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Messages - SoCal2warm

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1501
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: PLUMS
« on: November 21, 2016, 03:17:32 AM »
There are a few people growing green gauge plums around Los Angeles and San Diego (zone 10). They're not spectacularly productive, but they do fruit, sometimes sparsely, sometimes a medium amount. Maybe not if you live within 7 miles of the coast, but otherwise it is doable. The same thing goes for Blenheim Apricot trees (which supposedly needs 400-500 chill hours).

While the stone fruit family definitely has a tendency not to be flexible with chill hours, I believe there are a few varieties that can be a little more forgiving. For such select varieties, the chill hours may say more about what is optimal than about what the plant absolutely needs.

1502
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: PLUMS
« on: November 14, 2016, 12:29:32 AM »
One excellent plum variety that I want to mention is Rene Claude Doree. It's a green gauge variety which may not look like much but has superb taste. This variety is lower chill than many others, and I believe that it will produce okay in zone 9b, just south of Tampa.

1503
Recipes / Wholesome Cherry Snow Cone
« on: November 04, 2016, 04:14:06 PM »
Recipe for the best healthy wholesome snow cone:

snow (or shaved ice), 3 parts tart cherry juice, 2 parts freshly juiced sugar cane

The sugar cane juice is not just sugar water, and it's not as sweet as one might think, it's actually fairly healthy and full of nutrients.

Sugar cane can be grown in your own yard as far north as Sacramento. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9nvTPKT5VU

You can also add a cherry on top for decoration (of the regular sweet cherry variety). Just make a cut in the side, enough to be able to open it up a little bit and remove the seed. Then close back up, you will hardly be able to notice the cherry has been cut into (except the stem will most likely come out with the seed).

1504
What's the chill hour requirement? Can it be grown in a chill-free zone? I know that's the case with low-chill apples, pears and stonefruit, with an up to 200 hour requirement (the lower the better), but I'm not sure about Quince.
I believe quince can be grown in zone 10, although it's not as productive. It prefers zone 9. However, the quince in Mexico may be in an altogether different category, as it has adapted to some extent to local climatic conditions over the course of many generations of being grown there (very often being propagated by seed). Something peculiarly interesting, unlike other quince varieties, 'Karp's Sweet' does not appear to behave deciduously here, not losing its leaves in the winter.

Some people have noted that Karp's Sweet does not appear to be as productive, in terms of fruit, as other varieties, but that could just be because it is a hardier variety, so it could take more years until it becomes more productive. Fruit trees whose growth is stunted (e.g. by rootstock) tend to be more precocious, producing fruit at an earlier age. (of course the growth being stunted too much isn't a good thing either) The point is that Karp's Sweet appears to have adapted to the semi-tropical climate where its lineage existed for many generations, so maybe, I would speculate, there is less of a need for it to go through a cycle of dormancy in order for it to be productive. This would likely be true for many other Latin American quinces as well, though I do not have any experience with them.

One thing I will say is that quince stands up better to heat and dry conditions than apple, so it is particularly suitable to Southern California in that sense. A quince tree can also be fairly drought tolerant after it has had time to become established.

Conversely, quince is very prone to disease in climates with high heat combined with high humidity. All this is not surprising when you consider the part of the world where quince comes from. Quince can be grown as far north as Maine or Nova Scotia however.

1505
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: hybrids between quince, pear, and apple
« on: October 24, 2016, 06:20:02 PM »
found this entry in The Book of Pears, by Joan Morgan:
"Passe Crassane [...] In a warm seasaon and at best, exceptional for late Jan., Feb.
Very juicy, buttery, white flesh, sweet, tasting of pear-drops and highly perfumed, but in a poor year astringent, fails to develop in the English climate. Passe Crassane was France’s premier late variety until recent times, produced particularly for the luxury trade, and used to be sold with stems dipped in sealing wax to help reduce moisture loss during storage. In UK among the modern pears highlighted at 1885 London Pear Conference – one of the ‘most delicious pears known’ – but it needed a warm spot."

