Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Caesar

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 17
Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Re: Which dioscorea is that?
« on: February 15, 2021, 10:51:12 PM »
Looks like batatas (polystachya). The flowers should smell of cinnamon.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: The Official "Blueberry Tree" thread.
« on: February 10, 2021, 05:11:47 PM »
Any news of the Blueberry Tree?

I’ve heard blueberry cuttings are hard to root unless you have a misting system on the root end.

Gonna necro this thread to avoid creating a new one (I didn’t see any more recent threads in my searches).

It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten an email for the various pm’s I receive. That’s troublesome, ‘cause on the occasions where my forum activity dies down (like now, I haven’t been posting much lately), I rely on emails to let me know I should log in to check my messages.

Does anyone else have this problem?


Since my last post in this thread, I've had several more fruit fall from the tree, fully ripened. And my verdict... Highly disappointed.

I tried them almost fresh off the tree as well as several ripening days later, and that chemical smell I mentioned earlier finally made itself potent in the flavor. For my particular palate (and those of my family), it was noxious and foul. Less intense in the fresh fruit vs the extra ripened fruit, I nonetheless found it intolerable to eat, and unpleasant to smell regardless of ripening time. What's worse... I didn't even get to taste the nuts. I couldn't figure out how to get the pulp off without using my teeth (and I really didn't want to use my teeth). I tried boiling and rubbing by hand or by strainer, and it was nearly impossible for even a couple of seeds, let alone several fruit's worth. And the seeds in these first fruits were thinner than expected, so I'm not sure I would've gotten a particularly good yield.

I'm a bit heartbroken over it... This tree was supposed to tide me over until I got some Macadamias up and growing. Am I alone in having an unpleasant experience with this tree? I've tasted Durian (frozen, I might add), and strange though it was, it didn't leave the bad impression that Mocambo did.

Apologies for the delay, it's been a couple of weeks since I opened the pods at the first sign of mold. Neither was ready. The little one had an almost vegetal taste to the pulp, and seeds that burst as liquid if you tried to open them. The bigger one had mild, flavorless pulp and jelly seeds. Both (especially the bigger one) had a strong soursop-like aroma with a potent and disagreeable chemical finish. I'm hoping the pulp of a fully-matured fruit will taste much better than what I had, and better than the aroma would indicate. I also hope that mature seeds have a proper, nut-like consistency and taste. There's still two big fruits left on the tree, so I still have a chance to taste it, and maybe get viable seeds.

Wow, that is a beautiful tree, very architectural! I have a few young ones here in Florida, only 2 feet tall but have some hope they might look so good some day.

It was a fast grower, so I think you won't have to wait long to get some nice-looking trees out of them.

If anyone is selling some i'd love to buy. 

These things are very beautiful.

Oscar was selling when last I checked, a couple of weeks ago. His website's currently closed, but it'll reopen on the 13th. Link:

Congrats! A couple questions, how old is your tree and do you only have one? Reason I ask is because I have one on my property but was wondering if I should put a couple more. Thanks!


I only have one, and am not aware of anyone else having this species in my town. I'm a bit fuzzy on the age, maybe around 6 or 7 years? It spent just under half that time strangled in a 3 gallon pot, with its tip dying off and then re-sprouting at one point (plus a long tap-root that went through the bottom, requiring mounting the pot on some cinder blocks to prevent damage).

Congrats! A couple questions, how old is your tree and do you only have one? Reason I ask is because I have one on my property but was wondering if I should put a couple more. Thanks!


It would probably be prudent to try the fruit before you plant more.  The smell of the fruit can be pretty assertive so it is not for everyone.  I've got a couple; it was probably about 5 years to bear in the Hilo area.

Assertive is putting it mildly. The soursop notes were fine, but the chemical smell was stinking up the kitchen after a while, so I promptly threw the fruit into the compost pile (not just 'cause of the smell, but 'cause it wasn't mature nor edible anyway). I didn't detect anything in the pulp's flavor that reminded me of the smell.

Congrats! Agree with everything Peter said. If the big one starts turning yellow, then it is ripening. Even if it doesn't probably seeds will be ok to germinate. In tropical climate the pods drop and if not gathered will start volunteer plants all around the mother trees. BTW to open it's easiest to crack them against a cement slab. They are very difficult to cut, but are brittle and crack open pretty easily.

