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Topics - Draak

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Temperate Fruit Discussion / Bitter black currants
« on: August 26, 2023, 04:20:03 AM »
I went to the Asian store recently and got a small tub of dried black currants. They were excellent! It was sweet, and similar to eating raisins. I tried some fresh black currants from a local nursery, and they were awful! It was like bitter black pepper. There was nothing sweet about the fresh currant experience. I tried my own fresh black currants, and they tasted the same. I tried waiting for them to get extra ripe (starting to slightly shrivel) and they still tasted like bitter black pepper.

Has anyone else experienced this?

I missed it when wanderlust was selling these! I would love to buy/trade cuttings with people.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Rare fruit tourism
« on: July 23, 2023, 12:11:35 AM »
I've barely taken any vacation in the past 3 years, and I'm ready for one! I've never been to Hawaii, and I think it would be fun to go. Where do you go for fun fruits and food in Hawaii?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Wampee cultivars
« on: September 25, 2021, 01:19:32 PM »
From searching the posts here, it seems that the 'yeem pay' varietal is absolutely amazing! The next most talked about varietal is chicken heart/guy sahm/Chi Hsin, and I've seen people describe it as OK tasting, but spicy and smaller. Unfortunately, yeem pay seems to be completely unavailable in the USA.

Are there any other great tasting varietals out there?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Has anyone fruited a marula tree in the USA?
« on: September 12, 2021, 03:53:42 AM »
I see several people growing marula, but I see only very few people who have successfully fruited their marula. It seems that seedling trees want to be HUGE before they finally set fruit, as shown by EvilFruit's successful marula:;all. I definitely don't have enough real-estate to let any of my trees grow this big, so the barrier to entry for me is too high.

However, grafting a branch from a fruited tree onto a seedling rootstock will give a fruiting plant at what appears to be ~2m tall after 3 years (see figure 2.6 I can definitely grow that!

The only fruited marula in the USA that I know of is the infamous fruit & spice park marula, and I have yet to see a favorable review of the fruit on that tree.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB: Arcadian or Silber Kei Apple
« on: July 07, 2021, 10:39:23 PM »
Iím looking for this nice kei apple cultivar. Does anyone have this for trade or sale?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jackfruit in Bay area CA
« on: March 27, 2021, 05:00:03 AM »
I would like to try growing jackfruit in a protected area next to my house. I've seen some great suggestions on which cultivars to grow, both in terms of flavor and cold hardiness;viewresults. I would love to grow an excalibur variety, but they seem difficult to legally acquire in California! Has anyone gotten one?

I see that toptropicals sells their own cultivar of cheena, which they seem to really talk up quite a bit for both its flavor and hardiness. I'm not sure what to think

What would people suggest as excellent flavored jackfruit that is obtainable in northern CA?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Where to buy Manila mango in Bay Area
« on: March 19, 2021, 02:34:10 AM »
It seems like Manila mango is particularly good at getting through winters in the east Bay Area, and makes a good rootstock. Does anyone know where to buy one around here?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Metal trellis cooking or freezing plants?
« on: March 08, 2021, 11:24:34 AM »
I'm considering using a metal cattle panel trellis for my dragon fruit, passion fruit, kadsura, and zabala. They seem super robust and pretty cheap! However, I'm concerned that the heat conductive properties of metal may scorch my plants in the summer sun or freeze my plants in the winter at the points where they contact the metal trellis. I've seen others blog about these concerns, though I haven't yet read anything conclusive:

Has anyone here who uses metal trellises noticed any problems with freezing or cooking their vines where it touches the trellis?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Plants that fruit at 1m tall or shorter
« on: February 04, 2021, 02:16:00 PM »
Hey all,

As much as I would love to make fruit farm in my suburbia front yard, my wife and neighbors would probably not love it! I can have some trees in my front yard, but good landscape architecture requires that we have a lot of small plants as well. Because of this, Iím trying to compile a list of plants that fruit at 1m tall or less, and are easy to maintain at this height with 2~3 prunings per year. Below is my list so far for my zone 9b. Some of these plants I just donít know if they will fruit at small sizes; I would love to hear peopleís thoughts and experiences for any plants on this list, as well as any suggestions for what I may have left out!

