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Topics - Epiphyte

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / syngonium fruit?
« on: December 08, 2023, 07:57:42 PM »
when i visited costa rica last year, specifically miravalles volcano in guanacaste province, one of the biggest fruit mysteries involved a syngonium...

the plant itself didn't particularly catch my attention since i've been growing a similar noid syngonium outdoors for years.  my plant has never bloomed but it has for the friend who shared it with me.  his blooms a lot each year but fruit never develops, not sure why.  maybe it's because a suitable pollinator is missing... or perhaps the plant needs cross-pollination. 

here's a pic of the syngonium fruit that i found on the jungle floor...

it was the size of a baseball and smelled very tantalizing, like banana and pineapple, similar to monstera deliciosa, which isn't surprising since they are both in the same family.  but unlike the monstera fruit, the syngonium fruit seemed to be ripe all at once, so there probably wasn't an issue with calcium oxalate crystals.  even though the seeds were a lot larger there appeared to be a decent amount of flesh.  unfortunately the fruit looked like it had been on the ground for a while, so i was too nervous to try it.  i wish that "all the fruit" had been with me! 

i read about syngonium being invasive in florida, so i figured that somebody there must have tried the fruit, but evidently it just spreads vegetatively.  it's identified as syngonium podophyllum, which has a wide distribution from mexico to bolivia so it might be the same as the one i saw in costa rica. 

anyone ever tried syngonium fruit?  most of the google results aren't very helpful.  there's a pic of the fruit on the toptropical website but i didn't find a description.  you'd figure if they had tasted the fruit then they would have mentioned it. 

the chances seem slim that something so widely grown has delicious fruit, but nobody knows it.  then again i doubt that back in the day everybody who grew monstera deliciosa knew that its fruit was delicious.  because they didn't know its scientific name? 

coincidentally, when i was in costa rica... a sloth, two toucans, and numerous other birds pooped on me, and when i returned home i scraped the poop into some pots and a few different plants popped up in them, including some that look like the same syngonium.   if you're skeptical then i guess you haven't seen the credible movie "castaway on the moon".

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Florida Natural Farming?
« on: October 26, 2023, 08:39:16 PM »
when i'm sowing seeds, which is quite often, the two main youtubers i watch are flying fox fruits (fff) and florida natural farming (fnf). 

fnf used to regularly participate here but in several of his videos he said that "we" drove him away.  were torches and pitchforks involved?  i'm not sure, it happened before i joined. 

my guess is that perhaps 1 or 2 of yous, or maybe more, viewed his preaching as heresy and weren't shy about sharing your views.  or maybe the majority of you thought he was spouting nonsense? 

since i personally appreciate that, in the description section of his videos, he cites credible sources on important topics, such as the relationship between fungal diversity and drought tolerance, i figured it's worth it to discern our group's true preferences on the matter. 

contrary to popular opinion, voting is a very bad way to learn what a group truly wants.  voting is just cheap talk.  it doesn't require any effort to click the thumbs up button, which is why videos on eating tide pods get more attention than videos of eating rare fruit.  when you like a rare fruit of course you'll click the thumbs up button.  but when you truly love a rare fruit, then you'll shell out some big bucks for it, you'll blister your hands digging a big hole to plant it, and then you'll spend time caring for it.  there is no love without labor, effort, sweat, skin in the game... personal sacrifice.  so in order to unearth tff's true view on fnf, we need the opportunity to put our money where our mouth is. 

if you genuinely care one way or another about fnf's participation here on tff, make a donation to tff of any amount, then let us know the amount and whether you oppose or support fnf.  since i won't be able to edit this post, i'll keep a running tally in a google sheet...

tropical fruit forum's true view on florida natural farming

for example, i just donated $20 to tff and obviously i support fnf. 

even if more money is donated in support of fnf clearly there's no guarantee that he's going to participate again.  but at least he won't be able to say that we, as a group, do not support him. 

if you don't know the donation paypal address, just message patrick or myself.  uh, just to be clear, this post isn't in any way official or endorsed by tff admins. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Passiflora phoenicea x caerulea?
« on: June 13, 2023, 03:30:45 PM »
last august a friend shared a fruit from his passiflora phoenicea ruby glow which he pollinated with caerulea.  the fruit was relatively large and enjoyable.  i liked it a lot better than the few edulis that i've tried.  they are a bit too sour but great on top of vanilla ice cream. 

