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Author Topic: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting  (Read 1885 times)

Solko

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Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« on: September 11, 2016, 11:40:26 AM »
After seeing all the mouthwatering taste reports of the subtropical Eugenia's come by in the tropical fruit section, I couldn't wait to harvest a plate of my own temperate Myrtaceae. But not only does it take longer for them to ripen in my 8a climate, it also took a long time to find a plate that was small enough so that my harvest wouldn't look completely ridiculous  ;D



Three different types of Luma and several different Ugni Molinae cultivars are ripening up right now.

On the picture above you can see, starting at the top left the small red Ugni Molinae "Elite", then in clockwise order, the purple Luma Chequen, my small leaved Ugni Molinae, grown from seed, then a Luma Apiculata with small pear-shaped berries, my large leaved Ugni Molinae variety, and finally my variegated Luma Apiculata, probably Glenleam Gold, which makes big round berries.

This is what the inside of the berries look like, the Luma's have a very creamy sweet pulp.



And this is what they taste like:

Ugni "Elite"- very good, fruity and sweet, it's a very small fruit, but the plant is said to fruit in abundance.
Luma Chequen - surprisingly similar to the Ugni's, but with a much more creamy flesh, like ice cream or yoghurt - I was really pleasantly surprised, it has a beautiful taste and texture, fruity and sweet. But it does have a tannic or bitter aftertaste if you chew the skin. And it has much larger seeds than the Ugni. You can just pop the pulp in your mouth and spit out the seeds, or eat it with the skin, it is not a strong tannic flavor, so I kind of enjoy it.
Ugni small leaf - Also small berries, but with a beautiful, fruity and sweet flavor, medium sized fruit, very hardy plant, both to drought and cold
Luma Apiculata - pear shaped small fruit - sweet pulp, but very bitter and resinous aftertaste, not really palatable, the ratio of pulp to skin and seeds is very small, and this one really has a very very strong tannic and resinous flavor, I wouldn't offer this one to eat to anyone.
Ugni large leaf - largest fruit, more pulp, same delicious taste, more acidic then the small leaf, but also sweeter, so all in all a more concentrated fruity and tangy flavor. No astringent aftertaste whatsoever, just fruitiness.
Luma Apiculata variegated, probably Glenleams gold - very good, sweet, creamy pulp and even a bit spicy, not so much fruitiness. It also has no resinous aftertaste, nor bitterness, but not the same depth or fruitiness of the Luma Chequen.

I must say that I was all in all very pleasantly surprised by the taste of the bigger Luma berries. I love Ugni's, but I am glad that I discovered that the pulp of the Luma's is absolutely delicious as well. It is much more creamy, but also very sweet and fruity. The skin is more tannic and resinous with the Luma's, and they have large seeds, that I didn't chew on, while you can eat the Ugni's without a problem, seeds and skin and all. There just seems to be more variation in the Luma's than in the Ugni's, going from almost unpalatable to delicious for the Luma's, while almost all Ugni's are good.

And finally the only reason why these berries are relatively unknown: their size....



But the upside is that they are pretty rare and they do grow well in a 8a climate without any protection, they can handle prolonged frost up to -8 Celsius without any problems.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 04:42:41 AM by Solko »
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shaneatwell

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 01:56:13 PM »
Excellent. I didn't know there were named Ugnis.
Shane

Don

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 05:02:50 PM »
Very good.

Grapebush

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2016, 05:35:30 PM »
Nice diversity! They look very tasty.
I have a Luma apiculata plant, and after your taste description, i'm crossing finger that mine would be palatable...
Life is all about learning, but sometimes, the more you learn, the less you seem to know...

Solko

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 02:37:27 PM »
They were tasty. ;D

Shane, there are around 4 to 5 named varieties of Ugni in Europe, we talked about them is this thread:
http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=8792.0

I am growing 4 of the named varieties now. 'Big Burning Pink' hasn't fruited yet, but it looks suspiciously like my nameless large leaved one, which I bought in France.