Can't wait for the last fruits to drop. Volunteers probably won't be an issue, I'm a nut fiend! Either I plant 'em elsewhere, or I'll eat every last seed.

I actually managed to stick a big ol' kitchen knife into the pod's point and run the blade through the seams. ¿Do they get harder as the mature?

Congratulations my friend! This is a awsome achivement even if this fruit don't get matured.  ;D

Thank you Luis! I've been waiting a long time for this fruit... Would've had a shorter wait if I had stuck it kn the ground soon after arrival. Oh well, you go with what you can.  ;)

Are there more fruits on the tree?
Pataxte fruits fall on their own when they are ready.  At that point the fruit is yellow and could still wait a couple of days to ripen more.  They should smell and the shell needs to be cracked open.
I don’t think anyone can say whether the fruit in the photos could be any good or the seeds be viable.

Thanks for the info. There's at least two more on the tree. I guess I'll wait for these two to turn yellow and smell. If they look like they're about to go bad instead, I'll crack 'em open then. Hopefully the tree will be able to handle the weight of the other two fruits.

Some pictures of P. edulis, screenshots from Taye et. al, and Anteneh Assefa et. al:

My Mocambo tree set fruit for the first time at my Grandmother's house, and I've been waiting for it to ripen. I got some pics of the tree and its fruit over time:

Then a few days ago, I saw a branch had snapped under the weight of one of the fruits. My mother found them on the ground today and brought 'em home.

As can be seen in the pics, one is way too small, but even the bigger one seems under-sized. ¿Will they ripen properly, or will I have to wait more for my first taste? ¿Are the seeds likely to be viable? ¿When should I crack them open? There's no fruity smell, the skin just smells like raw green pigeon peas.

After a long time searching, I finally found the other two Plectranthus potatoes... Or so it seems.

Plectranthus esculentus isn't currently in season, but on inquiry, I was told by the owners that this South African website should have them around August:

They also told me they ship overseas. Another South African website that sells them (but didn't answer my email):

Regarding the more elusive Ethiopian / Oromo Potato... I have a lead. Time will tell if it's accurate or not:

RarePalmSeeds. They're selling one called Plectranthus punctatus subsp. lanatus. Link here:

I went ahead and bought one (together with Vitex doniana and Inocarpus fagifer, fyi). I'm of the impression that P. punctatus lanatus is a synonym for P. edulis, and I really hope that's the case. If not... Then this may be a fourth Potato Mint (there's yet another one, P. parviflorus, but I'm not sure it bears worthwhile yields... It's not domesticated, and there's very little info online).

All of this is assuming RarePalmSeeds has an accurate identification... It may be a misidentified P. rotundifolius, or something else entirely. The picture doesn't look like the photos I've seen for any of the three potato mints. I once bought Dioscorea bulbifera bulbils from them, and ended up with a load of D. alata (not bad as far as crops go, but definitely not what I paid for). I hope their ID is correct this time.

P. rotundifolius is somewhat rounded-leaved, with square tender stems and a tendency toward a prostrate habit when the branches get too heavy (wherever they touch, new tubers form); blue flowers, compact, oval tubers.

P. esculentus has yellow flowers and clusters of long, thin tubers. I think it grows with a more erect habit, but I'm not fully certain. The leaves are long and oval, and I think maybe tomentose (again, not fully certain).

P. edulis also grows erect, and quite tall. Long oval leaves, blue flowers. The tubers seem like they're produced on stolons like Solanum potatoes, and one photo showed them to be weird and segmented (like a large, brown version of a Chinese Artichoke). All these descriptions for the latter two species are second-hand, from what little information I could find online and in the botanical literature, so I have no idea how accurate it is.

With any luck, we'll soon have both species available here.

The Pedalai survived the extreme "topping" I gave it (about a foot off the ground), but as it's growing in the shade of an invasive breadfruit grove, it's starting to take on some height again, it's about 10 feet now, give or take a few inches.

I also lopped off a thick branch, cut it into pieces, scored off the bark at the bottom of the pieces, dipped 'em in hormone and planted them (I did the same with a thick breadfruit sucker, a thin one, and a root piece). I'm not sure I should expect them to grow or rot (I'm not very optimistic about it), but it's a worthwhile experiment. Not much to lose except a bit of rooting hormone, and if it works, I'll get a few extra trees.