i was extra motivated to sow the ruby glow seeds because i was very curious what the hybrid would be like.  passiflora caerulea comes up on its own here so often that when i was growing up that i assumed it was a native.  it's actually from south america.  sadly the fruit is virtually flavorless.

on 11 august i sowed around a dozen ruby glow seeds.  only 2 seeds germinated and shortly afterwards, 1 of the seedlings was entirely eaten by a slug. 

i should mention that the seedlings were in different pots in different locations.  if they had been in the same pot in the wrong location, then the slug would have eaten both seedlings.  this is why the #1 plant rule is to hedge your bets... don't keep all your eggs in 1 basket.  since i do sow lots of seeds, in order to avoid running out of space, i put different seeds in the same pot.  for example, i put the passionfruit seeds in 11 different pots with the following seeds...

Aeonium Mardi Gras
Aloe bakeri hybrids
Anthurium coriaceum
Calamansi variegated
Dragon fruit sweet red
Epiphyllum red long big fruit
Eulophia speciosa
Hoya papaschonii
Ficus NOID fuzzy juicy
Ficus Panache
Ficus religiosa
Gasteria NOID blooming w aloes
Guava banana
Guava strawberry
Kalanchoe Lynn’s variegated
Mangave Freckles and Speckles
Miracle fruit
Spanish lime

most of the pots were indoors in zip lock bags by a big window or under a grow light.  for some reason the passionfruit seeds only germinated in the outdoor pots.

here was the surviving seedling on 9 december...

i wasn't sure if or when the leaves would lobe.  the seedling continued to grow throughout the winter... which still hasn't ended.  recently the leaves started to lobe, so that seems to confirm that the seedling is indeed a hybrid. 

its location wasn't the best for a vine so a couple days ago i put it in a 5 gallon pot and gave it a pole to climb...

it seems like quite a few caerulea crosses have been made.  the fruit is either hollow or "foul".  are there any exceptions?  my expectations are low.

i didn't manage to find the exact cross, the closest i found was passiflora alata x caerulea which was named angel of sierre.  no mention of the fruit.  are most passiflora crosses made for flowers?

when i was a kid my favorite thing about passiflora caerulea was that it hosted the gulf fritillary butterfly.  the orange and black spiky caterpillars were fascinating.  perhaps i wouldn't have liked the butterfly so much if caerulea's fruit had been delicious.  i'm guessing that no passiflora crosses are made for butterflies?

let's consider some possibilities of my phoenicea x caerulea...

a. delicious fruit, wonderful host (of gulf fritillary)
b. foul fruit, wonderful host
c. delicious fruit, terrible host
d. foul fruit, terrible host

even in the case of outcome "d" the hybrid wouldn't be entirely useless because the flowers are probably going to be decent.

the last question i have about this hybrid is whether it will produce new shoots from its roots like caerulea often does.

oh yeah, sorry not sorry if you were expecting to see the fruit.  i know that i always like it when, for example, grafters include the results in the same video.  in this case though i guess that i wanted to hear some predictions.  perhaps it might be a year or two before the hybrid reaches maturity.  the suspense probably won't kills us.

Citrus General Discussion / one person's trash...
« on: June 12, 2023, 10:07:05 PM »
everything basically boils down to a matter of usefulness.  the other day i randomly stumbled on a pile of discarded citrus...

if you had encountered this pile, what would you have done?  how many fruits would you have tried to salvage?  i grabbed 4 or 5.

one of the larger ones, somewhere in size between a grapefruit and a pomelo, tasted quite good, maybe like limeade, but it sure had a lot of seeds...

64 seeds!  what is the most seeds you've ever found in a single citrus fruit?

for me personally the abundance of seeds was definitely not a deal breaker.  in fact, i deeply appreciate all the potential for an even better citrus.

another seedy citrus that comes to mind is the cocktail grapefruit aka mandelo.  it's sweet and super juicy, i like it a lot more than the average grapefruit, but not sure if i like it more than limeade.

the mandelo was created by the university of riverside in 1966, but it was never officially named or somehow "escaped".  how, exactly, did it escape? 

how many people were responsible for deciding whether the mandelo was worthy of being officially released?  maybe a committee of 5 citrus experts judged the mandelo's usefulness?

on the one hand, we all know and understand that one person's trash is another person's treasure.  but on the other hand, virtually everyone has no problem with the preponderance of gatekeepers and judges deciding for everyone whether something is trash or treasure.  the judges always mess up, but their mistakes are rarely caught.  if the mandelo hadn't escaped then we wouldn't have known of its existence. when the erroneous judges are caught then the seriously silly solution is to replace them with "better" judges. 

