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Topics - Kapiak

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / How do you plant seeds of Lecythis zabacujo?
« on: November 28, 2014, 12:48:53 AM »
I finally got the seeds yesterday!

But didn't find much info about how to best germinate them...

Anyone who had good experience in germinating them and would like to share it? :)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruit in New Guinea - anyone recognize it?
« on: November 26, 2014, 07:34:59 AM »
Hi there folks!

This photo was sent to me today from a friend who works in Sepik (Northwestern PNG) where she wondered what kind of fruit this was. She thinks the locals said that they brew some liquor of its juice.

( )

It is called "diwai wain" which means "tree vine" but it is a very generic term and the woman who sent it wasn't sure if it actually was a vine.

Anyone else recognizing it at least to family or genus level?

I am still trying to find out what it is, as I have only this picture to follow up, no flowers etc. But I recall I have seen something like that in SE Asia, but can't remember what it was right now, so my "memory thread is a bit loose" as we say in Swedish...

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus in New Guinea
« on: September 20, 2014, 10:57:41 AM »
Hi there,

I found a Citrus in a village garden in Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

It had no fruits, so I couldn't identify it by the fruit.
But I did notice a peculiar character with the plant, it has no marked petiole, ie. no petiole wings, and no "joint" between leaf blade and petiole. The short petiole simply becomes leaf blade without any "joining line/mark" like you see in most other Citrus.

They say the fruit is a bit sour like lime or lemon, and the tree we saw is short, 2-3 metres tall and thorny. This was growing in the muddy swamp in the hot lowlands.

Any idea what it could be? The villagers said it was planted from somewhere else.

Is there a good fruiting plant that can keep intruders away?

Our garden is surrounded by a living fence of Gliricidia trees as posts holding 90 cm tall (3 ft) pig fence and topped with barbed wire. It was initially aimed to stop goats from getting inside and eating our plants. It worked perfectly for that purpose.

But now we found out that instead some people jumped over the fence to get some of our garden produces.

Most of our fruit trees are not producing yet, so nothing to steal yet from them, but later on there may be lots of fruits which could also mean a lot more people tempted to jump over and pick our fruits.

A tall wire fence around our garden isn't a workable solution for us, so we are looking into plants as living hedges.

It is half shade along 50 % of the fence line, full shade on 25 % and full sun on 25 %, ultra-tropical wet lowland with a very short and not very distinct dry season.

I was thinking about good varieties of Salacca for the shade + half-shade areas, but not sure how to deal with all of the suckers that I heard would pop up all the time around the mother plants...?

Are there other alternatives, that are both delicious and easily propagated?

This is especially for you all who have had good experience in propagating cuttings of various Syzygium spp. ;)

We're now in a small village in Western Province among hunters- and gatherers. They only grow a limited amount of plants/crops, and amazingly one single village's majority of crops are Syzygium, quite oddly! They have selected the sweetest species from the forest, and left behind the less appealing / sour ones. And they exist in this single village only, not elsewhere in the area because this is the only place with clay soil, all others villages are muddy with brackish river water flooding their areas regularly.

And we're so surprised by the amazing diversity of Syzygiums in one single village's gardens! We've noted over 10 distinct cultivated species or varieties so far in just two household gardens (and way many more sour species/varieties in the forest). Amazing hidden treasure!

All other villages we've visited in New Guinea only cultivated two species: S. aqueum and S. malaccense, so far...

Our local friend here told us that one species has huge black fruits, 20 cm wide, that's 8 inches! Can it really be true? Several others in the village confirmed this. It has red flesh inside and is "swit" (which means "sweet" but it often simply mean great tasting, non-acid, but not necessarily "sugary sweet").

He showed us the mother plant in the forest, and the leaves are enormous (50 cm long, more or less) and beautifully veined, and the tree is the biggest Syzygium tree we've seen, easily 40 m tall with a straight erect trunk measuring 1 m in diameter, but they do successfully cut the top off in their garden to create a shorter bushier tree.

Another tree has several 10 cm big red fruits hanging from the tips of the branches, just 5 metres (15 ft) tall.

Another one have 5-10 cm big whitish-red fruits in big panicles with 5-10 fruits hanging directly from the trunks and 5 metres tall (15 ft)

... and so on ...

