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Author Topic: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers  (Read 1465 times)

LivingParadise

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Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« on: April 02, 2016, 04:41:07 PM »
So I got this Sherbet Berry/Grewia asiatica from Top Tropicals maybe a month ago, and it was just a dead-looking stick with a tag on it noting that it had lost its foliage due to it being deciduous and experiencing cold weather (so not to panic). I was still a bit concerned, because this is a tropical plant and I wasn't thrilled that it was being exposed to wintery conditions. But as it turns out, it loves Keys weather and is quite happy here.

So happy, in fact, that it flushed out with more flowers than leaves! It is absolutely loaded, from the ground up!





I'm excited to try the fruit, which supposedly will ripen Aug-Sept (but the months of picking apparently vary according to local climate).

This is actually not the first Grewia asiatica I've grown, as the first was a tiny plant I ordered off Amazon. But the first, despite being healthy, was no match for the vicious spider mite infestation that swept my property at the time. So I've wanted to replace it for the past year, and when I saw my chance (and Top Tropicals owed me a credit anyway), I jumped at it!

Apparently the fruit has many medicinal properties, being cooling, hydrating, anti-bacterial and even a good remedy for E. coli, anti-fungal, treating rheumatism, diabetes, cancer - both leaves and fruit have significant anti-cancer properties especially for breast and liver cancer,  and has high Vitamin C content and antioxidants, among other qualities.

Supposedly it tastes like grape sherbet.

Very excited to give it a try when these things fruit. They pollen prolifically, so I'd like to think fertilization will be easy.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 11:05:38 AM by LivingParadise »

fruitlovers

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 05:14:45 PM »
Phalsa is not really a tropical plant as it grows in foothills of Himalayas, so it is sub tropical. But it easily adapts to tropical conditions. I grow it here and it fruits fine. It's not really deciduous here.
Oscar

LivingParadise

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 05:25:56 PM »
Phalsa is not really a tropical plant as it grows in foothills of Himalayas, so it is sub tropical. But it easily adapts to tropical conditions. I grow it here and it fruits fine. It's not really deciduous here.

My apologies, when I saw that it is native to India and Sri Lanka, and has naturalized in Indonesia and the Philippines, with introductions in Florida and Puerto Rico, I made the assumption that it was tropical. But you are right that they come from the Himalayan region at up to 3,000ft elevation.

fruitlovers

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2016, 06:00:40 PM »
Phalsa is not really a tropical plant as it grows in foothills of Himalayas, so it is sub tropical. But it easily adapts to tropical conditions. I grow it here and it fruits fine. It's not really deciduous here.

My apologies, when I saw that it is native to India and Sri Lanka, and has naturalized in Indonesia and the Philippines, with introductions in Florida and Puerto Rico, I made the assumption that it was tropical. But you are right that they come from the Himalayan region at up to 3,000ft elevation.
I'm guessing it would grow at much higher elevations than 3000 ft., but that would depend on latitude of location. Northern India is a very big place!
Oscar

LivingParadise

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 05:26:23 PM »
***UPDATE***

WOW. Sherbet berry flavor is DELIGHTFUL!

Someone asked me on another thread to report back in when I had tasted them (I forget who, and I forget what thread - maybe it was the Spring fruiting/flowering thread?). Unfortunately, I did not end up with nearly as many berries as I had flowers this first round, despite attempts at hand pollination, but I did get maybe 15 berries total. I have been waiting what seems like forever for them to ripen, but every day I check they have not even turned red yet. That is still true for most, but on closer inspection, I found one soft, dark purple berry ready to be picked today!

Wow, am blown away by the strong and complex flavor! It reminded me, for those who are familiar with this candy, of Watermelon Jolly Ranchers - but if that same strong flavor was made into a cotton candy. They had a melting quality when eating, like what cotton candy feels like. For one small little berry, about the size of a blueberry, there is a lot of flavor. For anyone who is a fan of fruity, tangy candy (particularly watermelon candy flavor), or sweet fruit in general , I can't imagine how you could ever get tired of eating these. Plus, they have tremendous medicinal benefits! Although checking for ripe berries might be tedious, since they do not ripen at the same time, I would still say that it would make sense to grow as many of these as possible. Mind, I keep mine bagged, and I do not know the invasive potential of falsa/sherbet berry, so be careful when exposing them to birds or otherwise letting seeds out of your control. But aside from that, they seem very easy to grow (at least in these conditions), and do not otherwise seem to have a downside.

Unfortunately, while they are wildly popular where they are indigenous, they do not ship or keep well, so it would be hard to enjoy them without growing your own. They only make it as far as local marketplaces, and for a short window, so are not viable apparently in the larger commercial fruit industry.

I am really looking forward to whenever the next single berry might be ripe. And I certainly hope, in time, that the plant will be able to hold a lot more fruit at one time. I think it was still getting established, so had to cut down on the berries for survival. I would be thrilled in future to at least have a handful to eat at a time.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 08:56:21 PM by LivingParadise »

geosulcata

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2016, 08:15:51 PM »
WOW. Sherbet berry flavor is DELIGHTFUL!

Someone asked me on another thread to report back in when I had tasted them (I forget who, and I forget what thread - maybe it was the Spring fruiting/flowering thread?). Unfortunately, I did not end up with nearly as many berries as I had flowers this first round, despite attempts at hand pollination, but I did get maybe 15 berries total. I have been waiting what seems like forever for them to ripen, but every day I check they have not even turned red yet. That is still true for most, but on closer inspection, I found one soft, dark purple berry ready to be picked today!

Thanks for the taste report! The Phalsa berries I have tried did not taste good (to me). I wonder how easy these are to graft? Any chance you allow visitors or would ship some budwood some time?

Finca La Isla

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 09:21:47 PM »
What do you know about propagation of phalsa?  I have one plant grown from seed that was planted out a few months ago. It's got several stems to about 4', reminds me a bit of mulberry appearance but no flowers yet.
Peter

geosulcata

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2016, 09:35:36 PM »
What do you know about propagation of phalsa?  I have one plant grown from seed that was planted out a few months ago. It's got several stems to about 4', reminds me a bit of mulberry appearance but no flowers yet.
Peter

Have you pruned/trimmed it? Ours flowers after we prune it in the spring. I am not sure if ours was grown from seed or not. It was around 8" when we received it. It flowered the first year.

achetadomestica

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2016, 10:55:23 PM »
Unfortunately a Wal mart just opened about 3 miles from my house. I stopped by to get some batteries and went through the garden section. There were about 6 Sherbert berries in one gallon pots for under $8.00 each. Some weird price like $7.88. I bought one that was two foot tall and already had 2 branches. Hopefully it will be bushy from the onset because I have seen 5 foot plants for sale in three gallon pots that were basically one long stick. One of the plants had 2 berries on it and it was also in 1 gallon pot and about 18" tall.

Finca La Isla

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 10:26:04 AM »
Pruning, at least slightly topping it might be a good idea.  Maybe I can start a couple more from cuttings.
Thanks, Peter

Doug

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Re: Sherbet Berry/Phalsa/Grewia Asiatica flowers
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2016, 10:51:09 AM »


Peter, is this the same type of plant that grows wild here? The leaves and flowers look like it. I use the leaves in salads or when I'm walking around the farm I just pick some leaves for a daily dose of vitamin C.

 

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