the true solution is for each and every one of ucr's new citrus to be judged by donations.  let each and every person in the world use their own money to help determine a fruit's usefulness.  which is more useful, cold tolerance or hlb tolerance?  the better that ucr was at balancing these two goals, the more donations it would receive.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / list of fruit trees in los angeles parks
« on: March 22, 2023, 04:57:18 PM »
8 aug 2022 - posted thread about creating a rare fruit park in los angeles

15 feb 2023 - bookmarked thread about a white sapote at ernest e. debs regional park 

23 feb 2023 - googled for los angeles arboretum ficus

i was trying to find a list of all the ficus trees at the la arboretum, which i didn’t find.  instead i found the chavez ravine arboretum, which theoretically has... 

4. Brahea edulis
6. Butia capitata
47. Phoenix dactylifera
56. Eriobotrya japonica
59. Ficus racemosa
61. Myrciaria cauliflora
76. Psidium guajava
103. Pinus edulis
134. Araucaria bidwillii

i somehow managed to overlook this arboretum even though it’s only 10 minutes from me.  subsequently i learned that my plant friend don hodel gave a talk there in 2005.  he doesn’t recall seeing a jabuticaba.

20 mar 2023 - googled for ernest e. debs regional park "sapote"

found a list of trees in los angeles parks which i copied and pasted into this google sheet, which i then copied and pasted into this sheet...

Fruit And Other Edible LA Park Trees

21 mar 2023 - wrote a couple sad scripts to get this…

Most Simplified Fruit And Other Edible LA Park Trees

when i was a kid i remember curing olives with my grandparents.  it was a lot of work and required a lot of patience.  the resulting olives tasted... different.  perhaps it was a good difference but not good enough to make it worth it for us to ever go through the process again.

sylmar park has 46 olive trees because there are lots of grandkids and grandparents interested in curing olives?  doubtful.  i wouldn’t be surprised if the olive trees are the fruitless variety.  

it makes more sense that o'melveny park has 96 "sweet orange" trees.  but according to its wikipedia page most of those trees are actually grapefruits.  is grapefruit a good stock for pomelos?

what about the 50 california bays at griffith park?  more useful than the alternatives?

It is impossible for anyone, even if he be a statesman of genius, to weigh the whole community's utility and sacrifice against each other.  - Knut Wicksell, A New Principle of Just Taxation

which trees are worth the greatest sacrifice?  which threads are worth the greatest sacrifice?

admittedly i did briefly consider creating a private group on facebook to secretly share this treasure map with a few select people.  the 1st rule of foraging club is... don’t talk about foraging club.  

the fact is though, the treasure map is meager.  the average park is less fruitful than some gas stations i've seen in san gabriel valley.  

ideally the treasure map should be packed with garcinias, eugenias, yangmeis, biribas, kwai muks and so much more.  if every rare fruit collector in the los angeles area donated one tree... how many trees would that be?

donating money to specific la parks is easy enough... and it’s possible to pay $250 for the planting of a tribute tree... but it doesn’t seem like you can specify the type of tree.  

just now i read this article... how los angeles is leading the urban tree-planting revolution.  it gives the impression that a considerable amount of collective intelligence has gone into the process of tree selection.  but this is just so much fake news.  the city is never going to get anywhere near the right answer without everyone in the world having the opportunity to use donations, and taxes, to help prioritize which trees are planted in la’s public spaces.

it is the greatest of all mistakes, to do nothing because you can only do little - sydney smith

at a recent plant sale i made friends with keith peabody who’s in charge of the arboretum at pierce college.  hopefully we can collaborate somehow.   

anyone ever try grafting anything onto hollyleaf cherry or catalina cherry?  i'm especially curious if the capulin cherry (prunus salicifolia or prunus serotina var. salicifolia) is compatible.  they are both in the same subgenus, but in different sections.

on a related note, could these two species be crossed?  i think that they bloom around the same time.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / etxra edible jackfruit?
« on: March 01, 2023, 03:11:36 AM »
i've only opened maybe a dozen or so jackfruits so i'm hardly an expert, but today the one i opened seemed a bit different.  the strips of white flesh near the yellow seed capsules tasted sweeter than normal.  well, normally they are tasteless and i just discard them, because i'm not interested in making tacos with them.  in this case though i ended up eating quite a few of them.  the rubbery texture was the same but it was worth it.