This same book also stated that Passe Crassane was a parent of Delsanne, which is now marketed as the popular variety "Goldember".

You know, this has got me thinking about whether Comice could possibly have some distant quince ancestor in its makeup. I read that they have developed a new winter pear variety called "Angelys", which supposedly could replace Passe Crasane. It resulted from a cross between Doyenné d’Hiver and Comice. And Comice is one of the pear varieties that is compatible on quince rootstock. Maybe hundreds of years ago some quince pollen pollinated a pear blossom without anyone realizing what had taken place. Doyenné d’Hiver (known in English as "Easter Beurre") definitely looks like it could have some quince genes, very round shape, skin is a pale yellowish color, structure of the seeds in the interior also seems reminiscent of quince. But all this speculation could be completely wrong.

The thought also crossed my mind, this could explain why Passe Crassane is so extremely susceptible to fire blight, any pear-quince hybrid that was able to grow successfully is likely to have a very compromised immune response.

I have just been eating a big bag full of fresh Comice pears i got at the fruit market. They have an exquisite flavor that stands out from all the other pear varieties I have tasted. Compared to other pears, the flesh is firm and dense... one could say a little like a quince! I'm not going to say the flavor is quince-like; the flavor is definitely pear, but it does seem to have some subtle notes in its aroma that are more reminiscent of the wonderful aroma of quince than any common pear. I wonder if there might be some ionones in the aroma, because one of the fragrance notes I can pick up on has this euphoric ethereal-like feel (like those old violet flavored candies). I don't know, could I just be drawing connections where none exist?

I read that Comice is supposedly more adaptable to lower-chill conditions than many other European pear varieties (though this is debatable, Gary Matsuoka of Laguna Hills Nursery stated he had only ever seen 1 crop in 25 years).

Assuming this is true, it would not be surprising. After a fair amount of research I have come to the suspicion that some European pear varieties may in fact have a quince ancestor. If you know anything about quince (Cydonia Oblonga), it is hard yellow fruit related to pear and apple, with a wonderful very fragrant aroma, but usually too hard, dense, and astringent to eat raw, so they are usually used in cooking. Quince is generally considered a lower-chill fruit than pear or apple, and was traditionally grown around the Mediterranean. Anyway, I believe it is the quince ancestor that gives some of these French pears their exquisite flavor, but these same pear varieties also tend to be a little bit hard, firm, and dense (perhaps a little like the fruit of a quince).

The French pear passé crassane is claimed to have resulted from a cross between quince and pear. This hybridization has made this pear variety parthenocarpic, meaning it can produce fruit that does not contain seeds, without being pollinized. Being a direct hybrid from quince, you can imagine that the pear is quite hard. It needs two months to ripen off the tree, but even then the texture is quite firm. But it does have unsurpassed flavor, appreciated by pear connoisseurs and aficionados. It is sometimes appreciated by expert chefs as well, and with just a slight amount of cooking it makes for superb dessert dishes.

While passé crassane is generally a rather obscure and hard to find pear variety in America, brief mention of it did appear in a 1992 L.A. Times article about pears growing in orchards of Julian, CA, (alternatively spelled Passe-Crassane), so I would imagine there are at least a few people growing it there. "Besides Julian's Apples, There Are the Pears"
http://articles.latimes.com/1992-09-24/news/nc-1512_1_bartlett-pears

The Arboreum Company nursery, located in Santa Clara County, also sells Passe Crassane, but they may not always have it in stock available to sell.

Passé crassane is extremely susceptible to fire blight, perhaps more so than any other pear, so I don't want to get anyone's hopes up who may live in a different part of the country. This will not be a problem in the dry climate of Southern California and the rest of the Southwest though.

The French used to export a huge amount of these pears to England and Germany, but because of fire blight issues the country later banned new plantings of this once-iconic variety. There are a small number of commercial plantings still being operated in Northern Italy, where they thrive in that climate.

