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Topics - JoshuaTilaranCR

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Hey all, just wanted to share my excitement here but I have a couple questions about my tree also. I planted a jackfruit seedling in August 2020 that was about 2 feet tall, I noticed male flowers in September of last year and I'm seeing the first female flower just coming out of its sheath yesterday morning.

My questions are these, how can you tell the difference between a pure jackfruit and a chempejack? Is the way they flower different from one another? How about the leaf shape when they're young?

I ask about the flowers because this particular one is on a new branch with 2 male flowers behind it, with a leaf at each flower node and the branch got progressively fatter towards the female flower. And the question about the leaves is because when it was young it had tri-lobed and bi-lobed leaves just like some seedling chempejacks that I have planted.

Also one more question, should I try to hand pollinate the flower and should I expect it to hold a fruit? The tree is about 15 feet tall, I pruned it down to about 8 at the start of the rainy season here, back in April. The main trunk is probably 4-6 inches in diameter but this flower is coming off of a tertiary trunk and is about 2 inches in diameter, maybe.

I have at my house a big Pitanga, nothing very special, the fruits are good but small. I also have a bunch of seedlings of Zill's dark. I was thinking of grafting them to the established plant to see if I could get them to flower and fruit faster and be able to select one to keep from there. How.much quicker would a seedling scion fruit on an established plant? Or is it not worth the hassle?

Here's a link to the post

And here's what a person, u/SaintUlvemann, replied about using them. I think it's very insightful and interesting and it cuts through a lot of beliefs that these plants are pumping nitrogen into the soil like crazy.

I'm a crop geneticist who studies legumes and knows nodulation down to many of the individual protein-protein interactions. We say that form follows function; it is typically necessary to understand what a thing is, in terms of things like shape and molecular structure, before one can understand its ecological function.

Root nodules are a novel organ that legumes (and actinorhizal relatives) develop. The organ exists in order to provide an enclosed anaerobic environment for the symbiotes to live in and for the plant to eat from. It is an internal microhabitat within the plant, that plants grow for their symbiotes.

There is a lengthy and tightly-controlled process for how plants get these symbiotes inside themselves without ending up infected with pathogens. Developing a nodule is a risky and energetically intense process; plants extract as much benefit from it as they can.

They invest large amounts of photosynthate into tasks such as feeding these symbiotes. To give another example; they regulate the oxygen content of this anaerobic environment through production of leghemoglobins. Those leghemoglobins, oxygen-binders like heme, are the reason why legume root extracts can be used to make plant-based meats taste meaty. This oxygen regulation is also energetically expensive.

Given the amount of energy plants put into developing these nodules safely, they can't just secrete nitrogenous compounds out of those roots: that would defeat their purpose. The nitrogen is produced inside of their bodies; it must be brought out of their bodies in order to make it to the environment.

The life cycle of the nodule itself provides little opportunity for nitrogen to make its way into the soil.

For those legumes with determinate nodules (meaning that the nodules are developed for a set, determinate, amount of time, and then discarded), a small amount of nitrogen may be expected to return directly to the soil at the programmatic end of the nodule's lifespan; but like the extraction of nutrients from leaves in fall, the plant avoids this waste where possible, and many legumes don't even have determinate nodules in the first place: their nodules are indeterminate in lifespan, organs that die only when the roots to which they're attached do.

Thus the route by which the nitrogen fixed by nodulating species ends up in the rest of the environment, has to be through the decomposition of the dead body parts of that nodulating plant; because the nitrogen was fixed inside the plant's body.

Mulches would be one way of doing that. The dead root systems of legumes would contain nitrogen too.

However, for many species, the majority of the nitrogen fixed by the plant is not found in the roots, leaves, and stems; it is packaged up by the plant into its seeds. Nitrogen is a core atomic building block of protein; nitrogen fixation is why beans are protein-rich. We may find that protein delicious, but from the plant's perspective, it is meant as a bequest to the next generation of the species. Annual plants' reproductive strategy is to deliberately self-sacrifice (timed to match what would be their seasonal death anyway) in order to produce higher-quality seed with the nutrients required for the developing embryo to have a higher chance of survival.

The survival strategy for perennial nitrogen fixers is not to completely kill themselves off each year; so they will reserve more nutrients for themselves. But plants that produce protein-rich seed do so for the sake of increasing the survival rate of their offspring, and perennials may adopt this strategy as surely as other plants will. This is part of why nuts and seeds are such sought-after food for animals.