is this a real thing?  has anybody else ever noticed this in a jackfruit? 

i love the idea of trying to select for this trait.  hopefully it is a trait!  it would be amazing to have a variety with all sweet flesh. with this in mind, if anybody is interested i'm willing to sell seeds of this jackfruit for $1/each with a 4 seed minimum.  i just looked on etsy and this seems to be the going price for jackfruit seeds.

i have no idea which variety of jackfruit it is.  the amount of latex was lower than average. the yellow flesh was sweet, firm and succulent with average juicyness.  the ratio of yellow capsule size to seed size might have been the best i've personally seen so far.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / collaborative bookmarking
« on: February 15, 2023, 12:20:54 PM »
do you use the bookmark feature?  not sure why it took me so long to start using it, seems rather useful.  right now i have around 50 bookmarks.  i wonder who has the most?

honestly i’d love it if everyone’s bookmarks were public.  if you live in the same type of climate as me, and/or collect the same types of fruits as me, i’m sure that plenty of your bookmarks would be useful to me... and vice versa.

having access to each other’s bookmarks would lower our chances of overlooking the best threads/fruits.  overlooking the best things is one of the worst things…

Flora notes of soursop, sweetness of pineapple, a Note of Fuji apple, mango, banana, passion fruit combined; why the hell I did not plant this three decades ago???

he was referring to whitman fiberless soursop, which certainly isn’t the best in terms of cold tolerance…

I am tire of loosing my award winning whitman fiberless & countless superior A. Muricata to Florida countless freeze that kill my joy.  I embark on a quest to find the perfect A. Glabra pond apple, the perfect dwarf coconuts, the perfect A. Montana to replace all my A. Muricata.  A. montana is a very prolific producer, but tree can be quite massive if not mantain; its practically disease resistant & newer selected strains are producing fruit that will soon rival other esteem Annonas by me & a few fruit fanatic brothers in arms in North West Florida.

there’s always room for improvement, so what's "best" changes often, which makes it challenging to keep up with everything.

so let’s try collaborative bookmarking.  basically we’ll share our most useful bookmarks with each other.  this might, however, result in a long list of bookmarks so the big question is, which would be the best way to order them? 

1. voting
2. donating

voting is fine if you merely "like" coconut’s threads, but if you LOVE them, then donating is more useful, in theory.  the more money you donate for his threads the more attention you'd draw to them and the more you would help this website and community grow.

perhaps you’re not convinced.  well, one of the most effective ways to decide whether something is the best is to conduct a side-by-side experiment, like so…


i created that reddit group (aka "subreddit") specifically for our bookmarks.  if you don’t already have an account you can sign up with your google/gmail account.  then you just copy and paste the urls of your most useful bookmarks into the group, if they aren’t already there, by clicking "post" and then the link tab (titles are automatically generated).  we can vote each other’s bookmarks up, or down.

the google sheet is for the donation approach.  1st you’d make a donation to the tropical fruit forum, for example $5, and then you’d reply to this thread like so…

$3, bookmark url #1, durian, breeding, florida
$1, bookmark url #2, california, subtropical, garcinia, cold
$1, bookmark url #3, grafting, annona

i’d update the google sheet accordingly. 

admittedly this won’t be a perfect side-by-side experiment but hopefully it will help clarify the difference between these two ways of collectively determining what’s important.  at the very least it’s a good opportunity to share our most useful bookmarks with each other.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Free lychee scions today in san gabriel valley
« on: February 12, 2023, 01:57:59 PM »
I'm transplanting a noid lychee today in san gabriel valley.  I've heard that the fruit is tasty.  If anyone in the area wants free scions message me for the address.  You can see a pic of the tree here...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / optimal pot riddle
« on: February 06, 2023, 10:00:05 PM »
here's a riddle of sorts...

1. all the water bottle pots i make for my seedlings are semi-hydro...

it's a recent pic of a germinating seed from a store bought durian.  the plastic bottle has drainage holes an inch or two from the bottom.

2. virtually none of the plants i've bought come in semi-hydro pots. 