Back on the topic of Quince and Apple hybrids again, I would also like to briefly make mention to the apple variety known as 'Cole's Quince'. Green to yellow in color, sometimes with a red blush, and the shape of the fruit can very lumpy, said to resemble quince in flavor and aroma. This apple variety originated in Maine and was first described in 1806. It might be within the realm of possibility that pollen carried from a quince tree was able to inadvertently pollenize an apple tree, and then against all odds the resulting hybrid seedling was able to grow into an apple tree.

It goes without saying that all these hybrids are incredibly rare, and under normal circumstances you can't just crossbreed between apple/pear/quince. Pear with Quince appears to be the least difficult combination of the three.

1506
Temperate Fruit Discussion / hybrids between quince, pear, and apple
« on: October 24, 2016, 06:11:33 PM »
Hybrid between Quince and Pear

In 1855 the nurseryman Louis Boisbunel in the Rouen region of France was successfully able to crossbred quince with pear. The resulting pear variety was named Passé Crassane, and was later used to breed many other fine tasting pear varieties. I actually have a Passé Crassane tree, by the way.

"...the passé-crassane, is actually a pear-quince hybrid that was developed in Normandy. It is particularly useful in cooking because of its firm, grainy flesh, but it is also tasty eaten raw."

The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why, by Jonny Bowden, p144

While I haven't actually got any fruit yet from my tree, from the pictures I've seen it certainly looks like it might be a hybrid from the shape and slightly more yellowish color (though there are plenty of pear varieties which are yellow).

Here is a picture of a Passe Crassane: http://www.arboreumco.com/store/products/passe-crassane

They can develop a much more yellow color if allowed to ripen further on the tree: http://www.mouneyracfreres.com/en/img/produits/cat_p1_passecrassane_img.png

I found a random mention in a wine blog that stated "It smells like quinces and pears, especially the Passe-Crassane pear..." so I am assuming this implies that the Passe Crassane at least has a note of quince in its aroma.

I found this in another blog: "Finally, we get to the Passe Crassane – my all time favourite pear which comes into season in December – they are exquisite in mulled wine. They come from the Rouen region and retain the most juice and best flavour of all pears. Again location is key and, for me, these pears are always better from the Paris area than from the Alps. These pears ripen over time and the stems are sealed with a blob of wax so that they will continue to ripen and won’t dry out. It’s this that helps to keep the flavour and juiciness of the Passe Crassane pear all winter." http://www.wellocks.co.uk/flavours-of-deme-of-the-year/

I have also done some research into grafting compatibilities, and Passe Crassane happens to be one of the few pear varieties that is considered compatible on quince rootstock, so that at least is consistent with it supposedly being a hybrid.

I have more to say on the variety Passe Crassane (and other pears that are descended from it) but I will elaborate further in a separate post.

Another documented pear-quince hybrid is "Pyronia veitchii", which can be mail ordered from some nurseries. There are even different established cultivars of this intergeneric species, like 'Luxemburgiana'. There's plenty of pictures on the internet.

Pyronia veitchii resulted from a cross between the pear 'Bergamotte Esperen' (seed-parent) and the Portugal quince (pollinator).
The cross was made in 1895 by hybridiser John Seden, who was employed by the Veitch family who ran the famous nursery in England that bears their name.

The famed plant breeder Luther Burbank had made an attempt at crossbreeding quince with pear, but most of the seedlings had stunted growth, and after grafting some cuttings onto an apple tree for a few years he was unable to obtain any fruit. (Luther Burbank: Methods and Discoveries 4: 138-140, (1914))

I found another old reference that describes a quince-pear hybrid that produced seedless fruit:

“The form of the fruit is unusual and characteristic, cylindrical, slightly longer than broad, with a short peduncle arising from a shallow cavity, the eye situated in a deep basin, open, the calyx lobes persistent. The skin is thick, rough, green or yellowish-green, abundantly covered with red dots like that of a pear. The flesh is white, granular, firm, juicy, sweet, slightly acidulous with an agreeable quince-like perfume. The season of ripening is October and November. The fruits which I have eaten were picked before they were fully ripe; the flesh was pleasantly flavored but firm as in a half-ripe pear. When cooked, the fruits seemed to be intermediate in character between a pear and a quince.