Here's a comparison with the Pedalai leaves at the corners and the Breadfruit leaves in the middle. I thought Pedalai leaves were supposed to be rounded. I got my tree from Govardhan Gardens, and I'm wondering if it's a hybrid.

This paper by Dr. David Fairchild would be difficult to find because of a typo in the database. I will try to send this to their attention for correction by the FSHS. I am fortunate to have found this via a search of Brosimum in a Vol. of HUNTIA and noticed a citation.

The Ramon Tree Of The Yucatan (Brosimum alicastrym)

Should be

The Ramon Tree Of The Yucatan (Brosimum alicastrum) by Dr. David Fairchild (1945)

Thanks for the document, I've saved the file.

As I understand these are dioecious (male and female). If you get too many males the wood can be harvested to good effect.

I've set aside 5 trees to plant in the yard of my local basketball park. I'm really hoping they'll be monoecious... Dioecy is the bane of my fruit collecting efforts, and the 50 year wait for a sequential hermaphrodite to switch sexes seems even worse. Just my speculation, but I think the mother tree may have been monoecious... ¿Would that improve my chances? This is the mother tree:

Maya bread nut is native here, called ojoche. I have them in my nursery and I’ve sold a few. They’re not hard to grow but will take years to produce.
The interest is mainly from activist people interested in food security. It’s possible to speak with campesinos here who recall their family using ojoche when they were young but I still haven’t found any local people in CR who still go to the trouble to process it.
Guatemala is another story. In the Peten we spent a day with people who process and use ramon. Friends of mine have guerilla planted ojoche along the buffer of a national park here in an area that it occurs naturally but has probably been harvested for the lumber which has a good reputation.

Food security is my main interest too. I'm trying to gather loads of species for that particular purpose, and Ramón was pretty high on the list. I'm actually doing a bit of Guerilla Gardening myself, but so far I've just planted out Dragonfruit and berries.

I'm taking a local Agroecology course organized by "El Josco Bravo", and one of the professors is from Guatemala. He and the other Prof. recognized it when asked, so I'll be sharing a few of my trees. They said it was very useful, great flour when roasted and ground, good fodder too. A few years' wait is expected with any fruit tree... ¿Do they take even longer than that? If it's less like Artocarpus and more like Mangosteen, I have a long wait ahead of me.

It seems pretty common in Jamaica too. At first I thought they may have been speaking about Breadnut Artocarpus but it is clear enough this is brosimum.

Strange how these close neighbors have it, and it's almost unheard of in Puerto Rico. I think Sadhu Govardhan grows them, but no one else has them here. Even my Agroecology professors, who recognized it, haven't seen it in PR.

I'll have to remember that "Salted Fish" reference when my tree is producing. We usually boil our starchy staples with salted cod.

My seedlings:

I placed an order on ARS GRIN, and received a package of 20 Maya Nut seeds. I bagged 'em with moist peat moss, and once most were sprouting, I passed 'em to some party cups filled with potting soil. They're starting to break the surface now, and it seems most will survive, maybe all 20! It's enough to start a small plantation, but I have no land for them... I'll be planting most around town, and praying that the townsfolk let them live. I'll be keeping an eye out for any differences that might mark a tree as being elite, for breeding purposes.

Anyone here have experience with this species? It's very useful, if the info I've read about it is any indication. I seem to recall one person finding them distasteful and preferring Camansi Nut instead (I referenced this in my Moraceae thread), and someone told them that they were tastiest after boiling in Nixtamal (like buttery mashed potatoes). But when I went to look for this source, I couldn't find it... It was some kind of blog I read years ago, so maybe it was taken down. With all the seeds, I debated boiling a couple, but ultimately decided against it. I did find a couple of YouTube videos that referenced the Nixtamal as a way to remove a thin layer of outer skin from the seed, so that missing source seems to have some basis in fact. I can't wait to get them fruiting, so I can taste them myself.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: The Official "Blueberry Tree" thread.
« on: January 24, 2020, 06:00:14 AM »
2020 is here! What news from the Blueberry Tree?  ;D

The eBay sources posted here all claim edibility, and I think they all ship to Europe.

I have Plectranthus rotundifolius, and am willing to ship. I'm trying to track down P. esculentus, but it's not easy to find. Every online source I've seen so far is just misidentified P. rotundifolius. I haven't checked eBay for Plectranthus lately, but I've seen P. rotundifolius for sale there before, and I think some listings might ship to Europe.