3 i've never made or bought semi-hydro pots for any of my larger plants...

on the left is a myrica californica that i recently approach grafted a starter myrica cerifera onto.  on the right is the same thing, but they are in the same pot, unlike the other two, which are in different pots.

none of the pots are semi-hydro.

can you solve the riddle?

i just posted lots of relevant pics and info on my blog.  sorry, i had initially planned on transferring all of it over here, but then i kept adding to it.  seems like nearly everyone uses the postimg website to share pics here? 

if there are any pics in my blog entry you'd like to discuss feel free to hotlink them in this thread.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / eugenia < garcinia ?
« on: January 01, 2023, 02:21:31 PM »
there should really be more forum categories. how should their creation be prioritized?  by donations to this website.  personally i'd donate the most money for a subtropical category, next for a clusiaceae category and then for a myrtaceae category.  hmmm... or maybe i'd donate the second most for an epiphyte category...

admittedly, voting would be an easier way to prioritize the creation of categories.  but if you're unaware of democracy's fatal flaw (lowest common denominator), try searching youtube for eugenia. 

if youtube’s content was prioritized by donations rather than by democracy, the 1st search result for eugenia would be my friend kelly's recent video of his extensive eugenia collection in southern california (eagle rock).

anybody watch the garden tour he posted a year agoi shared it in my facebook group along with a list of all the species that i needed to google.  it's a long list! 

kelly (his instagram) must be a member here but i haven't seen any of his posts since i joined a year ago.  he's definitely quite busy, especially since he's in the process of starting a rare fruit forest/farm in hawaii, where he naturally plans to grow lots of eugenias. 

not exactly sure why i'm so interested in eugenias.  my 1st was eugenia uniflora, which i've had for around... a decade?  i just searched my gmail for eugenia and found this 2009 email from my friend hak...

Carlos, if you are going to the GreenScene, see what the Cal Rare Fruit Grower has available.  I'm very interested in the Chilean guava, Ugni molinae.  Also would be interested in Eugenia brasiliensis.  May be superior clones of Capulin cherry, Prunus salicifolia.  Guavas, only the superior seedless or near seedless clones such as Red Indian, Hong Kong Pink, Indonesian Seedless, Mexican Cream, etc.  Mulberry I would only want the Illinois Everbearing, which is said to be a hybrid between white and red mulberry.  All these ideally in 1 gallon, or even 2g or 4" pot, maybe seeds(not for the clones).  Not interested in 5g or larger because of the expense and hassle to plant.  Max ~ $10-15.  Maybe you can talk to Roger Meyer and pick his brain on these rare fruit stuff.  Find out if there is an annual plant sale from the club.  Thanks

plant friends improve each other’s plant priorities.

hak probably deserves credit for introducing me to eugenia.  shortly after he sent me that email he gave me a uniflora with small black fruits, which most visitors to my garden enjoy, unlike my other eugenia with big red fruits.  i like it ok but i get a lot more enjoyment from seeing people’s reactions when they try it for the 1st time.  a facebook post featuring my "nasty" cherry might be the most commented post in my group.  for a while it was hands down the most productive fruit in my garden but it might have been recently dethroned by the Muntingia calabura i planted last year.

so far i've tasted only two other eugenias... a starcherry and a eugenia sp. aff aggregate.  the starcherry was all sour without a hint of sweetness, but it was big, fragrant and very juicy.  i have a fruiting size one next to my unifloras so hopefully they will cross.  the other eugenia i tried was at todd kelly's garden.  he talks about it at 45:40 in his eugenia video.  i agree with him that it's very very delicious, so i was thrilled when he let me keep the seeds.  now i have a few small seedlings!

i often try to fathom the proliferation of fruit. i understand that the purple mangosteen is way too tropical to grow here in california, unlike some of the garcinias from the americas.  so what’s their excuse?  the achacha’s native habitat is relatively far from the u.s. but the same can’t be said of garcinia intermedia and luc’s garcinia

just like the purple mangosteen, the jackfruit’s native habitat is on the other side of the world, but it can grow and fruit here in southern california.  recently in costa rica i asked a few people about it but they had never heard of it.  when i got back i asked my friend mimi (her instagram), who is from martinique and jamaica, about it and she said it had been in those two countries forever.  forever?  i googled and found a fun story about how in 1782 british pirates attacked a french ship bound for martinique that happened to be carrying jackfruit trees, which the pirates smartly stole and took to jamaica.  i might have embellished a bit.  in a perfect world this would have been the premise of the entire "pirates of the caribbean" franchise.