In 1915 an attempt was made to pollinate flowers of [this quince-pear hybrid] with pollen from various pears, but no fruits were obtained. I did not attempt to pollinate with quince pollen, though that might offer a better chance of success.

The character of the ovules, six in each locule, arranged in two series of three, one superposed upon the other, seems to bring [this hybrid] nearer to Cydonia (quince) than to Pyrus (pear).”

The Journal of Heredity (1916), Pyronia, article by Dr. L. Trabut, Botanist of the Government of Algeria


Hybrid between Quince and Apple



This picture was taken from a Czech site, from a breeding research program, with the title "Cydomalus" and caption "Malus domestica x Cydonia oblonga ".

"Slightly more than 50% of the F2 seedlings were found to be allotriploids (3x = 2n = 51), the rest were found to be tetraploids (4x = 2n = 68). Most of the allotriploids resembled quince morphologically. All these plants formed only single-flowered inflorescences and set mostly seedless quince-type fruits. About 15% of the allotriploids displayed apple-like characters and had seedless fruit with intermediate taste. Inflorescences of this group had up to five flowers, but the majority had two to three flowers. All allotriploids produced slightly viable pollen. Allotetraploid (4x = 2n = 68) hybrids position is intermediate between the diploids and triploids. It mainly consists of large pollen grains of probably diploid (2x = 34) genotype. The other part of pollen is smaller in size, maybe haploid (x = 17), but very small sterile grains also occurred. Germination percentage […] was close to 50%. Fruits were flat-rounded, yellow with dense pulp, containing normally developed seeds (up to 25), most which germinated well. "

The paper went on to say that for the F3 generation has been grown on its own roots but after 10 years of age they had not produced fruits. Not surprising, since genetic incompatibilities can often not show up until the third generation.

The paper gives a description of an apple-like triploid hybrid: “Fruits ripen at the end of June to July. The fruit weight varies from 120 to 320 g. Skin colour is yellow, sometimes a little pink on the sunny side. Flesh is yellowish, juicy, sour-sweet”

"Genotypic variation in apple × quince progenies", I.S. Rudenko and I.I. Rudenko. Progress in Temperate Fruit Breeding, Volume 1 of the series Developments in Plant Breeding, pp 229-233


Hybrid between Apple and Pear

In the 1980’s Max Zwintzscher was the first to report obtaining a fertile F2 plant from an F1 hybrid between Malus domestica and Pyrus communis. This was seen as a big breakthrough.



1507
The latest reports have shown that apples tend to be more adaptable to lower-chill areas than was previously thought. A field test by Tom Spellman of Dave Wilson Nursery showed that several apple varieties rated for 800 chill hours could grow just fine in Irvine (located in coastal Southern California, which only gets 50-100 real chill hours). The following apple varieties did surprisingly well: King Tompkins, Braeburn, Gravenstein, Cox's Orange Pippin. The trees tended to flower and set fruit throughout the year rather than a specific season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiEEHRfAEWY


The results might have had something to do with the fact that the coastal influence has a moderating effect on temperature, and in the winter it rarely ever gets above 65 F in this region, higher temperatures being very detrimental to effective chill accumulation. In other words, the same moderating influence that prevents there from ever being any chill hours below 45 F may be, paradoxically, the same influence that allows the trees to grow well even in the absence of chill hours below 45 F.

1508
While France is famed for its quince, I would not think you would find the quince that is suitable for eating raw there. From what I've heard, the softest least astringent varieties come from the area around the Black Sea (in Russia, and maybe to a lesser extent Turkey) and in Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru). Climate also makes a big difference, quince ripens most fully in warm climates with long summer heat, that's when the quince will become its softest, most aromatic, least astringent, and sweetest. The south of France is certainly not a bad place to grow quince, but it's not as good as somewhere like Mexico.

