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Messages - David H

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Jose,  There should be some good books available  there on this topic,giving detailed information.   The best here are those by Kevin Handreck, a CSIRO scientist who did  decades of work on growing media.  A couple of critical points are the air-filled porosity of the mix, and the ratio between organic and inorganic, non-decomposable components.  His books give an explanation of how to test the air-filled porosity.  (It's not difficult. I haven't checked, but there probably are videos available on the procedure ).  For a long- term mix, you need a minimum of 20% . (The air- filled porosity decreases over time,and the rate of decrease is greatly affected by the ratio of organic to  inorganic components. )    Handreck's work showed
that  for a long-term mix, the inorganic components (sand, gravel, scoria, pumice,perlite  ) should be a minimum of 70% of the mix.

 Re. Fairchild mango : This is from "Register of New Fruit & Nut Varieties. 2nd edition. " by Brooks and Olmo.

Orig. in Balboa Heights, Canal Zone, by the Canal Zone Exp.Gardens.  Introd. about 1929.  Selected sdlg. from seeds introd. into U.S. as P.I. 11654 by Dr. David Fairchild from Saigon, Cochin China.

I'm not sure if the tree of M. odorata here is correctly a "kuini." According to Kostermans book, there are different selections of M.odorata with different names. (He spells the most common form "Kweni " )   The one here was brought back by David Chandlee, who spent some time looking for the best M.odorata he could find,and  this one was supposed to be the best that he found.  Also, I should be more specific with the flower description . The dominant colour of the inflorescence of this one is red,but I don't think the individual florets were red.   I did take a photo of it in flower,but I'd have to find it ,then try to figure out how to post it here. Too much  time.

I guess this is pedantry, but I'll just note here that  Kostermans in his book "The Mangoes",is quite emphatic that Mangifera odorata is a species, and not a hybrid of M.foetida and M. indica, as some posts on this website claim.  He gives detailed reasons for that , if anyone is interested.

Gone tropo,
                 Whatever you like. I wouldn't get too hung up about what species the tree is. Except when it's in flower,the  kuini tree is just like a mango tree with clean leaves.  No disease on the leaves here. If you have space for a mango tree, it's probably your best bet. A high chance that it would fruit there.  I could send a
couple of fruit when it fruits next if you like, to see if you like the fruit.  Certainly in the rich-flavoured category.   After durian, it could be a little odour-deficient, though. Probably better to graft on indica to reduce the tree size a bit.

 Gone Troppo,
                    Of those that Steph mentions,we have Fairchild, M. casturi, and M.odorata. All over 35 years.  The kuini is the most disease resistant for us, completely clean fruit,bears well every couple of years, very pretty tree in flower, flowers v.well,with large panicles of red, scented flowers.  The casturi should be suitable for you, but it's out of its zone here. (1,000 metres altitude ) Grafted on indica, very healthy tree, but I haven't seen a single flower.   Fairchild is a small, healthy,dense
tree,and bears very clean fruit as well.   Articles on the internet will tell you that it is from Panama, but David Fairchild collected the seed from fruit he ate in Saigon, and sent them to the U.S. research station in Panama.  So it's a Vietnamese cultivar. We have four other Vietnamese cultivars. Fairchild is the most disease resisitant of them. The seeds of  Fairchild that I've opened were mainly mono,a couple were poly. Probably safer to graft it.    Kuini is poly.  I can send
seed of Kuini when it fruits next,or you can collect some scions of them if you're up this way sometime.  Fairchild has small fruit,but fibreless and well-flavoured. I like the kuini as well, but probably too strong-flavoured for some. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Monstera deliciosa
« on: November 09, 2022, 04:19:45 PM »
The calcium oxalate crystals aren't a problem if you know how to eat them. (info above on that ).   Don't eat too much at one time,as it is a laxative.  They grow easily from cuttings, not really necessary to air layer.  I like them.  Also completely pest free here, and have had no problems with animals or birds
eating the fruit ,unless you let them ripen on the plant.   Best picked when the basal scales have some yellow visible between them ,easy to see with a bit of experience with the plant.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 10b (south florida) perennial staple foods
« on: September 08, 2022, 08:14:31 PM »
 Thanks, pagnr.  Yes, I did know that.    It's my fault for being too brief with my comment.     When I said " not sure " what I really meant was that it was
presumptuous of the earlier  people cultivating the  species here to rename it ,as it already had a name, and had been cultivated by the Peruvians for how many thousands of years. That could have called it Peruvian Arrowroot if they wanted to relay the similarity of the use of the tuber to Arrowroot.
Anyway, that's just my opinion, and thanks for the link.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 10b (south florida) perennial staple foods
« on: September 08, 2022, 07:32:01 PM »
pagnr,   This one has white flesh, with some purple speckling through it in some of the root tubers.  Some were white only.

