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Messages - KarenRei

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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 -4,9°C. The next closest I have is Polyalthia cerasoides, but its average winter low is 7,4°C, followed by Annona longiflora (8,4°C), Annona stenophylla (8,7°C), Annona rugulosa (9°C), Guatteria carchiana (9,6°C; afaik not edible), Xylopia odoratissima (9,7°C), and Annona cherimola (10,5°C).  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 Iceland´s 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." :Þ  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  :Þ  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 don’t believe any European nurseries have Benson in stock yet). 

Soil heating helps germination and growth but I don’t know that it would help fruit ripening- that hasn’t ever been tested. If you do give it a try please let me know how they do there!


Luc's Garcinia  plants for sale, 15€ each, shipping excluded. Payment by PayPal (or bank to bank transfer, possible for € zone countries).
Shipping to EU countries.

I have interest.  Do you have any other plants or seeds for sale as well?

My only concern is the weather.  I'd have to hope that they kept them warm enough before I could get my hands on them  :(

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Plantnet app
« on: October 08, 2018, 06:43:14 PM »
Have not tried other ones.  After trying this one, I saw no need to try others. 

It has 4,3 out of 5 stars on Android. Are you sure it's the same app?  It's sometimes spelled "Pl@ntNet", although in the app store it's spelled "PlantNet Plant Identification".

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Rubus sp.
« on: October 08, 2018, 01:15:38 PM »
To find a E. hermaphroditum plant in nature would be a bigger challenge. I assume best way to find are nurseries.

Just found this from Listigarður Akureyrar about E. nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum:

"Algeng um land allt og þá ekki síst til fjalla. Önnur náttúruleg heimkynni t.d.: Arktísk, Kanada, N Ameríka, Evrópa (sérstakl. Skandinavía)"

Which is: "Widespread around the whole country and not least into the mountains. Other natural ranges include e.g. the arctic, Canada, North America, Europe (esp. Scandinavia)"

Apparently there are some visible differences between the two, not just the flowers - for example, the berries have the remains of stamens on the bottom.

I also found this:


"Krækilyngið skiptist í tvær deilitegundir, ssp. nigrum sem hefur einkynja blóm og finnst aðeins á láglendi og spp. hermaphroditum sem hefur tvíkynja blóm og grófari blöð, hún er sú deilitegund sem er miklu algengari hér, bæði til fjalla og á láglendi."

Which is:

"Crowberry bushes can be divided into two subdivisions, ssp. nigrum which has unisexual flowers and can only be found in the lowlands, and spp. hermaphroditum which has bisexual flowers and coarser leaves; this is the subdivision which is much more common here, both in the mountains and the lowlands."

I'll check which ones grow on my land the next time I'm out there.  Huh, I've really learned something in this thread, I always thought that crowberries here were just one variety  :)  It's funny, if I go to and search for "krækiber" I can clearly see that in some pictures all the berries have staminar remnants, while others clearly have none.  Apparently the proper names are krækilyng / krækiber for ssp. nigrum and krummalyng / krummaber for ssp. hermaphroditum, although I've never heard anyone use that term.  Other distinguishing characteristics beyond the stamnar remnants are wider, more elliptical leaves, and coarser stems which do not branch off roots. The berries are also slightly larger.

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Rubus sp.
« on: October 08, 2018, 10:33:47 AM »
Wish there was an easy way to tell the difference on E. nigrum/hermaphroditum.  Maybe surround a plant with mesh and see if it fruits?  ;)

We're starting to get cold weather here (had a layer of slush on my windshield this morning), so I imagine I should probably wait until next year (or a warm spell) before buying live plants.  But it's nice to know that there are nurseries out there with R. chingi v. suavissimus out there; I didn't know whether it would be hard to get or not.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Plantnet app
« on: October 08, 2018, 10:25:57 AM »
There's a popular free ID app that's mainly for forest trees of the north or something. The name doesn't give an indication of that restriction but it couldn't ID anything I have in Southern California. The database of that one is really limited.

Being able to ID tamarind is pretty impressive! Sounds like a good app.