randomness can certainly explain a good chunk of fruit proliferation.  however, the optimal proliferation of fruit is a function of picking each other's brains.  the more better we pick each other's brains, the more optimal the proliferation. 

a couple months ago i learned in bestday’s seedling garcinia sales thread that sp pacuri was one of his fastest growing seedlings where he lives in long beach.  so when sometime later i happened to see this thread... garcinia sp. pacurí... of course i clicked on it.  the thread was over a year old and created by andreas gia who shared some useful information about this species.  i eagerly continued reading the thread and discovered that a few months after creating it, andreas had been killed in the miami surfside condo collapse.  he had only been 21

such an enormous loss is impossible to fully fathom.  i'm guessing that he never had the chance to taste garcinia sp. pacurí, which is super sad. 

years ago i remember watching a short film from new zealand (?) about a grandfather who loved to garden.  somehow he dies.  at his funeral the granddaughter who was maybe around 7 years old asked her mother where he was.  the mother replied something about heaven needing a gardener.  the idea was very appealing to me, especially since my own grandfather had been an avid gardener.  anybody happen to know the name of this film?

maybe it’s true that andreas is in heaven eating garcinia sp. pacurí and planting the seeds, but even though i regularly read the bible and find it quite fascinating, for me personally the idea of a heaven and a hell is just too hard to believe.  what i can believe is that around 200 years from now a super powerful artificial intelligence named seldon will be able to use all of andreas’ forum posts to reverse engineer his brain.  i wouldn’t be surprised if one of the 1st things he’d want to do would be to taste garcinia sp. pacurí.

our priorities are the essence of who we are…

If a woman told us that she loved flowers, and we saw that she forgot to water them, we would not believe in her “love” for flowers. Love is the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love. Where this active concern is lacking, there is no love. — Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

how did andreas divide his time, attention and money between garcinias and eugenias?  if he had been given the opportunity to use donations to help prioritize the creation of new forum categories, how would he have divided his money between clusiaceae and myrtaceae?  his division, which would have been based on all of his brain’s information about, and experiences with, these two families, would have essentially communicated how he would have wanted us to divide our own resources between them.

we all have limited resources, so being able to see and know, at a glance, our group’s true fruit priorities is easily the most important thing.  naturally each of us will perceive errors in the group’s priorities, which we will endeavor to correct.  this dynamic and powerful process would produce an incredibly beneficial feedback loop.  we’d improve the group’s priorities, which in turn would improve our own priorities, and so on.

to be clear, andreas’ garcinia sp. pacurí thread helped to improve my priorities, and in turn this thread of mine could help improve your priorities, so to some extent there already is a beneficial feedback loop in place. words are certainly useful...

The end product of learning survival skills is information stored in one’s brain. Language is a means of transmitting that information to another brain. The ability to share information via language leverages the value of acquiring new knowledge and skills. One does not have to recapitulate the trial-and-error, lucky accidents, or strokes of genius of other individuals but can build on their discoveries, avoiding the proverbial waste of reinventing the wheel. - Steven Pinker, The cognitive niche: Coevolution of intelligence, sociality, and language

the internet has made it incredibly easy to share so much information with each other, but this has created a double edge sword…

Last Easter, my neighbors bought their daughter a pair of rabbits. Whether by intent or accident, one was male, one female, and we now live in a rabbit-rich world. Persons less fond than I am of rabbits might even describe it a rabbit-overpopulated world. Whether a world is rich or poor in rabbits is a relative matter. Since food is essential for biological populations, we might judge the world as rabbit-rich or rabbit-poor by relating the number of rabbits to the amount of lettuce and grass (and garden flowers) available for rabbits to eat. A rabbit-rich world is a lettuce-poor world, and vice versa. The obverse of a population problem is a scarcity problem, hence a resource-allocation problem. There is only so much lettuce to go around, and it will have to be allocated somehow among the rabbits. Similarly, in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information resources that might consume it. - Herbert A. Simon, Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World

simon wrote that in 1971.  thanks to the internet, information overload is now an exponentially larger problem.  when it comes to rare fruit it’s impossible to keep up with all the new threads, posts, videos, articles, papers and so on.  prioritization is essential.  the easiest way to prioritize information is via democracy, such as "likes", but this tyranny of the majority results in a vicious cycle of stupidity. more people learn about eugenia, the skeletoress, than about eugenia, the fruit.  correcting this egregious error and countless others would be accomplished by using donations to prioritize things.