Re. the Achira (Canna edulis), the red-leaved form has nicely marked leaves.  The fellow at has info. on extracting the starch if you want to dry it.   He lists it under Queensland Arrowroot (Canna indica ).  It's native to the Andes, though,so I'm not sure how it got that name.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 10b (south florida) perennial staple foods
« on: September 08, 2022, 05:12:45 PM »
We harvested our first plant of Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorhiza )  recently,12 months after planting. The replanting is simple, there are a lot of stem tubers at the surface.
Very good flavour,used like a potato.   It grows in South Florida as well,according to Eric Toensmeier  ,author of " Perennial Vegetables " .  It was very easy to grow here. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 10b (south florida) perennial staple foods
« on: September 07, 2022, 10:39:27 PM »
Achira. (Canna edulis )

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Grow pots for dwarf citrus
« on: August 24, 2022, 06:13:54 PM »
Some potting mixes,particularly if there is a high percentage of peat, can be difficult to rewet if they dry out.  Application of a soil wetting agent,either in granular or liquid form, about once a year, should fix it. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Denzler white sapote
« on: June 09, 2022, 09:55:57 PM »
Reedo, I remember giving some info. on our climate in a comment a while back. I've just had a look.  it was my comment number four,so you can read that
if you want.  We imported a lot of Casimiroa cultivars from California, Florida, and N.Z.   back in the 1980 s.   If you or your friend find Denzler does well in your region, and you like the fruit,that's all you need to know.  The cultivar that does the best for us here is a local selection, so it's not much help to you.
All the best.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Denzler white sapote
« on: June 09, 2022, 08:47:25 PM »
We have a Denzler tree about 100 metres from other cultivars,and it fruits heavily.  I don't eat the fruit.  Half a fruit makes me nauseous.  The worst cultivar by far flavour-wise, IMO.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangifera Pentandra (Mempalam)?
« on: April 24, 2022, 11:18:35 PM »
A few excerpts from Kostermans on M. pentandra if it's any help.
Tree: up to 28m. tall and 90cm dbh. . Crown wide,massive with drooping gnarled thick limbs.
Distribution: In the Malay Peninsula,a formerly common village tree,more rare in North Borneo,perhaps also in Thailand. Wet,evergreen tropical forest,lowlands.
Fruit : oblong,7.5-10 x 5-6.5 cm,green at maturity,rather fragrant,pulp watery,pale orange,sweet,not very fibrous,in young fruit no visible beak Seed small.oblong, 4-5 x 3-3.5 x 1.5-2 cm.flattened with deep furrows and few short fibres.
Notes : In general habit it resembles M. indica but the conspicuous leaf reticulation makes it easy to distinguish.but should not be mistaken for that of M.odorata. The very dense indumentum of the panicles is outstanding.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mangifera Mempalam?
« on: April 24, 2022, 07:28:54 PM »
 "Mempalam" is a an Indonesian word for "Mango".   I've just checked Kosterman's " The Mangoes",and there is no listing for a Mangifera mempalam.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Your 2021 Rainfall totals
« on: December 30, 2021, 11:55:09 PM »
!,404 mm. for 2021 (average is 1200}  197mm for Dec. (average is 130 )
We are 60kms in a direct line from the sea , and due west of Mourilyan,near Innisfail.   Innisfail's average is 3.550 mm. We are at 915 metres (about 3,000 feet) altitude,
you can start to seee the range of microclimates there are in a relatively short distance.  About 5 kms due east of us the rainforest starts,and it was once all
rainforest from there to the sea. We live in a block of tall wet sclerophyll forest (sclerophyll means 'hard leaves') and the forest trees are almost all myrtaceous
species ( Eucalyptus, Angophora, Lophostemon)(plus Allocasuarina ) . Sorry,back to the climate. To giive you an idea of the range of microclimates here,just 4kms east of us the winter -spring rainfall is too high to grow mangos succesfully,yet we have plenty of mangos every year,with no spraying.
One intersting climate-related fact :  Two days ago,we had a wet,cloudy day. (95mm ). The minimum temperature was 18 C, the maximum was 21 C.
That's in the middle of summer here.  Then I read that somewhere in Alaska on that day, in the middle of winter there,had a record maximum of 19.4 C.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: basalt
« on: August 12, 2021, 06:29:33 PM »
Triphal is closest to the main reason that basaltic soils are far more fertile than granitic soils.   Igneous rocks (those derived from cooled magma) are from two categories of magma.  The basic or alkaline magma category is higher in Calcium,Magmesium,Iron,Phosphorus. That magma is the source of basalt and gabbro (basalt cooled more quickly,has finer crystaline structure than gabbro,but chemically the same).   The other acidic magma is higher in aluminium content,lower in the other elements mentioned,and is the source of rhyolite and granite. (rhyolite cooled more quickly,has finer crystaline structure)
Gabbro and Granite ,though  derived from chemically different magma,both cooled slowly,have larger crystaline structure,and are classified as Plutonic igneous  riocks.  ( Rhyolite and Basalt are classified as volcanic igneous) .  There would be thousands of cacao or other trees grown successfully in pots without the addition of basalt dust  As long as the required minerals are suuplied to the potting mix,they will be fine.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Why is Mangifera casturi not a mango?
« on: August 02, 2021, 08:17:48 PM »
Kostermans and Bombard's monograph on the Mangifera genus is titled 'The Mangoes '.   They refer to M.indica,as 'common mango',and  'mango' as a term referring to members of the Mangifera genus.   An example from the preface :  ".....will provide information on existing mango species and their value in the common mango  (Mangifera indica ) industry.   Information is provided on mango (Mangifera ) species growing in very dry areas,......."