These sources claim edibility for their bulbiferas, and I suspect they would ship to Europe:

This last one is based in Poland. Ask the seller to see if he has any in stock, as I've seen him run out and then have more (he might be selling each bulbil as it matures on the vine).

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kwai Muk (Artocarpus sp.) Varieties
« on: January 06, 2020, 11:39:01 PM »
I have an isolated kwai muk tree that produces nice large fruits on its own and gets loaded with fruits.

I'd still like to try the scions as cuttings, if feasible. I haven't grafted yet, so I'm not very confident in my skills. That productive tree sounds like elite material indeed.
Difficult to start from cuttings, unless you use rooting hormones and mist house.

I'm testing the waters now. Took some cuttings off my own little tree (along with some from my Sterculia quadrifida), scored the bark at the base, dipped the moistened bases in powdered rooting hormone, and stuck 'em in potting soil, covered with a big ziplock bag. I don't expect much, but let's see where this goes.

Please, could you name a source for Dioscorea and  Plecthranthus in Europe?

I'm not aware of any particular source that's actually based in Europe (other than the link provided by Luis, to eBay vendor Lupinaster's D. bulbifera; maybe Luis himself, if he gets a decent crop soon), but I've shipped both genera to Europe before (Portugal & Italy), if you're interested in trying. The shipping can be a bit expensive though (my cheapest package to Portugal was about $15 in shipping).

I'm thinking of going to Vanuatu sometime in the future. If i do and can locate it, then will let you know.
The macnut has a much richer and sweeter taste and softer texture than the kukui (candle) nut here. There are so many thousands of trees here though growing wild that i wouldn't be surprised if some taste better than others. Almost nobody bothers to eat them here because we also have large macadamia plantations. Mostly it's pig food. And they really like them!

Thanks for the comparison. And please keep us posted on the matter, I'm keen to grow and propagate this type. I'm nuts for nuts in general.  ;D

Highly productive pig food, you say? Useful info, duly noted. I'll take this chance to plug an old thread on fruit as fodder:;all

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Anyone growing Rubus glaucous?
« on: January 03, 2020, 01:59:05 PM »
Thank you. Do you know how this Rubus tastes? How is the yeild?

OK thank you. How does Rubus probus taste like? There is a local one I have from South Sudan but the taste is unremarkable.

I have sown my seeds and put them in the fridge for a month or so, and we will see the results in due course.

I have noticed that both R. probus and R. glauca are in Stock with trade wind fruit.

R. rosifolius tastes like a milder version of R. probus (itself tasting like a milder version of domestic red raspberry), but where both are softer than domestic types, R. probus is juicier, and R. rosifolius is mealier. I consider it a decent berry, but it probably won't impress most folks with access to superior berries. If you can only grow one of the two, R. probus is considered superior to R. rosifolius.

Rubus niveus (Mysore Raspberry) is another tropical Bramble, with black raspberry type fruits. I haven't tasted it, so I don't know much about the flavor, but it's usually the first one people recommend.

If you like the domestic types, Caroline, Anne & Bababerry Raspberries grow well enough in the tropics, as do Domestic Black Raspberries. I'm trialling Wild Treasure & Prime Ark Freedom blackberries, and they're showing no signs of succumbing to the heat & humidity.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Kwai Muk (Artocarpus sp.) Varieties
« on: January 03, 2020, 01:37:21 PM »
I have an isolated kwai muk tree that produces nice large fruits on its own and gets loaded with fruits.

I'd still like to try the scions as cuttings, if feasible. I haven't grafted yet, so I'm not very confident in my skills. That productive tree sounds like elite material indeed.

I usually look up A. hypargyreus to find info on this Red Kwai Muk, not the common name. Botanical names tend to bring me more relevant info than common names, even when misapplied. I consider myself a stickler for correct nomenclature, but that won't do me good if I can't find information, so when posting here, I usually go the practical route: the correct name (if one has already been given), plus the misapplied names for the search engine to pick up, perhaps with a nomenclatural explanation for good measure.

My recommendation: stick cf in there. Artocarpus cf. hypargyreus. That way, folks like me (and apparently several others) will find this post when using the misapplied term, while making it clear that this is not a member of that species. "Confer with", meaning it frequently gets compared to a known distinct species. As an added bonus, we won't have to worry about the fact that it currently lacks a correct botanical name, having only a provisional one that will be removed soon enough.

