated santol tree. It is one of the more sensitive ones to the SO2.



*Looks at the santols on my counter*
*Looks at that poor tree*
*Sad face  :(  *

Hope the fissures closest to you are the ones that decide to close up first.  Weak fissures never last very long, but I don't know which of the ones in this eruption are the weakest.

11
Interesting. I was under the impression that there was an ongoing process for growers, but reading through the APHIS site, it actually appears to only be something that has to be done when there's a batch of plants to export.

12
Been doing some more followup.  This paper cites a number of the more recent ones:

http://www.juniperus.org/uploads/2/2/6/3/22639912/369_-_2016_phyto_98_3_207-214adams_and_oliveira_lippia_brazil_vs_mexico.pdf

The short of it: most P. scabberima  (was L. dulcis) on the market - such as at Chiltern Seeds - is Mexican.  Mexican P. scabberima contains significant camphor and lower amounts of hernandulcin. P. scabberima from Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and one of two samples in Panama, contain little to none.  Indeed, all chemicals related to camphor are similarly pretty much absent from these plants.  It's still not clear whether this species should be split up into subspecies or separate species, but regardless: if you're going to get P. scabberima, make sure it's from Puerto Rico or South America, and not Mexico.  Unless you want to use them as an herbal abortifacent, wherein, get them from Mexico or places that have been distributing Mexican plants.

(In particular, apparently the above study got their Brazilian P. scabberima from a garden centre in Florianopolis)

13
Thanks, i know you mean well. But the people here in Hawaii are already very well informed. The civil defense department here puts out notices by email and on radio every few hours. A lot of the news outlets outside of Hawaii are putting out either completely false or alarmist news which is not helpful at all, except to themselves to get higher ratings.

We understand. Just take it as "people here care about you and the people near you, and are wishing you all the best"  :)  That's the reason we're doing our best to keep up with the news, even though it doesn't affect us personally.

14
Iĺm in Bermuda so if we have what you want and you want to buy me a plane ticket...

Hey, if you can get a phyto, trading a plane ticket for bringing a suitcase or two of plants would probably be a pretty fair deal  :)  (Without a phyto, it'd be limited to one "bouquet", 3 herbaceous plants, and one bag of store-packaged roots). Though the bouquet could be up to 25 "branches"....

15
Wich plants are you searching for?


I don't have phytosanitary certification, but I can make the plants being inspected, by appointment with the local phytosanitary services. It might take some time, and it has additional costs, but can be done.
Also I'm in EU.

Excellent.  Right now I'm just trying to get a list of potential suppliers, as when we go through the candidate lists, Hj÷rdÝs is always (quite rightfully!) asking, "How long does that take to produce?" and "Can we speed it up by getting plants rather than seeds?"  It's always tricky, because the best I can usually respond is "probably", "maybe", "probably not", or "I'll get back to you".  :Ů

16
ED: also, apparently these exceptions apply to EU people:

Quote
May individuals take with them plants in their luggage or send them in the mail to the country without a certificate?

Yes, individuals or tourists may take with them the following plants or plant parts without having a health certificate accompany them, and the same applies to sending in the mail between countries, often called carry-on rules:

A bouquet with cut flowers and branches (up to 25 plants)
Bulbs, roots and tubers from Europe in unopened store packaging (up to 2kg)
Individual potted plants (indoor plants) from Europe (up to 3 units)
When migrating from a country in Europe it is permitted to take with potted plants (indoor plants) which are appropriate as normal household items  (up to 30 units).

It shall be pointed out that these exceptions do not apply to wild plants which have been harvested in the countryside, trees (with or without roots) including dwarf trees (bonsai) and potatoes. It's necessary to keep in mind that these exceptions do not apply to species that are banned from import in accordance with appendix III.

