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Messages - Epicatt2

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Wish that I'd known.  Mine at six feet tall shot out three flower/fruit inflorescences about two months ago.

I didn't have any use for them so just cut them off and discarded.

If it fruits again I'll post on here to advise.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Banana cultivar availability . . . . ?
« on: September 21, 2023, 04:43:42 PM »
Just was looking for a couple banana cultivars on Going Bananas of Homestead's website and noticed that they no longer do any mailouts of product.  Apparently they are only cash & carry now.

So where should one look for a decent selection of banana cultivars here in Florida that do ship?  Or is it mostly a scatter-shot effort?

Ssuggestions welcomed . . . .


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Best Cinnamon Species
« on: September 17, 2023, 10:37:18 PM »
Cassia cinnamon is the problem one because it contains a significant amount of coumarin so that anyone taking blood thinners like Warfarin should not use a lot of cassia cinnamon.

Ceylon (or True) Cinnamon OTOH, has a negligible amount of coumarin so it is safe to use in such cases.  Ceylon cinnamon also has a slightly sweeter taste than cassia cinnamon.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Article Re-Post on COFFEE research . . .
« on: September 17, 2023, 08:45:27 PM »

Gentle TFF Members,

Coffee is a tropical crop/product and so of interest to some of us TTF members on here who grow it.  That coffee may soon be going provide us with certain unexpected medical benefits should make this article from the Tico Times, a Costa Rican online newspaper, very interesting to some of our TFF members.  So despite it being not directly on-topic to TFF, I have included it here below for those who may be interested.     –Paul M.
-  -  -  -  -

Beyond the Bean: Costa Rica’s Coffee Antibiotic Breakthrough

Researchers from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) have shed light on an unexpected potential of a coffee by-product, coffee mucilage.

Historically overlooked, this substance has demonstrated significant antimicrobial properties, building on the already known ability of certain coffee components to inhibit bacterial growth.  [ snip ]

[The rest of this Tico Times article is available at the link below for anyone interested in it.]

Comments, anyone?

Also received the 'Betty #1' cuttings today, and in fine shape.

Now one of those 'stupid questions' although not so much stupid for me or for any other novice wanting to start a fig from cuttings:

I notice that these cutting arrived wrapped.  Should that wrap be left on or removed (partially or completely) before planting the cuttings?

I've snooped around online and am guessing that any good commercial potting mix should be suitable.

I'm wanting to be successful in helping out with this fig trial.

Suggestions for starting these cuttings the best way would be welcomed.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 12, 2023, 09:26:26 PM »
Yet another perspective:

There are those who might shoot a fruit thief, but not to kill.

A shotgun loaded with rock-salt could be a memorable reminder to lay off nabbing fruit uninvited.

That actually was a not too uncommon remedy for this sort of thing some decades back.  It seemed to work.

Just sayin'

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mango Thief Caught
« on: September 12, 2023, 02:18:31 AM »
Put up a prominent sign that reads 'Pesticides In Use' or something of the like. [snip]

How about a big notice that reads:  SNAKE SANCTUARY

Just sayin' . . .

Paul M.

How about 'MEXICOLA' (not 'Mexicola Grande') which grows to about 15ft tall?

My 'Mexicola Grande' is about 18ft tall after four years and is supposed to grow up to 25ft.  I do prune it back to about 8ft, but then it jumps back up to 14ft or higher fairly quickly.  It seems more upright than spreading.

A 'Mexicola' with a mature hight of 15ft might be a better sized tree for you unless you are wanting something that stays really really short.  (My 'Mexicola' (not 'Grande') also looks to be going to be more upright than spreading.)

And BTW both of these two are very cold tolerant, and are part of the Mexican race of avocados.

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Need a Few Members for New Fig Trial
« on: September 09, 2023, 01:07:25 PM »
PM sent for trial.



'Garnet' order arrived in good condtion and promptly!

I have seldom seen so much of two big plants come out of so small a box!  (But hey, that's a good thing!!)


Paul M.

I suspect that it'll be a decent tasting pineapple if it is beng grown in Costa Rica.

When I lived there ten years ago I'd buy piñas stacked up in the back of pickup trucks parked around side streets in Alajuela at 2 for about US$3 that were fragrant, perfectly ripe, and of course totally scrumptious.