The precise proportion of nitrogen that remains in the leaf, root, and seed material of a perennial nitrogen-fixing species, is likely to vary by species, depending on life strategy. I might imagine that perhaps the roots of an asexually-propagating rhizomal nitrogen fixer such as the potato bean maintained a higher nitrogen content within said roots, than a nitrogen fixer such as alder that maintains heavier seasonal investments into its reproductive structures.

Some plants that do not really fix nitrogen per se, are called nitrogen fixers due to casual associations.

The term for nitrogen fixation that is done on the outside of plants, by microorganisms that are only in casual association with them, is associative nitrogen fixation. It is harder to study, and so not as well-studied. Plants that participate in such casual relationships need not necessarily have any nodule organs; grasses lack nodules, yet have been found to participate in associative nitrogen-fixing symbioses.

Nitrogen fixed by these organisms would enter the environment via usual aqueous routes, having been fixed in the environment, not inside the body of a plant.

Quick question for eating Lagos Spinach. I see on the ECHO site it says it needs to be cooked before eating because of oxalic acid and nitrates. It's also said to be added to soups when I search for recipes. My question is, if I add this to a soup do I need to precook it to remove the oxalic acid and then add it to a soup or can you just add it straight to the pot?

The other day I was chopping down some stuff in my front yard and I think I have a round leaved Mexican sunflower that grew from seed.

I have nothing else to say about it really, just thought it was cool and different haha. Here is a picture.

I went to the market today in Cañas, Guanacaste and finally found someone selling jorco, which here is a yellow Garcinia. I've had something that was said to be intermedia and the fruit was small and the skin was edible. This fruit is bigger, say golf ball sized to almost racquet ball size. The seeds are also bigger and more elongated. The skin is thick and cracks easy and has an acidic, astringent taste that is kind of piney. Say like the skin of a jaboticaba but stronger. The fruit is acidic at first then sweet with the more orange ones being sweeter. I'm hoping it's humilis, I've been trying to get my hands on one for a couple years now.

If you need clearer pictures I can get better ones. These are the "holy s, I finally found them, let me show my wife" pictures

The other day I was taking a ride along some back roads when I saw this banana with a small rack along a stream. I got out and checked it out because they looked different from a normal banana. Does anyone think they're the Pitogo variety?

I cut the rack and brought it home and it's starting to color up already. I guess when it's ripe I can comment on the taste and see if it compares to the Pitogo but I'm excited to know if it is so I can go grab a pup and plant it back here at the house! I like collecting different varieties of banana and this would be a cool addition.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Origen of "Butterscotch" Sapodilla?
« on: May 24, 2022, 10:08:27 PM »
I heard on some video that the Butterscotch Sapodilla was found in Costa Rica by Zill's. Is this true, and if it is, is either of the ones they offer on their website the Butterscotch variety? Here's a link to their page...

I'm planning to swing by there on Friday to pick one of these up!

My wife and I went for a walk the other morning and I was asking her the name of a tree that looks like a huge cashew and flowers the same. She told me the name and we happened to find a fruit on the ground. The fruit is green, elongated and curved, kind of like a green worm. She told me it was ripe, i didn't think it was because of the color but she took a bite and told me it was fine. I ended up eating the rest of it. It has a sweet taste, something like a green melon, like the way you wish a green melon would taste because it was a stronger flavor and sweeter.

The seeds and bark/wood also have caustic oils like cashew and the seeds can be toasted and consumed like them also. I haven't tried the seeds yet but I'll gather some and throw them in some coals and let them cook and see how they are. I've had a bad experience once from toasting a cashew on an open flame and getting the oils squirted onto my shirtless stomach. Not fun!

The tree grows to be very large here in Guanacaste Costa Rica along stream beds in the seasonally dry forests. It also grows on the Atlantic slopes and is said to range from Guatamala to Ecuador. I wish I took a picture of the fruit but i didn't think to. The next time we walk that way I'll be on the lookout and post it here in this thread

Here's some pictures of a fruit that a friend brought us today. When I saw it I thought it would probably have a super thick rind but I was wrong. It's about the size of a small to medium grapefruit, has the taste of a lime when first cut and I just tasted it again and it got a little bitter. It's very sour, just like a Persian lime with a similar taste. For scale, the 500 coin is about the size of an US half dollar

Citrus General Discussion / Remaking the Australian Red Lime Hybrid
« on: December 30, 2021, 12:35:02 PM »
Right now I have both a pink flesh (I think) finger lime and a rangpur lime flowering and I want to remake the cross. As of now I've taken the rangpur pollen and put it on the finger lime.