Probably the best one out of the ordinary varieties for trying to eat raw, and the one I suspect you have eaten, is "Orange" quince. While it's not terrible for eating raw, it's not as palatable as Aromatnaya (Russian variety from the Black Sea). Karp's Sweet (which originated from the Majes valley in Peru) is supposed to be on a whole different level, very close to the level of a Granny Smith apple, when it's at its best (grown somewhere like Southern California or Mexico). 

1509
Figs, Quince, and Pomegranate grow very well where you live.

You might also try a Lychee tree.

There's not enough room here but I would encourage you to do some research into these fruits.

Fresh pomegranates can make excellent juice (tastes far better than the pomegranate juice at the store). You need to know the proper technique to cut open the fruits and efficiently take out the arils inside without making mess. After being separated out, the arils are then pressed for their juice. This is the best way to make the juice, otherwise both the white rind and/or the hard seeds contained inside the edible arils can impart an off-flavor. The juice should then be drunk within a few days, or frozen to preserve the fresh flavor. From this you may be able to get some idea why the pomegranate juice sold at supermarkets does not taste so wonderful.

Lychees have the aroma of roses. The only reason everyone doesn't know about them and love them is because they do not ship fresh very well and are perishable (they can easily develop a bad sour off-flavor if they've been sitting around too long).

Another recommendation, a seedless Satsuma mandarin (i.e. "tangerine") tree. A note about the flavor, the first year the flavor can be a little insipid, but the flavor gradually improves after a few years, reaching peak flavor at around 12-20, maybe even 25 years old. At their best, and picked right off the tree, this fruit is unbelievable! You won't be able to stop eating them. The tree produces around December and makes great gifts to give away in bags to family members.

1510
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: What's bothering my cherry tree?
« on: October 21, 2016, 06:38:46 PM »
In the hot dry climate where you live, that cherry tree definitely needs a bigger pot to give the root system more access to moisture in the soil. Otherwise it will dry out. Also make sure you are using the type of soil that will retain water well (loamy soil, I recommend compost with a small amount of thick wood chips in there, not redwood chips; decaying wood can act as a sponge for water).

Most likely, Stella will rarely ever produce fruit in zone 10. For Lapins, I have read reports that the fruit production in zone 10 will be off and on, typically producing every other year, though the crops are not that big.

I am growing a Bing, just as an experiment. It may never produce fruit here, but it seems to be growing pretty good and it already put out 11 blossoms in its second year. Might have to graft on a different variety if it doesn't produce fruit by 5 years. Though I did see in another forum someone (close to where I live) got 12 cherries from an ultra-dwarf Bing in a pot, which was encouraging.

One word of advice I can give you, which I think will be very helpful, move the pot under partial shade during both the Winter (December to the beginning of February) and during the Summer (middle of May to the beginning of September). In Winter this will help increase the effective amount of chill accumulation the plant experiences, while in Summer it will help prevent the leaves from getting dried out and baked in the scorching sun. In my experience, cherry tree leaves are not able to handle intense sun in hot dry conditions as well as other stone fruit trees (sweet cherry originates from another part of the world with a more northerly temperate climate). Trying to grow cherry in climate zone 10 can be just as challenging (maybe more) as many other kinds of tropical fruit here.


1511
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Love the Fig
« on: October 21, 2016, 06:26:29 PM »
I have had zero luck with figs in So. Fla. I gave up and pulled them all.
Strange, they're one of the few fruits that pretty much grows like weeds in Southern California.

1512
Is anyone here growing 'Karp's Sweet' Quince? (It's supposedly the best variety for eating raw, but only when grown in warm climates like Southern California)

I have a tree but it has not produced fruits yet. And I haven't heard any updates from anyone else about this variety for several years.
Anyone growing it and can comment on the fruit?


By the way, if you're in a more northern climate, the best varieties are probably Krimskaya and Aromatnaya, the latter of which is a bit softer but not as good flavor.