The closest thing to those tico piñas that I can find in Florida are the jet-fresh Dole pinapples at Publix for about $6 each.

Anyway, as to these new Del Monte pinapples, we shall see.

Paul M.

Found this blurb in the "Tico Times", a Costarrican Online Newspaper and thought that it might be of interest on some level to our TFF members:

The Del Monte Zero pineapple, grown exclusively in Costa Rica by Fresh Del Monte has become a finalist in the New Launch category of the 2023 World Sustainability Awards, to take place this coming October in Amsterdam. This category highlights innovative products or services unveiled in the past year that have an instantaneous positive societal effect.

What makes Del Monte’s Zero unique? “This pineapple is the world’s first to achieve carbon neutral certification,” noted Michael Calderon, a Del Monte spokesman. “The accolade signifies a harmonious equilibrium between emitted greenhouse gases and proactive endeavors, and constant monitoring of our transportation fleet’s emissions to minimize the carbon footprint”. Other areas contributing to the nomination showed the company has curtailed greenhouse gases by a whopping 22.64%, purchased six new fuel-efficient transportation vessels and initiated renewable solar and wind energy installations in California and Costa Rica."

(Source: TicoTimes)

¡Pura Vida!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: "Nelita" Starting To Ripen - Photo
« on: September 05, 2023, 11:07:51 PM »
[ snip ] My fruiting E. calycina is very insipid. Nowhere near as tasty as my COTRG. I have some Nelita seedlings, but they're small plants. Hopefully they'll be tasty.

You've got me to wondering now about E. calycina (and also the cultivar, Nelita).  I bought a bunch of E. calcyna three years ago and they recently got moved up into 3gal pots and jumped up right away and have gotten bushy and are now about 2-1/2 ft tall.  (Haven't seen any flowers on 'em but my pitangatubas the same size have bloomed a little and set a couple fruit already.)

So . . . . Are there individuals of E. calcyna which produce tastier fruit and others that have not-so-tasty fruit, just like other kinds of fruit do?

Curious for input from other TFFers who've tried different E. calcyna . . .


Paul M.

Since this guava seems to have been developed in California (and for California) I am wondering, would this cultivar adapt well to our more humid Florida conditions?

If so will it eventually be approved for Florida or is it restricted?

Just wondering.

Paul M.

PM sent.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Hurricane Idalia
« on: August 30, 2023, 02:52:19 AM »
Idalia is squeaking past west central Florida except for the Gulf coastline areas of the state which have been evacuated ahead of potential storm surges.

Rght now at about 3am here in Tampa we're inland far enough from the Gulf (and the center oof Idalia) that we are just getting a lot of (needed) rain and intermittently, off-and-on, blustery breezes which are alternating with quiet spells. There's more rain to come, though before daybreak. (I hear some thunder in the distance.)

Keeping fingers X-ed for those folks in the Florida Big Bend area where Idalia tom'w is expected to make landfall WED morning.  Hoping that they all heeded the storm surge warnings and cleared out.

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mealy Bugs and Fire Ants
« on: August 29, 2023, 11:53:28 PM »
I found that an Imidacloprid (systemic granules) broadcast and watered in well, while it did not directly bother the ants in any way it did kill the scales and the meailes –after which the ants finally moved on.

Had to repeat the Imidacloprid treatment every three months or sooner depending on how much rain we got cuz the ants would return to farm pests but the Imidacloprid did work each time.  After about two years the ants seemed to finally give up and did not showp up again.

This may or may not be your cuppa tea but it was the only thing that worked for me.

Just sayin' . . .

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: People's Court for mango
« on: August 20, 2023, 03:54:20 AM »
The only thing I ever heard from my wife is you have too many effing trees.  The place looks like a jungle.  Of course, it never looked like a jungle.  That was the old house.  Now I have to deal with an HOA board that says we don't allow new fruit trees!  (Far worse.)

Mayhap the answer could be –as a way to to thwart the HOA– to plant smaller/dwarf fruiting trees that can be kept trimmed into hedges or topiaries (and still give you fruit) —so the HOA won't realize it, or at least not until it's too late!

OK  —  HTH

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kent mango with green skin . . . .
« on: August 16, 2023, 01:48:21 PM »
Thanx for the helpful advice on the Kents' color versus ripness.