honestly i wouldn’t be surprised if eugenias were a better tree to bark up than garcinias.  there seems to be a much greater diversity of edible eugenias, so in theory their hybridization has a greater potential to yield superior fruits.  admittedly right now i have no idea how crossable they are. 

what do you think?

besides collecting plants i also collect quotes about interesting concepts.  if anyone is interested here are some more or less relevant ones...

allocating attention

feedback loops



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Tropical Fruiting In Guanacaste Costa Rica?
« on: October 09, 2022, 02:26:26 PM »
Next month I'll be visiting Costa Rica for the 1st time.  Going to be staying primarily in Guanacaste for a couple weeks.  Any suggestions or advice?  Is there a particularly good fruit market?  Botanical garden? 

I love all sorts of plants.  I've been obsessed with epiphytes for the longest time but am getting more and more preoccupied with tropical fruit... especially Garcinias and Eugenias.  I'm dying to try achacha and all the other Garcinias in the Americas!  Are any readily available in Costa Rica?  What are their names in Spanish? 

There are a "few" epiphytes that I'd love to bring with me to share in Costa Rica, such as Kalanchoe uniflora.  How strict are the customs agents? 

Thanks in advance! 

Recently I sent the following email to the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP)...



In Southern Spain there's a public park with a bunch of subtropical fruit and nut trees...

How would we go about doing the same thing here? 



I received this response...


Thank you for your interest in collaborating with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP).   In order to fully consider your idea/s and determine the best route to implement actions, we need to obtain some more information about your organization and what type of service you are proposing.  Please find below some basic proposal questions to provide us with initial information.  If any question is not applicable, merely indicate so. 

1.  Provide Organization legal name, address, phone, website.
2.  Brief description of proposed program, idea, project, or general proposal.
3.  What specific RAP site(s) is the Organization interested in?
4.  How will the program/project be funded, and what is the general program/project budget?
5.  Is there any program/project sponsorship or grant funding involved?  If so who, and are they requesting any form of recognition, promotion, or future facility use? 
6.  Will the program or completed project be free to the community to participate/use?   If not, what will the fee(s) be?
7.  Who is the program/project geared towards serving (adults, seniors, youth, women/girls, men/boys, etc.)?
8.  How frequently will the program be provided?
9.  What is the program/project development timeline?
10.  Has there been any community or Council Office involvement in the program/project planning process?
11.  Are there organizations or companies (non-funding related) who may/will be involved in the program/project, and if so, in what capacity?
12. Will the proposed program/ project be implemented solely by your organization or will another entity be involved?
13. Has your organization entered in a similar arrangement/ collaboration in the past with another government agency (local, state, federal)?
14.  What is expected of Recreation and Parks?


Heh.  I'm hoping that this is something that the local chapters of the California Rare Fruit Growers might be interested in pursuing?   ;D  Personally I'd be more than happy to contribute some trees and labor. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Botanical Garden Optimization
« on: July 04, 2022, 09:02:56 PM »
Which botanical garden in California has the best variety of tropical fruit trees?  I'm guessing that it's the Fullerton Arboretum? 

Several years back I was surprised when the LA Arboretum planted a bunch of tropical fruit trees.  How, exactly, does a botanical garden end up with a decent collection of tropical fruits?  Does credit go to the director, the curator, the board or a generous donor? 

I don't remember seeing any tropical fruit trees at the South Coast Botanic garden, but I did see this donation box...

Imagine if there was a 2nd donation box next to it specifically for tropical fruit trees.  How would you divide your money between the two boxes?

Right now you can decide how you divide your donations between the South Coast Botanic Garden and the Fullerton Arboretum.  But does the Fullerton Arboretum give you the opportunity to divide your donations between tropical fruit trees and roses?  Maybe if you donate enough. 

I've been a member of The Huntington on and off for many years but have never been given the opportunity to specify how my $100+ annual membership gets divided between the library, museum and garden.  How much difference would it make if the members could decide how their dues were divided? 

Let's say that botanical gardens did make it ridiculously easy for all of us to decide how our dues/donations were divided.  Could I guarantee that tropical fruit trees would be the winners?  Sadly no.  All I could guarantee is that botanical gardens would be maximally beneficial. 

And perhaps you'd prefer to hold out for a new director or curator who is gung ho about tropical fruit trees?  I remember being so surprised when I learned that Myron Kimnach, a past director of The Huntington gardens, was gung ho about filmy ferns, especially since he was most well known for succulents.  Here's a pic that I took at Myron's house of him and Elmer Lorenz admiring some Rhipsalis...