Quince has an amazing aroma, for those of you who may not know, and the flavor of the raw fruit is unique. Of course, quince is usually dense, spongy, and most often too astringent to eat raw. It's important to point out though that some varieties are better than others in this regard, and the level of ripeness which the fruit attains can make a big difference. Trying to eat raw quince is not for everyone, but supposedly the variety Karp's Sweet could change all that. In Latin American countries quince is typically sliced very thin and served with a chili vinegar sauce with crushed peanuts. I also think the quinces grown in Latin American countries tend to be less astringent than the traditional normal American varieties, but that could just be the warmer climate. It's hard to know since quince in Latin America are very often heirloom varieties grown from seed.

1513
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Top 5 banana varieties
« on: October 19, 2016, 10:33:06 PM »
'Pisang Ceylon' is a type of Mysore banana, and is regarded by many expert banana connoisseurs as their favorite tasting variety, in part because it has those fruity tropical flavors they are looking for.

I'm growing one in zone 10 California and it is doing great.

1514
The store is in Singapore.

It is possible to grow Mangosteen in San Diego, near the Southern California coast, but the seedlings need to spend the first five or so years of their life inside a humid greenhouse, and after that they need to be covered with shade cloth, especially during the summer. They require constant attention to make sure they are always kept adequately watered, and it is important to choose a type of soil that retains water well. The spot where it is planted is very important, ideally up against a south-facing brick wall, in a spot it will stay warm in the winter, but also surrounded in close proximity by other plants, that will help filter out some of the sunlight and help increase the humidity level a little bit in that spot. For example, perhaps right behind and a little bit to the side of a banana plant. A nearby pool of water would probably also help. They cannot survive in full sun in this climate, but it is still important to choose a warm spot. Surrounding plants also help moderate the temperature, helping to prevent it from getting too hot or too cold.

If it's in a pot, bring it inside a greenhouse from late December until February (talking about San Diego here). Growing in a pot, the plant is more vulnerable to temperature extremes. Despite what many people often seem to think, growing in a pot is not the same as growing in the ground, the plant has a less extensive root system and therefore less access to moisture, and the soil in which the roots are growing is also more exposed to the outside air as well.

Another possible idea could be to grow Fukugi (Garcinina subelliptica), getting it to a good size, and later graft Mangosteen onto that. Fukugi is commonly grown as an ornamental in Okinawa. According to this article, the grafting success rate for mangosteen onto Fukugi was 11%, while mangosteen onto mangosteen rootstock was 68%. They say that Fukugi is not recommended as mangosteen rootstock because its grafted seedlings grew slower than seedlings with mangosteen rootstock.
http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=ID1999001088

1515
Tropical Fruit Discussion / different Mangosteen variety called 'mesta'
« on: October 07, 2016, 04:14:54 AM »
" Forty-nine Garcinia  species have been recorded in Malaysia (Whitemore 1973), and 30 of these species have edible fruit, of which G. mangostana  is the most important one producing round fruit with slightly flat distal ends and naturally seeded, referred commonly as "manggis". The other less common type of mangosteen, known as "Mesta", produces obovoid fruit with slightly pointed distal ends (found in Pahang and Sabah, Malaysia) have very thick mesocarp and are mostly seedless or have undeveloped seed. "

http://www.itfnet.org/contents/fruit/fruitInfo/html/trdLevel1511.html




The "mesta" variety is extremely close in appearance to the regular "manggis" mangosteen variety, at first glance a bit hard to differentiate.



also from the same previous article:

" Technically, the so-called "seeds" are not true seeds they are adventitious embryos, or hypocotyl tubercles, in as much as there has been no sexual fertilization. Because the seed does not arise from fertilization, genetic variation was thought to be almost non-existent. Since the seed arises from the cell wall of the female flower and is effectively a clone of the mother tree, the seedling has her genes intact and unchanged for generation after generation. Several experiments have been conducted taking advantage of the most current DNA and RNA analysis techniques and it turns out that there is significant variation globally amongst the different populations of the mangosteen. There is a large proportion that has essentially the same genetic make-up (genotype) but there are significant numbers that do not. "

So slightly different varieties of Mangosteen (G. mangostana ) are known to exist.