How was the cross first made? Who was pollen and who was fruit parent? When there are a couple more finger lime flowers open I'll cross them back to the rangpur just for redundancy.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Causes for palm weevils.
« on: December 11, 2021, 08:11:00 PM »
I recently had my only coconut that was just starting to flower get broken from high winds. I thought it weird for a palm so strong to basically crack at the base but when I brought it down I saw the whole center was mush and there were huge grubs eating basically everything. Even the young leaves had strips eaten right up the center of the leaf stem.

I had the plant mulched at the bottom with wood chips and then throughout the year I would toss grass clippings around it too. It was never piled up at the base but it was touching the trunk. My wife believes from having it mulched it brought the weevils, could that be the case? The damn things would fly into the house at night and since I thought they were just beetles I would toss them back outside and leave them be.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / I made a grafting knife!
« on: December 06, 2021, 04:35:48 PM »
I'm not sure where to post this, I don't think there's an off topic forum so I'll toss it here.

I'll start off by saying I love knives, I have a small collection of pocket knives and chef knives. I tried a high carbon steel knife one time and never went back to stainless. So one day I was in the pulpería (little store) here in my town when I saw a small putty knife and I had an idea. I saw it has a little rust on it so I knew it wasn't stainless. It cost me a whole 350 colones (about USD 55 cents). I brought it home and when I had a chance I took it to my stones. On the top I did a chisel grind and on the side I did a 50/50 grind which is normal on most all knives. I started on a coarse stone and finished on a 3000 grit and it came out pretty good! I've used it once to do a graft into a lemon tree i have in my front yard, I wanted to put my key lime on it and see how it does. Here are some shots, they're not great but you can get an idea.

Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Is this Gotu Kola?
« on: December 02, 2021, 02:04:17 PM »
This was growing in a plant we bought and planted in the ground. I thought and think it was Gotu Kola so I left it. It tastes kind of like celery and runs underground on thin white rhizomes. When I search for Gotu Kola on Google a lot of different leaf forms come up, some look like it and some don't so I don't think I could get a good ID just going by Google. It's becoming a ground cover which I think is beneficial but if I'm wrong please let me know so I could try to get rid of it.

Can someone identify what might be biting my soursop branches? When the branch is green I find little black spots on them and as they grow the spot opens to a gash. I imagine something is biting it and sucking out the sap but I've never seen anything on there that might be the culprit. The only thing I've seen that could be but I never find a bite when I take them off is a thick white scale with a red or orange dot on the inside. I haven't seen that scale on any other tree in my yard and it's like a big shield shell. I'll try to find one and post a picture of it. I spray the tree once a month with a soap and oil mix that kills any aphids but doesn't work so well on scale.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / My Jaboticaba in Costa Rica
« on: November 06, 2021, 09:58:55 AM »
Two years ago I asked the guy in town who owns a nursery if he could get me a jaboticaba and I told him I wanted a big one, it didn't matter what the price was. I think it's probably Sabará. I paid about $25 for it, which he said he was embarrassed to charge me so much. It's about 5.5ft tall now, last year it put on quite a bit of new growth and it started to flower in January but the dry windy started here soon after and the flowers aborted. This year it hasn't grown much, even from the start of the rainy season in June until now. I didn't have much hope for it to do anything but the bark started to peel a couple weeks ago and I just realized it has a bunch of flowers starting out.

Is it weird that it didn't do much at the beginning of the rainy season and it's just starting to flower now, towards the end of it? I thought they reacted to rain and grow and flower with the start of the rainy season. I'm hoping the winds don't start here before it can set some fruit!

Citrus General Discussion / Is this a rough lemon?
« on: October 25, 2021, 12:48:30 PM »
A lady that lives in our town brought this lemon to me yesterday. She says it grows at her neighbors house and they cut it back and she grabbed some fruit for me. It's certainly a lemon smell and the taste is sour but also has a sweetness to it. The oil in the skin is very fragrant and it seems to have a lot of oil, I found a lot dripped on the counter after squeezing the juice out of it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / When to prune Jackfruit based on my climate
« on: October 22, 2021, 01:10:26 PM »
I got a jackfruit last year that was about 2.5ft tall, planted it in the ground and it took off and grew to maybe 6-8 feet before the dry season here. It wanted to grow still in the dry season but because of the wind here it was stunted, the leaves were shriveled and burnt but it kept at it and when the rainy season started again it took off again and is now maybe 12-15 feel tall. I want to take the lead down a couple feet and let it get wide but I want some advice of when to do it. The dry season will start here again in a month or two, along with strong winds. Would it be better to take it down now or should I let it ride out the dry season and cut it when the rains start up again?