If the concern is the lack of information available for the genuine hypargyreus (presumably because the red one keeps stealing its thunder), it's still a useful connection to make, as any dialogue involving the nomenclature of the red one will invite discussion on the white kwai muk as well, as you are doing now. It generates the attention, leading to information sharing even for the lesser known species.

I'd probably have trouble with normal Inamona... I have poor sense of moderation when it comes to tasty condiments.  :P

They grow very well in bokeelia.My neighbor has a large tree they inherited from the original owner who was from Puerto Rico, planted in the early 90s ,been through cold ,hurricanes, drought nothing
fazes the candlenut.

All the more reason to find the edible cultivar. It's a tough, vigorous, productive tree... If you could get a decent meal out of it, perfect! All that's left is to track down the edible strains. Which leads me to...

Found it. Need to look in Vanuatu, name could refer to Maewo island, east of Vanuatu island. See page 5, known varieties

Excellent link! I have that book in my pdfs, it never occurred to me to check it out for this query. We've tracked down the origin of "Maewo" (the Costa Rican strain, if different, still eludes us). Now the obvious question... ¿Do any forum members have access to this variety? Does anyone here live in or travel through Vanuatu? I'm thinking of maybe posting something in the buy/sell/trade section. Both seeds and cuttings would be ideal, in case its edible traits aren't genetically fixed. Lets get this strain in the hands of the propagators! The more perennial staples, the merrier.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Anyone growing Rubus glaucous?
« on: December 25, 2019, 08:39:23 PM »
I have a poor track record germinating Rubus, so I can't say much in that regard. But I think it could do well for you. Keep them in the shade during the hottest months, but test a few plants in full sun, to see how well they adapt. Rubus tend to be strong, hardy and vigorous plants. I think there's a population of R. glaucus in Hawaii, though I'm not fully certain.

Right now I'm growing R. probus, and have had success growing temperate climate Rubus in the worst, most neglectful conditions I could give them, with strong summer heat and full tropical sun. I haven't lost any to my climate yet. Highland tropical species might be as hardy, or they might not, but I'm decently  confident in R. glaucus.

Trade Winds Fruit has seeds on occasion, so I'm keeping my eyes out for it, to try myself.

Never heard of anyone selecting out choice varieties of kwai muk. I have one large tree that produces large fruits that are very tasty. Am willing to send scions to anyone interested. I just planted at a different location a whole row of kwai muk as windbreak. They were from seeds sourced from Florida some years ago from 3 different trees, so hopefully eventually i'll have more to select from and come up with different strains.

I have a seedling tree, still smaller than me, so I don't expect a harvest for a long time. That said, I'm keen on trying its own fruit, so I don't wanna top-work it. Can the scions be used as cuttings to root directly? Is there a decent strike rate? I'm interested in some proven good trees myself. Come to think of it... If cuttings were a viable strategy, I could always take cuttings of my current seedling and top-work the proven scions over it, without losing the original... I'm seeing no downside here, though it's contingent on cuttings working well for this species.

They use kukui nuts in hawaiian poke.

I keep picturing the nuts being forced through a garlic press when used as a condiment. How are they actually used in cooking?

This is very interesting. I haven't heard of candlenut trees before. I'll have to ask around here to see if anyone knows of the variety from Costa Rica that you mentioned. Maybe forum member Peter at Finca la Isla is aware of it. He grows damn near everything!

Please keep me posted, I'm very interested in finding it and trying it out. I'm growing edible Jatropha as a relative, but it occurs to me that edible Candlenut might be similar, with a bigger tree and bigger yields. If Peter sees this, I hope he chimes in.

Yes its similar in taste and texture to macnut, but the macnut is much better.
Candlenut, or Kukui, as it's know in Hawaii, is the state tree of Hawaii. Grows wild all over the place here. Was introduced during canoe voyages by Hawaiians over 1000 years ago. Had so very many uses, including medicinal uses.

How so? Can you elaborate on the taste distinctions? (And on the medicinal uses?) I tried sprouting Macnut a few years back, but I don't have much experience scarifying or anything like that, so they never sprouted for me. Perhaps they weren't fresh enough? I had gotten them from Trade Winds. I still dream of getting the Mac tree, but I've slowed down my tree collection... I've almost run out of space for the time being.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 17