So, EU people can send cuttings and herbaceous plants without a permit  :) 

Oh... hey... thought just hit me. All of the EU overseas territories are in the EU!  Meaning they can send cuttings and herbaceous plants without a permit!  This includes:

Canary Islands
La RÚunion
Guadeloupe
Martinique
Madeira
French Guiana
Azores
Ponta Delgada
Mayotte
St Martin
French Polynesia
New Caledonia
Curašao
Aruba
Bermuda
Cayman Islands
Greenland
Sint Maarten
Turks and Caicos Islands
British Virgin Islands
Bonaire
Anguilla
Wallis-et-Futuna
Saint BarthÚlemy
Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon
Montserrat
Brades
Saint Helena
Falkland Islands
Sint Eustatius
Saba
Pitcairn Islands
French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Of these, the British territories (Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saint Helena, Falkland Islands, Pitcairn Islands), about a third of the total, may or may not be leaving the EU area, depending on whether Britain ends up with a "soft" or "hard" brexit.  Regardless, there's a lot of tropical territory in there!  En argggh, too bad they still require a permit for "trees" and "dwarf trees"  :Ů  Basically, nothing lignaceous comes with a rootstock without a permit.  But if it's a rootable branch, it can fall in the bouquet exception.  And roots can be purchased without a permit if they come from a store and are in unopened packaging.  Haha, you know, basically any store could take a  small tree, cut it at ground level, package the roots, and send both parts to be re-grafted, without needing a permit  ;)  Maybe bundling the top part with a couple roses just to make sure that the clipping doesn't run afoul of the bouquet exception  ;)

Obviously, though, permits are best.

17
Hmm, nobody?  That would quite surprise me.

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Phyllanthus acidus
« on: May 19, 2018, 06:17:11 AM »
I've now eaten it a few more times, and... I'm thinking about throwing the rest away. The one thing I can't get past is the texture. You can sweeten up and dilute the sourness, but even after all this cooking it still has this fibrous texture in the gel, and I don't think I could realistically strain it out. It's not horribly unpleasant, but I do find it unpleasant.  Others might be indifferent to it.

19
Florian, I bet you can grow and fruit different varieties of rowan ( European mountain ash), or sorbus aucuparia. I make jelly out of mine. They may even grow wild where you live. I'm growing the Native American rowan and a Chinese pink-fruited variety, and a white fruit variety. I'm sure you already know rowan is the ultimate fruit tree for cold long winters and short cool summers.

Lol, rowan (known here as reyniber) is an Icelandic native; for example, one of our more popular southern beaches is Reynisfjara, aka Rowan Beach. They can definitely handle continental Europe!  ;)  I made a jelly from it once (freezing and a long cooking as I found instructions for online), and found it... a bit of odd.  It tasted like something you might serve with meat, more than something you'd spread on bread. Yes, sweet and with fruit tastes, but also something else that I couldn't put my finger on.

Then again, I'm not really a jelly person to begin with, and the need to process the berries to remove toxic parasorbic acid was sort of a turn-off to me. I understand that some varieties have actually been bred for consumption, so maybe they're better.  On the upside, rowans sure are pretty trees, esp. in the winter.

When one asks about the most exotic fruit, are we talking taste or appearance, and by "exotic", do we mean "tropical" or "unusual"?  Lardizabalaceae has some weird looking temperate edible species, for example - often strongly lilac-coloured fruits that open themselves up when ripe, revealing their mucilaginous white interiors.  Sweetness is often quite high, but acidity is usually low.  A really remarkable Lardizabalaceae species is the monotypic Boquila trifoliata ("Chameleon Vine") which has the so-far scientifically unexplained ability to mimic the leaves of whatever plant it grows on (even fake plants), in colour, size and shape. It's so good at what it does that its ability went undiscovered until relatively recently (scientists had just assumed that the species was incredibly variable, not noticing that it always matched to its host and would change leaf styles as it grew between plants).  The berries are reportedly edible but I haven't found anyone who's actually eaten them.  Supposed to be tolerant to 7b.