Those two guys were so incredibly cool, they are legends in my book, but neither of them told me about the achacha.  That credit goes to the Weird Fruit Explorer guy on Youtube, who seems to have zero interest in sowing any of the precious seeds he ends up with, heh. 

Sure, I've definitely informed curators and directors about plants they've overlooked, but I'm 100% certain it would be more effective to inform everyone instead.   

X = everyone trying to inform 1 person
Y = everyone trying to inform each other

X < Y

We educate each other, we donate to botanical gardens accordingly, and voila, optimization. 

Anybody know if it's possible to cross these two guavas?  Does a hybrid already exist?  If so, what's it called and how does it taste? 

While on the topic, if I plant a Eugenia selloi in between my two unifloras, will they hybridize? 

Does anyone ever group their fruit trees with the intention of facilitating hybridization?   If so, which trees?   

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Prioritizing Fruit
« on: December 02, 2021, 05:58:23 PM »
I recently tried yellow dragon fruit and liked it way more than the red flesh and white flesh varieties.  I also recently tried jackfruit and really liked it.  Since I like these two fruits so much, I really wish that I had learned about them decades ago.  It makes me wonder just how many other fruits I haven't tried yet but would love. 

One of the worst things in life is overlooking the best things in life.  Unfortunately, overlooking the best things is way too easy, given how many things there are competing for our very limited time and attention. 

Fortunately, we don't all look in the same places.  It's a given that plenty of you have tried yellow dragon fruit and jackfruit way before I did.  Those of you who loved it told others about it, which is great, but it took way too long for me to get the memo.  Way too many other people still haven’t gotten the memo.

The solution is simple.  We make a list of fruit and sort it by donations to this website.  For example... I could donate $10 to this website in order to increase the ranking of jackfruit by $10.  The higher up jackfruit is on the list, the more people would try it. 

Why not just use voting?  Because then the top fruits would be things like apples and oranges... fruits that everybody already knows about.  The majority can't know anything valuable before the minority does.  Plus this website needs donations anyways. 

I'll share a couple relevant examples from nature. 

When the 1st bee discovers that my cherimoya is blooming... hah.  Dragon fruit?  Nope.  I can't remember if I saw any bees on my Surinam cherry, but let's go with it.  She flies back to the hive in order to recruit other bees to help harvest the pollen/nectar.  The way she recruits is by dancing.  You probably already knew this, but maybe you didn't know how she conveys her valuation.  She does this by the intensity of her dancing.  The more valuable she perceives my Surinam cherry, the more intensely she will dance, and the more bees she will recruit.  It's important to appreciate that dancing intensely will burn more of her precious calories, so it's a sacrifice for her, just like spending money is a sacrifice for us.  We should use our sacrifices to prioritize fruits, just like bees use their sacrifices to prioritize flowers. 

To be clear, whenever we buy a fruit we are making a sacrifice to help prioritize it.  But of course we aren't going to pay more for the fruit than we have to.  We all want the best possible deals.  The problem with deals is that they skew the prioritization.  No deals with donations though. 

The second example from nature involves a creature that we all hate… slugs.  Ugh.  Go to the ant thou sluggard?  Actually, it seems like slugs are extremely effective at finding and destroying valuable plants.  This is because they are essentially completely honest with each other.  One lucky slug finds your jackfruit seedlings and fills its belly with 5% of them.  Of course the bastard wants to eat the rest of your seedlings, which means it needs to be able to find them again.  It does so by leaving a trail of slime that it can use to essentially retrace its steps.  However, if any other slug happens to stumble upon the slime trail, they will also be able to use it.  So the next night there are 3 slugs eating your seedlings.  The night after that there are 10 slugs… within a few days your seedlings are all gone.  Any subsequent slugs will leave new trails that say “empty belly”.  Well, they won’t sacrifice their calories to say “full belly”. 

Slugs are way too good at recruiting each other.  Good for them, bad for us.  Bees are also really good at recruiting each other.  Good for them and us.  What about us humans in terms of recruiting?  We have lots of room for improvement. 

Logistically, maintaining the fruit prioritization list would only be a lot of work if lots of people are regularly making donations.  By then though a portion of the money could be used to automate the system.  And then another portion of the money could be used to promote the list.  As a result, we will minimize the amount of time it takes for the best “new” fruits to go from scarce to abundant. 

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