I'll keep testing for softening AND of course for the odor continuing to develop.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Kent mango with green skin . . . .
« on: August 16, 2023, 02:20:09 AM »
I recently wrote that I bought two mangoes from a Publix here in Tampa.  The stickers code them to Kent.

One is greenish-yellow  (mostly yellow) with a nice red blush on its cheek.  Ther other is mostly with a dark green skin and a slight red blush.  Both are hard but just starting to soften, but only very slightly.  And both are heavy weighting about two pounds each.

Oddly the dark green skinned one has more mango odor thatn the greenish-yellow one.

Is it possible that the one with the dark green skin could ripen and be edible ahead of the greenish-yellow one?

They both still need a few more days to soften up a bit more, but to know if they are ripe should I go more on softness or on smell?

Advice welcomed . . . . .


Paul M.

I couldn't get 'em to grow in Tampa zone 9b.  I don't think they liked the heat.

So, maybe there are some cultivars that will do well here with all the heat but I don't know which ones they are.

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Garcinias in shade.... Eugenias, too???
« on: August 14, 2023, 02:51:40 AM »
Thanks for the useful observations, booeyschewy and cassowary!

[ snip ] Grumixama does well in partial shade.

Planted my grumixama where it gets full sun just over half of the day but is shaded by the neighbor's large oak tree after about 1pm.  It seems really happy with this arrangement and is growing well.  It is about five feet tall and just as wide, and has flowered several years now but has never set any fruit.  It's five or six years old. 

I have bought a smaller unrelated grumi that is large enough (2 ft tall) to flower and planted it about four feet away.  Hoping that this second plant when the two grumis flower next to each other may encourage some fruit set.

Lots of the ultratropicals from pluvial forests won't survive the first years without shade for example cacao relatives, clove, juçara (açaí relative), many garcinias, Brazil nut, Guaraná, etc.

Can anyone please suggest some of the Garcinia species more frequently seen here in Florida 9b that prefer shade during their early years? 

Would that perhaps include G. hombroniana (syn. G. celebica)?  The only others that I'm trying are Luc's, G. intermedia and G. humilis and they're still small and have been mostly kept in shade; perhaps too much shade.

Advice welcomed . . . .

Paul M.
Tampa — 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Can you ID this mango?
« on: August 13, 2023, 01:03:30 AM »
I also just bought two mangoes, mine from Publix here in Tampa.  They look pretty much identical to the photo in the OP's initial post startng this thread, and one of mine has a label with code that indicates 'Kent or other large red mango'.

They are both still very hard though, and one has a strong red blush but it is greenish-yellow. The other has a red blush but the rest of that fruit is very dark green, so not so near to ripe/edible as my other one.

I am guessing that they both are going to need to sit and soften for a few days before they are ready to cut and eat.  Also I'm guessing that they should start to emit some mango-y odor as they get closer to being ready to eat.  Right now I don't smell 'mango' from them.

Advice, please . . . . pretty please!

Paul M.
TampA – 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Garcinias in shade.... Eugenias, too???
« on: August 12, 2023, 08:51:32 AM »
The Garcinias I know from here in Brazil are all shade loving forest species. They actually grow taller in extremely shaded conditions and less in full sun. They rise from he forest floor across a decade or so before fruiting. My false mangosteen and true mangosteen seem to act the same and it’s all a similar climate (equatorial pluvial forest). This is a feature of the garcinias because you can plant them together with other big trees and they’ll happily grow.

The recent thread mentioning that Garcinias tend to like some shade is interesting and illuminating (no pun intended).

This has prompted me to wonder whether much the same may apply to certain Eugenia species, and if so which ones in particular.

I'm sure that there are TFF members growing various Eugenia species who can comment on whether they seem to do better when provided more shade, or.....?

Some shade is surely inportant for many tropicals, especially with the intense heat and strong sun that so many of us have been experiencing this season.  [whew!]

Comments invited!

Paul M.
Tampa — 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Surinam Cherry - Taste
« on: August 12, 2023, 08:34:37 AM »
I assumed all the black ones tasted like cherry and the red ones were resinous, but now I've read that there are red and orange one's that are good. I've never tasted one before, but I'm a fan of actual cherries and hoped the black ones would rival them. [ snip ]

That refrigerator chilling trick does help a lot.  But it is also really important that your suriname cherries be fully ripe when picked to minimize or eliminate the resinous taste.


Paul M.

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