Little to no pruning:
Eugenia neonitidia
Eugenia observa
Low bush blueberry

Mild pruning:
Eugenia calycina
Eugenia involucrata
Eugenia uniflora

Araza Johvy
Araza Pera
Araza Johvy
Myrcianthes pungens

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Green Sapote Seeds Wanted
« on: October 04, 2020, 11:34:36 PM »
Hello all,

I'm interested in purchasing some green sapote seeds. Does anybody have some that they could sell to me?

Thank you!

Hi all!

I'm hoping to grow a coconut cream mango in a protected area of my yard in the CA bay area. I've never had any of the new Zill mangos, but they just sound awesome, and the coconut cream mango sounds superb! Mangos have survived in the bay area before with some protection, though it is indeed a bit risky. Provided that I'm not gambling with large amount of money on these mango trees, it would be fun to try! I appreciate any comments or pieces of wisdom that people have to offer to aid me on my quest :).

First, let me say that Gary Zill did an awesome job developing all of the mangos that he did, and I would like to do my part to support his work. Zill worked intensely hard to breed all of the mangos that he did from his thousands of seedlings, and I believe that he absolutely deserves every penny of royalties due to him. The coconut cream mango is the only mango that Gary Edward Zill patented to my knowledge, and I would like to legally purchase this mango. Cloning the plant in any way, including from planting the poly-embryonic seed, is illegal without purchasing it from a nursery that is licensed to sell this mango and provides a portion of the profits as royalties to Gary Zill. It is my understanding that each licensed tree you purchase grants you a single tree that you may own. If you wish to own multiple of the same tree, you must purchase multiple licenses.

Due to simon_grow's extremely helpful thread as well as the recommendations of others on many other threads, it seems that the Florida rootstock 'Turpentine' is not the rootstock of choice for growing mangos in California. Growing mangos in the bay area will be hard enough; I don't want to worry about protecting it from infections as well! Growing a polyembronic seedling without grafting seems to often do better from some of Simon's comments.

I've currently seen 2 places that is willing to ship me these mangos: PlantOGram and Bob Well's. PlantOGram is a Florida based businesses, and likely uses Turpentine mango as its rootstock. Despite previous information that Bob Well's nursery grafts their mangos with a seedling rootstock, they told me in email and on the phone today that they purchase their mangos from florida already grafted. The mangos in the previous thread are listed as being 2 years old, while the mangos they have available now are 1 year old. So, they may have recently changed their practice.

As simon_grow once observed, it seems that growing coconut cream from seed may be the best option for CA folks at this time! I talked with the California department of agriculture, and they have explained to me that CA residents may import mango *seeds* from southern Florida without any problems, though any edible material that fruit flies are interested in must be cleaned off and stripped away. So, getting a seed into CA is perfectly fine!

I'm now left with an interesting predicament on how to legally purchase a coconut mango tree license. Buying from either of the two nurseries above would get me an expensive license. However, I'm wondering if a more economical way to would with would be to call a local Florida nursery and purchase a plant from them for $40 (, have them throw the tree in the trash, and then separately acquire and plant a coconut cream mango from seed. This bizarre arrangement would benefit the local FL nursery, benefit Zill, and grant me a relatively inexpensive license to legally grow a coconut cream mango.

Has anyone tried to do something like this before?

Citrus General Discussion / Shiranui at CCPP is very seedy?
« on: May 08, 2020, 03:50:54 AM »
The CCPP posted new pics this winter on their shiranui that they planted just last year. The shiranui is supposed to have few seeds, but they cut theirs open and found a Lot! You can see the picture and read more of the story below.

They describe that there have been 3 legal introductions of the shiranui into California. They donít explicitly say, but I presume that they are propagating the shiranui Scions that came from China (and are currently available on the CCPP).

I know that several people here have received and are growing these scions. I suspect virtually all of the legally grown privately owned shiranui in California comes from these scions.

Has anyone else had the experience of cutting into their CCPP shiranui and found a lot of seeds? Does it taste like it was described?