My instinct tells me to wait but someone here would have more experience to answer the question for me. Here are some pictures

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this but I have a Brugmansia in my front yard and it grows very quickly, flushes with flowers and then drops most of it's big leaves and starts to resprout and grow. I've been chopping it back to about 2 feet high each time it gets to about 8 feet and I drop the branches and leaves all around it. I notice how quickly the leaves break down and I thought it would be a good chop and drop plant but the fact that it contains scopolamine and other compounds makes me wonder if they would be taken up by the plant I'm using it around as a biomass. Am I thinking too much or is it something I should avoid just in case?

I've had a cas guava for three years now, the first year I had it it flowered profusely on a plant that was about 4 feet tall and never set fruit. Last year it had maybe 3-4 flowers and also didn't set fruit. This year it had about 15 flowers on a tree that's almost 7 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide and they're just passing now. I don't think any fruits took. This year I decided to watch the flowers and try to pollinate them on my own but when I went to get the pollen I noticed that every single stamen was curved up away from the pistil and none of the pollen was powdery. It was all hard like it hadn't matured. I kept checking the flowers during the day and never saw the pollen mature. Is this normal in cas guava or all guavas? Is there a known method to hand pollinate these guys?

All my trees are fed with grass clippings and compost and if I can get my hands on it, wood chips. It grows well and doesn't seem deficient of anything. Here's a shot of the flower, it was taken at 6pm.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Compatibility of Pouteria species in grafting
« on: September 14, 2021, 08:53:10 AM »
I have in ground what I believe to be either a Mamey Zapote or a Green Zapote. I'll know for sure hopefully in a year since it is holding quite a few fruit. I also have in a pot an Abiu and I was thinking of putting a scion of it onto the Zapote as a sort of insurance for the Abiu since I haven't been able to plant it yet. Are these species compatible for grafting?

I read an old study about grafting Mamey Zapote to Canistel rootstock and it said all the scions died but it concluded that canistel was a good candidate for grafting Mamey Zapote, which is at least confusing so I thought I'd ask here for anyone who's had experience and success

I live in northwest Costa Rica in a small town outside of Tilarán. I've managed to collect some neat "rare" fruits that a lot of people around here don't know about and I want to try and find more. I know people in the central valley have lots more selection and in Limon and southern Puntarenas also but up here it's difficult to find different stuff. Even in the farmers markets where one could easily source seed they usually just have the best selling stuff and nothing out of the ordinary. Now that you know my situation, here's a list of things I want to try to find...

Eugenias -
Cherry of the Rio Grande
Rainforest Cherry

Garcinias -
Achachairu or other new world species

Red or scarlet Jaboticaba (I think everyone has sabara here)

In a couple days, on Sept 2 to the 7 I'll be in the US visiting my family in Connecticut, if someone has some pitangatuba and red or scarlet Jaboticaba seeds and can get them to me at short notice up there I'd be interested in purchasing from someone up in the US at least for those seeds. Thanks for looking!

I bought this tree last year from my wife's uncle who has a garden center. He called it "Sapotillo" and I thought it was a níspero or sapodilla so I brought it home and planted it. It's a grafted tree, not a seedling so I thought it must be something good. It grew well last year but I nipped the tips of the leads and set it back a little. The side branches didn't have as much vigor as the leads. It made it through the dry and windy season like a champ and as it started to rain I was watching the growing tips for flowers which never came. One day I realized that it was flowering on last year's growth and it's already out on about 100 flowers. It looks like there might have been a couple fruit set so far but they're still very small. The plants leaves are much smaller than a Mamey Zapote which I think would rule that out. I just noticed on the small fruits that they're a little hairy,not sure if that might give a lead as to what it might be. I know with what I'm posting I can't get a name but I'm hoping for at least a lead as what to expect. Here are some pictures.


I went to a river today with my wife and kids to swim and found this tree growing just off the path down to the river, maybe 20 feet above it. It's certainly an annonaceae species judging by the flowers and it looks exactly like a pawapw. Here are some pics...

I got this plant towards the end of the last rainy season here, planted it in the ground and it took drought and strong winds all dry season with almost no problems, just a couple lost leaves. It's starting to put out new growth now and I was wondering when they flower? Not the season or the month, just an idea like as they're starting to put on new growth or as the new leaves mature or after the new leaves mature.

I'm guessing this is either G. intermedia, brasiliensis or humilis, it was described as the "bigger Jorco", the smaller one is most likely intermedia but it's never fruited so I don't know for sure.

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