" Here’s more info on the Mangosteen we eat which is Garcinia mangostana – referred to as the Queen of Fruits. It is thought that mangosteens we eat originate from a natural hybridisation of two species Garcinia malaccensis and G. hombrioniana. It is quite surprising that the mangosteen reproduces from seeds which are not fertilised (a phenomenon called apomixis). This means that the mangosteens we eat are genetic clones of the first natural hybrids. But there are variations that occur in the mangosteen so it is plausible that the mangosteen arose from different hybridisations and not from one. One such cultivar is given the cultivar name ‘Mesta’ (so in full it would be Garcinia mangostana ‘Mesta’. You will find it in some mangosteen shops being sold as Japanese mangosteens. These have a “sharp pointed bottom” as described in the blog i eat i shoot i post. (Botanical term for such a shape – obovoid). This particular cultivar has very tiny seeds so it feels like it is seedless! "

https://lovemacritchie.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/10-amazing-plants-in-our-macritchie-forest/



" Another gem that you can find at 818 Durians is their very special “Japanese” Mangosteens. If they are available, make sure you grab a bag. These Mangosteens are easily recognized by their sharp, pointed bottoms as compared to the usual Mangosteens which are round. The flesh is crisp, sweet and tangy and amazingly, there the seeds are so small that most of them are edible! I found that you might get one seed that you would need to spit out in every Mangosteen you split open! It’s the best Mangosteens I have ever come across! "

In regular mangosteens, often some of the fleshy white segments inside of regular rind do not contain seed. These segments tend to be much smaller, but also make for a more enjoyable eating experience. In rare cases a mangosteen fruit may not contain any seed. The best Mangosteen fruits are those with the highest number of stigma lobes, which indicate the highest number of fleshy segments and the fewest seeds. The number of stigma lobes and the number of fleshy segments always match. The rare mangosteen variety 'mesta' typically only has 2 to 3 hard seeds, so the fruit is relatively seedless.

In the pictures you can see the shape of the mesta variety is a little bit oblong, compared to the regular variety, with a more pointed tip. Fruits are slightly smaller and the exterior rind a little thicker.

The mesta variety is grown in Pahang and Sabah, Malaysia.


Mangosteen may not be a true species

There is some evidence to support a theory that Mangosteen may actually be a result of a cross between two other Garcinia species. This would explain the unusual fact that Mangosteen seeds appear only to result from asexual means.

http://www.mangosteen.com/Sciencenonscienceandnonsense.htm

Mangosteen is very unusual in that it grows true from seed, 100% genetically identical, since the "seeds" are actually adventitious embryos (or hypocotyl tubercles). The species Mangosteen is olbligate agamospermous (seeds only form asexually). However, all other Garcinia species only propagate seed via sexual reproduction (having separate male and female flowers on the same plant).

You might be inclined to think therefore that all Mangosteen trees in existence would be genetically identical, but this was found not to be true. A genetic study showed that some mangosteen lineages had a small amount of genetic variation, while a small number had as much as a 22-31% variation. This suggests that the original mangosteen lineage could have been crossbred at some point with another Garcinia species, possibly resulting in hybrid lineages capable or sexual reproduction (that have now been lost) that could then have been repeatedly backcrossed with mangosteen.

Mangosteen fruit has been cultivated for at least 500 years, perhaps several thousand years, in what is today Indonesia. There is one theory that the fruit might actually have first been domesticated in Thailand, although it was not native to this range.

I will also point out that a similar situation exists for the rare Wood's Cycad, Encephalartos woodii, in which there are no surviving females of the species, although some speculate this could be evidence that Wood's Cycad might have just been a localized natural hybrid between E. natalensis and E. ferox, as it is naturally possible for the cycad to propagate clonally through offshoots.

Domesticated mangosteen is probably mostly, or entirely, descended from the wild species Garcinia Malaccensis.

The following link says researchers had previously mistook another species G. penangiana for G. malaccensis (an easy mistake to make because many of these wild species are so obscure and bear a similar resemblance) and that this error added confusion for some time as to what the true origins of mangosteen may have been.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10722-014-0097-2

It's also quite possible 'mesta' could simply just be a sport of mangosteen (i.e. a clonal mutation).



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