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus texture
« on: May 04, 2020, 01:20:03 PM »
A while back, the weird fruit explorer reviewed citrus in Japan. His review of the setoka citrus was particularly favorable . What was particularly notable was the texture, and how the pulp flaked apart and had a ďcaviar likeĒ texture.

Iím not going to get any setoka scions here in California, but does anyone else know what citrus cultivars have this kind of texture?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Grafting technique comparison
« on: December 30, 2019, 05:46:06 PM »
I came across an interesting poster abstract from one of Pomper's students on grafting techniques for Pawpaws. They tried grafting Pawpaws using Whip & Tongue grafting, T-bud grafting, chip bud grafting, and also with a 'Topgrafter' tool, which looks like a very $$$ version of a common grafting tool. The success rates of grafting were:

Whip & Tongue: 96%
TopGrafter: 67%
Chip bud: 54%
T-bud: 37%

The wide range of success rates, as well as the performance of the TopGrafter, was all quite surprising!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Soil pH near house foundation
« on: December 16, 2019, 12:10:02 AM »
This topic could potentially go on the temperate or tropical fruit boards. However, since many people on this forum push their zone by planting close to their house, I thought it would be particularly appropriate here :).

There is a wisdom and concern that has been passed down through the community that soil near cement, such as by sidewalks and the house foundation, will be more alkaline than soil further away. This is because cement is a very alkaline material (pH > 12), and any material that either mixed with or leeches into the surrounding soil may raise the pH of that soil. However, determining how much the pH raises is an unintuitive venture into the world of chemistry. If the soil has no pH buffering capability, then the soil pH will immediately rise to near the pH of cement with the addition of only a tiny amount of cement, let alone an entire sidewalk or foundation. If the soil can pH buffer, then the pH will change, but only slightly.

Since soil is not at all a simple thing, it is best to do an experiment. There is fortunately a free thesis available from the university of Florida where a person had done a good experiment on this topic in Gainesville, Florida: . In chapter 2, he was investigating the effect of pH on termite pesticide. Since this pesticide is sprayed closed to the house, determining the effect of pH on soil around the house is particularly relevant. On table 2-2, you can see how he started with pH 5.5 soil, and created various mixtures of soil/cement, from 33% cement to 90% cement. On the day of the mixture, the pH rose to 6 for low fractional cement mixtures, and to 9 for high fractional cement mixtures. However, after 10months, all mixtures either rose or dropped to pH 6.5~6.9. Quite strange! However, this shows that a homeostasis mixture all tends toward a neutral or slightly acid mixture after time.

In table 2-1, he looked outside the laboratory environment to houses around the neighborhood, and sampled soil within 4" of the foundation from various houses. New construction showed pH levels that are approximately on par with a low fractional cement mixture for wood sided or stucco houses. Houses with a brick veneer exterior had very high soil pH (one house had a pH of 10!). Overall, he found quite a wide range of pH for both new and old construction, regardless of what exterior the house had. Some houses were able to maintain an acid pH near the foundation that matches the original soil, while other houses had a pH >8 even after 10 years.

The real world results were strikingly different from his laboratory results. Even a mixture that is only 10% dirt went to a neutral pH in less than a year, so why weren't these houses exhibiting the same trend? My hypothesis is that he did not have a homeostasis condition in the real world. When water interacts with the house foundation, minerals will effloresce out of the cement and into the surrounding soil. This continually introduced alkaline material that rose the pH of the soil. Depending upon which house he is sampling, which face of the house he is sampling from, how wet that face gets, etc... he could see a large variation in his results.

Regardless of why this pH increase is occurring, the answer to 'will the soil next to be house be alkaline' is 'maybe.' There were a few samples he measured that had no apparent pH increase at all. If efflorescence is a major factor in the pH, then the answer may depend upon whether you have gutters installed, how well you shed water away from your house, and which face of your house gets the most rain. If you live in an area with little rain, like California or Arizona, then this may be even less of a problem.

If you need an answer better than that, you'll have to buy a *good* pH meter and test your soil yourself :).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Dwarfing COTRG with calycina rootstock
« on: September 09, 2019, 04:57:53 AM »
Eugenia involucrata (COTRG) and Eugenia calycina are the same species, though Iíve read that COTRG can grow 5m tall, while calycina struggles to reach 2m tall. Iíve seen several people on this forum successfully graft calycina onto COTRG rootstock. Does this grafted plant grow a calycina that is 5m tall?