Also got Physalis peruviana and Monstera deliciosa as its #1 guesses (tried M. deliciosa both by the stalk and leaves, both worked). It thought my Carica monoica was Carica papaya, but that's pretty close (nobody had uploaded C. monoica pictures). Got my acerola flowers top hit, although by leaves it was a fair ways down the list. My bananas were the third hit (I think the number one hit it guessed was some sort of Canna). Coffee leaves were fairly high on the list as well (but it couldn't identify it by its trunk; I added some pictures to hopefully help with that  :)  ).  Got my Pachira aquatica first hit by leaves, but not my trunk (most trunks in the database were actually for P. glabra... I corrected that).  Annona muricata was something like 6th or 7th on its guess list. It strangely wasn't able to get my coconut by its trunk, despite how distinct coconut trunks are (added some pictures), but it had no trouble with the leaves. I actually had a plant I didn't know what it was and it helped me figure it out (Eugenia uniflora - thanks, Plantnet, I thought I had one of those around here somewhere!).  Can't remember what other plants I tried, but... I was very impressed, this is a super-difficult task it's doing.

Whenever I'm bored (for example, in the bathroom or waiting on something or whatnot) I also take part in rating other peoples' photos, to help the neural net.  I'd guess I've rated maybe 500 or so so far, it's kind of addictive  :)  I've gotten some major seed orders in route right now (five different sellers) and I plan to take lots of good training pictures of them, every stage from seed to maturity.

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Rubus sp.
« on: October 07, 2018, 09:21:16 PM »
E. hermaphroditum is considered a subspecies of E. nigrum.  I have no clue which subspecies the ones here are (is there a way to tell them apart?).  E. nigrum (of whatever subspecies) is crazy abundant here. Endless plains of the stuff.  A third of my land is dominated by it. It's very hardy and tolerates very poor soil conditions.  Practically invulnerable to anything except being overgrown (it's a very low plant); the only thing here hardier than it is moss, or maybe the blóðberg (wild thyme /Thymus praecox). Crowberry season is longer than bilberry season; crowberries  sometimes persist on the plants through the entire winter, although they're best before the first frost, and you'd never eat ones that have been on the plant all winter.

Hmm... I've never heard of Rubus nessensis being native here... but then again I have come across some sort of raspberry-like berry growing wild in the forests near Esja.  Might be an escapee or accidentally introduced species, I don't know. It only grows where there's woods; it apparently needs the shelter.  I should give them a better look late next spring / summer when they're back in leaf  :)

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Rubus sp.
« on: October 06, 2018, 10:27:37 PM »
Are you only interested in Rubus species in exchange?  I can certainly order species online (although with a collection as large as yours, you probably have most everything!). Or if you have interest in non-Rubus species, I could collect some of our local edible wild berries (mainly Vaccinium uliginosum (bláber / bog bilberry), Vaccinium myrtillus (aðalbláber / bilberry), Empetrum nigrum (krækiber / crowberry); there's a couple others (hrútaber / stone bramble, jarðarber / wild strawberries, skollaber / dwarf cornel), but they're not common). And some Ribes species, but they're only semi-wild. And ever common rowan berries, but they're not great, even when processed right  ;)  Everyone's favourites are usually the bláber and krækiber species.  The bláber species might be hard to find this time of year, but there's probably a few hanging onto plants. Crowberries should be abundant.

Hmm, now that I think of it... hrútaber / stone bramble is a Rubus. R. saxatilis. But I doubt I could find any this time of year.  I always think of them as kind of insignificant, I've never found a lot of berries in one location.  But they'd probably do better in cultivation than the wild.

Temperate Fruit Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Rubus sp.
« on: October 05, 2018, 04:44:28 PM »
Do you offer any simply for sale?  And just cuttings, or seeds? I find Rubus chingii v. suavissimus (formerly R. suavissimus) a rather interesting plant, in that in addition to berries it contains a natural sugar-free sweetener in the leaves (ruboside, >5%; it's related to steviol). Used in Guanxi to brew tian-cha, a sweet tea. Do you have that one?

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