This is a haven for selected Syzygium, which we haven't seen elsewhere. So let's preserve this diversity!

Now enough background, let's get to our urgent point:

Not many of them are in fruit now, and the people have cleaned around the trees so there are no seedlings for most of them.

But we really do want to grow them as their future is uncertain as there's a logging company close by and the river keeps getting bigger every year washing away parts of their gardens every year.

And eventually to share them with you, of course! ;)

So, anyone know if there's a good chance of survival for Syzygium cuttings of various species? Several of them look more like S. malaccense than the more easily-rooted S. aqueum...

Any advice, how should we do when we fly home on August 27th?

Bear in mind, being in New Guinea with little supplies available, we don't have access to advanced stuff. We do have ample of own-grown coconut husks, lots of river gravel or sand of various sizes from the nearby river if sand is needed, plastic pots of old soda bottles (or could plant directly into the ground if that's better)...

We also have little, very little, 5 or 10 years old rooting hormone (half of a small now-old-fashioned camera-film-roll can) and we don't have any horticultural chemicals apart from some pesticides (pyrethrines and Imidacloprid and possibly one fungicide and some Osmocote pearl fertilizer (both 13-13-13 and .. uh a second version with higher of one of N or P or K.

So, from what we have, can we ensure good rate of survival of cuttings of those amazing Syzygiums?

Advice please - so we later can share our bounty of seeds with you folks later to try out those amazing New Guinean Syzygiums. ;)

Hi friends!

I'm in Western Province now in the middle of vast swamp forests with muddy tracks and the ground is very wet and muddy right now. (And still can access Internet, wow!)

Here we found fruiting vividly red wild grapes, possibly Tetrastigma sp.. The hunters- and gatherers eat it out of the hand. Consistency is like harder grapes and tastes a bit sour. But the size is amazing, 2,5 - 4 cm (1 to almost 2 inches) flattened round fruits, 5-15 on each spike.

I tried it with some sugar and it developed a good and interesting taste, close to some grapes or plums. The unripe green fruits are also eaten, and are then like unripe crunchy apples and sour, but not as sour as a lemon.

Someone interested in breeding could develop a sweet variety? :)

I think it's a good alternative for ultratropics where common grapes fails, and the fruits are so big compared to ordinary grapes and other wild grapes. Could be used for preserves or wine equal to grapes I think.

We can offer about 40 seeds = maybe 4-8 packets of 10 or 5 seeds.

We also found a Garcinia sp. Pale green, a rather square fruit 5 cm long and 4 cm wide (2 in long, slightly smaller on sides) when ripe. It's picked from the ground. Tree about 7 m tall (21 ft). But yikes, it was the sourest Garcinia I ever tried! The people said the fruit like plastic with juice inside it. I thought they were exaggerating, but indeed they were right! I put one fruit segment into my mouth and tried to chew it, but it was like a plastic ball, so I with some effort bit a small hole in it and a lemon-like sour juice came out...

I won't keep seeds for myself of this tree, as we've limited land so we feel our lime tree is good enough. But if someone else wants it, we have some fruits here that we will clean when we depart. Only 10 fruits with one single seed in each available.

We'll post the seeds when we get back home around the shift of August/September.

PS tried to upload photos but too slow internet connection :( Will retry again later.

We are just starting to set up a small orchard of Artocarpus species, simply because I love these fruits. And we have lots of the native Artocarpus camansi, bread nut, in our forested part of our land here in Papua New Guinea.

However, the season for the bread-nut is almost over, so we are happy to collect the last seeds to trade with other Artocarpus species.

The wild population of the bread nut here is somewhat variable in the leaf pattern but all of them are fast growing trees with a very handsome tree shape, one single straight trunk soaring more than 20 metres up (however, if you prune it it will be a shorter and branched tree), and produces lots of fruits twice a year. The fruits look somewhat like the common bread fruit, but smaller, and full of really big seeds that are very delicious boiled in salted water, or roasted in fire. Tastes like chestnut, but more softer and not as dry and starchy as chestnuts are.

We eat them every day when in season, so most seeds have been eaten but there are some last fruits to ripen if someone is interested?

I would like seeds of any Artocarpus except for jackfruit and breadfruit.

Please, note: Only a few fruits left on the trees, so I can't collect more seeds after March 18th.
But can put you up on waitlist for next season if you wish...

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