Even more importantly for me, since I have limited space for planting, would grafting COTRG onto calycina rootstock produce a COTRG that only grows 2m tall?

As a new homeowner and a newbie starting my subtropical fruit collection, I am eagerly awaiting all of the fruits I will finally get try try. I'm particularly eager to try the annona fruits, and am happy to have 4 sapling pawpaws of good varietals in my collection. Then, browsing the forum, I found a post warning of pawpaw neurotoxicity. As a scientist, I then spent the next 5 hours of my life fervorously searches in google scholar learning everything I could learn about the subject. There is a good synthesis of all the data available, but it definitely takes a LOT of time digging up this information from obscure places, and some knowledge of pharmacy and bioavailability. I would like to share my findings here for anyone who would like to know. For those who do not wish to read: Cherimoya, Atemoya, Sugar Apple, and Biriba *flesh* is rather benign, consuming soursop leaf tea from *dry* leaves is probably benign, annonacins will not give you Parkinsons (but if you have parkinsons, it may make your symptoms MUCH worse), and think critically about how much risk you're willing to take to eat this fruit.

All plants have some mechanism for preventing themselves from being eaten by undesirable things, and bugs are particularly pestilent. Natural pesticides are found in nearly all plants. Annona plants have evolved annonacins and similar groups of chemicals as their chosen pesticides. Pawpaw extract was a hot topic for a little while for being the next natural & organic pesticide, with patents granted However, these plants generally also want us mammals to eat their fruits, and us mammals have managed to be quite tolerant of natural pesticides in reasonable doses.

Simon put together an EXCELLENT review of the literature on his parkinsonís blog: He provides links to all of the scientific literature, and I encourage you all to read it (he is a fun writer!). You can also see my reply to Simon at the bottom of that page. Iíll be summarizing some of his blog and my response here.

The dilemma with annonacins and human health was first conceived in the 1999 paper by Caparros-Lefebvre, where they found that 80% of people in their study with Parkinsons in Guatemala had a very bad form of it, which doesnít respond to treatment. Compared to USA and Europe, these bad form of Parkinsons were relatively unlikely among those with Parkinsons (only ~30% of people). They hypothesized a reason for this was due to consumption of Soursop fruit and tea. It was then found that these toxins are surprisingly good at killing neurons when directly applied to nervous tissue compared to common lab standard toxins.

Simon continues on with his article about positive effects of other Annona chemicals for parkinsons. However, there is more to the annonacin story.

Pomper et al. looked at the toxicity of soursop, cherimoya, pawpaw varietals, peach, and banana: They measured toxicity by finding the amount of extract needed to kill 50% of a brine shrimp population. Among many things, they found:

1)   that cherimoya flesh was 100x less toxic than soursop, and is almost as benign as peaches (yay!).
2)   that some pawpaws were 100x more toxic than soursop, and that some pawpaws were about as toxic as soursop.
3)   Drying the pawpaw fruit reduced the toxicity by ~100x. They did not comment on why (nor did they interpret their results correctlyÖugh). If it is real that this toxicity reduction occurs, a *guess* at this mechanism are that the toxins crystallized and became significantly less bioavailable (a routine scenario in pharmacology).

Thanks to Nullzero for finding this awesome science poster by Smith et al. on Annona neurotoxin concentrations! There is indeed ~100x more total ug/g concentration of annonacin+squamocin in soursop compared to Atemoya and Sugar apple (presumably, cherimoya has a similar concetration to atemoya and sugar apple). They used overlese pawpaws in this study (, which was found to have ~10x more annonacin in this case. So, Pomperís methodology, measurements, and conclusions seem to generally agree to the measured annonacin by Smith et al.