The taste of all Ugni's seems to be the same, but my big Ugni's seem to ripen up faster, sweeter and more uniformly, even though they get a lot less sun than the small leaved ones. A good berry of both bushes tastes the same, but the big leaved one has a very uniform crop of good big berries. And the small leaved one has  a lot of variation in size. The confusing thing about the Ugni's is that when ripening the berries color up red first and then LOSE their color when they are fully ripe and sweeten up. Or at least, that is what I found. So if you pick the red ones, they are often still very sharp and sour. You have to wait for them to lose a bit of color again and become like a colored apple yellow with red streaks. You can see what I mean in the last picture.

Some pictures:

Small leaved:


Large leaved:


The difference:


Grapebush, I hope you'll find your Luma tastes nice, otherwise I will gladly send you some cuttings.

Thanks, Don, are you growing Ugni's a s well?

Shane and Don, I can send you seeds of my big ones if you like. I have a couple of berries left on the plant


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Don

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 11:39:49 AM »
No I don't have any yet. I grow eugenias but if you have some spare seed I would definitely give them a go.

Heinrich

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2016, 04:04:07 PM »
I really enjoyed reading this taste report. These fruits are small but very delicious. I would like to have a whole cup full. Because they are not available in shops or fruit markets, I decided to grow my own. This year, I have got just 3 fruiting plants of Ugni molinae, but soon there will be many more.

My small Ugni harvest 2016 in a saucer. Fruits of Ugni Elite on the left and large leaved Ugni fruits on the right. Very few fruits compared to the year before.  The mistake happened in early April, when I placed the potted plants in the garden. Unlike in previous years, when I put the plants on the east side of my garage, this time I did put them on the south side. Due to some hot summer days, the plants shed many of its premature fruits.



My two mature plants. Ugni Elite on the left and the large leaved Ugni on the right.



My third fruiting plant. Bought as a small seedling 3 years ago, it produced 2 fruits only . Fruits are still yellowish in mid October but should soon be ripe.



Seedlings of my large leaved Ugni. Fruits harvested in October 2015.



Seedling plants of my large leaved Ugni, harvest in October 2014. In the second year growth speeds up. One plant even flowered at the age of 18 month, but did not set fruits.



Solko

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 07:48:55 AM »
Hi Heinrich,

Welcome to the forum and beautiful plants and seedlings you have.

Your seedlings look great. I have had a good success rate with cuttings of my plants, but germinating seeds is a whole other story. They are so tiny and take around two months to germinate for me, which means they usually germinate in January, and they are very sensitive as small plants to damping off. I usually lose more than half of my germinated seedlings in the first 4 months after they germinate. Once they get to summer when it is a bit drier and warmer out, and they have grown the first 3 to 4 sets of leaves, they usually make it. You seem to have had good luck with the seedlings! Do you have any tips?

Where did you buy your large leaved Ugni? Was it sold as a named variety, or was it just sold as Ugni Molinae?

« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 08:27:13 AM by Solko »
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Heinrich

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Re: Some Temperate Myrtaceae - a minuscule fruit tasting
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2016, 04:24:59 PM »
To germinate Ugni seeds, I usually sow the seeds the same day of harvesting. I sprinkle the seeds on peat and let the pot ouside until the weather becomes freezing cold in December. Then, the pot will be put in a cold, but frost free glasshouse. Treated this way, seeds germinate very reliable with rising temperatures in early March. I prefer slow release fertilizer. Last year, the seedlings became very crowded at the end of the growing season. Therefore, it is better to separated the seedlings and pot them in June.

My large leaved Ugni was bought from Eugen Schleipfer as Ugni molinae. He propagates it with cuttings. It is a great variety and certainly deserves to be named. I am not sure if it is the 'Big Burning Pink', which I have purchased a few days ago.

 

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