20
I'd always believed that Aztec Sweet Herb (formerly, Lippia dulcis, now Phyla scabberima), the source of the sugarless sweetener hernandulcin, also contains significant amounts of the toxic substance camphor, and thus should only be consumed in small amounts, and in particular be avoided by pregnant women.  However, I just ran into this interesting paper from 1996:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031942296006917

Apparently the first studies of the plant involved samples collected in Tlayacapan (where they're known for use in treating dysentery and abdominal inflamation), and they identified hernandulcin as the sweetening compound, in significant quantities. A followup study involved a mixture of plants collected in Tlayacapan and herbs purchased in Mexico City, being sold as an abortifacent. They strangely found little hernandulcin (although their analysis method may have been to blame), but also found that the essential oil was 53% camphor, creating the health concerns. This study here analyzed plants collected in Orocovis, Puerto Rico and found ample hernandulcin (36% of the essential oil) and no camphor whatsoever. It also yielded much higher essential oil contents than the Mexican plants had.  In Puerto Rico - and, from what we know of the Aztecs' usage of the herb - there were no abortifacent properties attributed to it.  The author suggests several possibilities, but perhaps the most probable is that the abortifacent-variant sold in Mexico was misidentified and was not L. dulcis / P. scabberima.  It might also answer the paradox of how you could have a sweet-tasting herb containing so much camphor, as camphor is bitter tasting.

I need to research this some more later, but I'll call this good news for fans of natural sugarless sweeteners  :)

21
Yeay, ash falls  :Ů  Well, at least they let out the pressure faster....  :Ů

Keep those plants hosed off as long as you're not forced out and as long as you have water...  :(   Ugh.....
Bad advice. Hosing plants off makes things worse. SO2 dissolves in water and turns into sulphuric acid which damages leaves. Plenty of SO2 about now. Best is to blow off the dust with a leaf blower. BTW, had zero ash fall here, but today is really bad SO2. Schools in the area all closed.

Not according to the NZ government;

https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/137-volcanic-eruption-impacts-and-hazard-mitigation-for-new-zealands-primary-production-industries

But if you can get it off with air blowers, then great too  :)   

(H2O+SO3 = H2SO4, not H2O+SO2; SO2 has to oxidize first  :)  )
What i said about blowing ash off is the recommendation of Japanese government. So i guess it depends on which government you want to believe?

At least it's not like Mount Saint Helens when the US government itself was giving out contradictory advise to residents, depending on who was talking  ;)

22
Yeay, ash falls  :Ů  Well, at least they let out the pressure faster....  :Ů

Keep those plants hosed off as long as you're not forced out and as long as you have water...  :(   Ugh.....
Bad advice. Hosing plants off makes things worse. SO2 dissolves in water and turns into sulphuric acid which damages leaves. Plenty of SO2 about now. Best is to blow off the dust with a leaf blower. BTW, had zero ash fall here, but today is really bad SO2. Schools in the area all closed.

Not according to the NZ government;

https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/137-volcanic-eruption-impacts-and-hazard-mitigation-for-new-zealands-primary-production-industries

But if you can get it off with air blowers, then great too  :)   

(H2O+SO3 = H2SO4, not H2O+SO2; SO2 has to oxidize first  :)  )

23
Yeay, ash falls  :Ů  Well, at least they let out the pressure faster....  :Ů

Keep those plants hosed off as long as you're not forced out and as long as you have water...  :(   Ugh.....

24
I've recently started using beneficials, although not those; my current problem is with fungus gnats.  My results have been... "okay". Stratiolaelaps scimitus worked well for a while,  but I guess they went extinct and the gnats didn't. Nematodes are the current attempt, but if they're working,  they're sure taking their time.

25
*Sigh*, hate watching this as a spectator.  I know how to cut and weld steel; I could make something a lot more durable than just some loose sheet steel across the road....

Of course, in the end it depends on what the volcano does.  I've seen some rifts opened up by tectonics from Bßr­arbunga that are veritable canyons.  If it wants a rift there, it's going to make one.

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