The amount of annonacin in some pawpaws is truly staggering! But, itís this dramatic figure which likely proves the point that this is rather well tolerated by much of the population. A homeowner binge-eating fruit from their pawpaw tree could end up eating ~3lbs of pawpaw in a day (or 3~5 pawpaw fruits). Assuming a typical soursop weighs 6lbs, thatís roughly like eating 50 soursop fruits in a single day! A single tree could yield 30~80 pounds of fruit, so that could amass to eating the equivalent of 500~1300 soursops per tree. Thatís a dose higher than eating a full 6lbs of soursop every day *and* drinking the soursop leaf tea every day for a year, but administered all in 1~2 months! If thatís the case, fruit fanatics and pawpaw lovers in the american midwest should be suffering just as much or more than the people of french west indies due to the Indiana banana!

One of the concluding points of that paper was that there have not yet been any links between consumption of pawpaw and the incidence rates of Parkinsons vs. Parkinsonisms. They point to another paper in the concluding remarks, and suggest that people who seem to be affected by this toxin are likely genetically predisposed. This is perhaps backed up during a presentation by the same authors with an acknowledgement of Caparros-Lefebvre et al, who estimated in 2005 that there are approximately 640 cases of parkinsons and parkinsonisms combined in Guadeloupe out of a population of 420,000, which is an incidence rate that is identical to the united states and europe. That is, there werenít more people with Parkinsonís in the countries of concern, simply those that had Parkinsonís were worse. That paper amazingly also found that younger folks who had parkinsonism symptoms managed to reverse symptoms (presumably down to regular parkinsons) when they stopped annona products. It seems that this toxin doesnít cause parkinsons, but it seems like there is clear evidence that it could make existing parkinsons worse.

It is extremely concerning that Champy found in 2004 that *injecting* rats for 1 month with annonacin induced neurodegeneration of basal ganglia and mesencephalon. However, it is again pointed out by the authors that this does not investigate bioavailability upon digestion; 1 month is really dramatic, and I would imagine that people would have quite a bad reaction if it damaged their nervous system that hard every month.

As for Soursop tea, the concentration of annonacin is ~300ug/g: A typical serving of dry leaf tea is ~2g, providing a dose of 600ug. If this is dried tea, and assuming that the dried tea is 100x less toxic than fresh tea due to the relationship seen in Pomperís data remaining true, thatís roughly equivalent to consuming 6ug. Thatís a trivial dose.

For getting sick from an acute dose (ingesting seeds), I note that the fruit flesh of soursop and pawpaws seem to have more ug/g of annonacin than an atemoya seed, but atemoya seeds have a MASSIVE concentration of squamocin (14,200ug/g), whereas squamocin concentrations are low in the flesh (<200ug/mg)

All that said, I believe that there is enough evidence to say that this can make certain people with parkinsons develop worse symptoms. Further, it is not known if there are other neurological conditions that this could negatively affect. How about people who have a genetic predisposition to alzheimers or dementia? What about just simple anxiety? Fibromyalgia? Schizophrenia?

Unlike twilight plea on the Parkinsonís blog, Iíve decided for myself that I have enough health problems, and pawpaw is unfortunately too risky to grow and consume. :'( This may be a conservative approach, and I suspect that most could tolerate annonacin without any problem. I may partake on occasion, but Iíll be giving my trees away. However, I will be enjoying cherimoya, atemoya, sugar apple, and biriba without worry  :D. Iíll just have to figure out how in the world Iíll GROW those thingsÖ

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Fig hedge
« on: March 22, 2019, 01:42:44 AM »
I'm currently in the process of re-landscaping my home. The previous homeowner had a hedge growing along the neighbors property to keep the neighbor kids off of his lawn  ::). I've torn those out, and am wanting to replace them with a fruiting hedge; something both my neighbor and I can enjoy  :). Of course, I want to grow fruits that you can't buy in a grocery store ;D. To accommodate my desire for low maintenance, I'd like something that won't ever overgrow, so it is ideally a pretty dwarf plant.

I have two plants in mind. The first is the "little ruby" dwarf fig, which supposedly only grows 3'~4' tall. The other is quite far from the norm: Diospyros intricata (Desert Honey Persimmon), which supposedly grows ~a few feet tall (information is limited).

Has anyone tried to grow a hedge of figs before? Any other hedge-sided fruiting dwarf plants that I could consider?

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