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jaboticaba 'Black Velvet'
« on: March 24, 2021, 07:59:21 PM »
Thanks,Stevo and Nate. Hopefully if any more info becomes available it can be added here. Interesting that it's probably an undescribed species.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jaboticaba 'Black Velvet'
« on: March 24, 2021, 03:19:47 AM »
Does anyone have information about the 'Black Velvet' Jaboticaba ? Is it a selection of a species,if so what species ? Or if it is a hybrid,are the parents known ?
Sweet? Acidic ? Tree size ? Fruit size ?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pouteria ucuqui
« on: March 14, 2021, 04:29:00 AM »
I'm sure that's right ,Mike T.   No doubt they meant 'similar to avocado in texture'. I can't see a pouteria having a similar oil : sugar ratio as avocado.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pouteria ucuqui
« on: March 14, 2021, 03:45:08 AM »
Pages 249 to 251 of 'Food and Fruit-bearing Forest species . Examples from Latin America "  (FAO ) cover this species. (p.251 is an illustration).
From the 'Main uses ' section :
"When completely mature,the thick fleshy mesocarp of the fruit,which is very similar to avocado,is very pleasant ; however,the fruit contains an extremely sticky,abundant latex when green.The pulp of the fruit can be consumed in natura or as a porrage  which is prepared with'tapioca' or cassava meal over heat
until it boils. This porrage is highly appreciated and has a reputation as a delicious and nutritive food."

I was wanting a smallish sucker of Dwarf Ladyfinger, Rajapuri,and Dwarf Chinese Plantain,sent express post. Can anyone help with any of those ?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Posh-Te on Soursop
« on: February 02, 2021, 04:49:25 PM »
I have grafted A.scleroderma onto A.montana over a year ago. The grafted plant looks very healthy,no sign of incompatability so far.

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