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Topics - Mike T

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Went to Innisfail yesterday 80km south of Cairns to see feast of the senses. It has been moved from March to April to avoid cyclone risk I assume and reduce the chance of rain as Innisfail routinely gets well over 10000mm (40 inches) of rain in March. The forecast was good and when we arrived in Innisfail there were big crowds, free entry and lots of stalls. Many were community information stalls, crafts, local produce and cooking of all types and food stalls. The fruit selections and displays were not as generous as in some previous years as it was half way through autumn not a peak fruit time. The organisers did very well and there was a high level of interest in tropical fruits. There were trees for sale of various fruits and many landcare style stalls with native trees as well as herb and vegie places.

Then the rain came before noon and everyone went for shelter. Then it deluged and was washed out.Torrential rain chased us all the way back to Cairns. I have had around 275mm (11 inches) of rain since lunch time yesterday and I'm a dustbowl compared to Innisfail so their dry season is off to a very wet start. Anyway great effort Innisfail and luckily there was plenty of activity before the 'inclement' weather put a damper on proceedings.

I am sure there are plenty of Terminalia enthusiasts familiar with useful species of the South Pacific on the forum. We all know Terminalia catappa which seems to generate a 'so what' response in most people. The Okari nut T.kaernbacii is more enthusiastically received because of the nice eating nut. T.solomonensis has smaller black fruit and may be at the fringes of the experiences of most Terminalia enthusiast experiences. There is another Terminalia from the Solomon Islands that seems to be something quite special. It has large pale green fruit with yellow avocado tasting flesh that is rich and pleasant. The sections of the seed can be pulled off by hand to reveal a large Okari like nut. I should know this species but it has me baffled. I ate a fruit while coming bacck from feast of the senses in Innisfail today and was impressed. So what the heck is it?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Seedling Ross Sapotes and Canistels
« on: April 17, 2021, 05:29:05 AM »

So what happens when you grow a Ross Sapote seedling? I have seen many seedlings and had a fruiting seedling for lots of years and have also tried the originals which are grafted. How true are they?
They are very true in every way except fruit shape of seedlings is sometimes a little more elongated than spherical although some trees have both shapes. I have seen a much larger fruited seedling also. The taste and moisture of the flesh is the same as original grafted Ross. They dont cross with canistel even when next to each other. So how do they compare to the best canistels? Canistels vary and sweeter moister types are far more palatable than drier ones with a flavour profile more in the direction of sweet potato and pumpkin. Ironically some of the biggest types with perfect yellow skin are not the best dessert fruit.
Ross Sapotes are just a bit more tasty than the best canistels in my opinion. There is a smokey honey taste canistels cant match, they are moister and sweeter. So why would anyone grow a canistel instead of a Ross? It beats the sh.... daylights outa me. My Bruno canistel is pretty good however and I will be keeping it.

I have duku, longkong and duku langsat fruiting in my yeard just about every year and frequently get to try langsat also. Last season I sampled a large fruited sweet Indonesian variety that appears closer in form to langsat than anything else.I have been asked quite a few times which would I rate the best fruit of the ones I have tried. If we rate them on big fruit, thin skin, sweet taste, low latex in skin, few seeds that get in the way of eating and juiciness as positive characteristics then some are sure better than others.
I would rate the best varieties as longkong ahead of duku of all types I have tried and just ahead of the large Borneo langsat (not true langsat) with duku langsat a clear winner. It just tastes better and is more juicy with a range of other positive characteristics. Crops may not be as heavy as duku and longkong. It just so happens I picked some off my tree today and here they are.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What is this Annona fruit?
« on: March 18, 2021, 06:47:28 AM »

A pattern is emerging from a time when I shared many labelled rare plants because I was acquiring too many unusual species than I could use. Lately a few times people have came back at me and asked what the fruit is they have as they lost the tag in the last 5 or 6 years. This Annona is one such example and this time I cant identify it. Maybe a forum member with Annona taxonomic firepower can assist.
The tree has a number of fruit and one still hard one came off in the growers hand. The grower calls it a "velvet russett leaves Annona" and a fruit has not yet been cut or sampled.Can anyone assist with its identification?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Annona Showdown big eyes vs pink ilama
« on: March 09, 2021, 03:59:49 AM »

Big eyes have highly variable fruit in size and the yes certainly vary enormously. They are a heavyweight in the realm of sugar apples in terms of taste as size. There are not many, if any better.

Its what'e inside that really counts.

So how would this fabulous fruit fare against a high quality deep pink ilama. Let's find out.

The taste test is now done and these are fruit from my trees sampled today and there is a clear winner. Stay tunes I will let you know.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / An excellent Rollinia
« on: February 26, 2021, 10:32:16 PM »
Some of the Annona enthusiasts may recall I posted a picture of Russells Rollinia Selection a few months ago. It was one of the best I ever tried. It is in the sputnik style (deliciosa style) with great taste and few seeds. Below is a pic of that rollinia.

Today a chum brought over a fruit which looked like a big sugar apple to confirm it was a rollinia. It sure was and in the mucosa style and it rivals Russells Selection and has firmer flesh, even fewer seeds and is low on sliminess. What a great. I insisted on chopping it in half to identify it but I already knew what it was.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Penang 88 is a great durian
« on: February 23, 2021, 05:29:55 PM »

The larger of the 2 durians here off my trees is Penang 88 and the other is Limberlost. This morning I broke it open and have been eating it.

It is better than my red prawn and the tree is smaller and more productive as well. It is way better than the monthongs and other standards I have eaten so far this season. This is a special durian variety of very high quality.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Durian Fever grows in FNQ and it gets emotional
« on: February 20, 2021, 08:51:03 PM »
Friends brought around durians to sample today and I have had a few off my trees now. Mossman, Mission Beach and Rusty's have them also. I went and saw a few yards in Cairns with plenty of good durians hanging in the last few days also. With the excitement of durian season, and no fruit stirs as much emotion in people, I received some pics from friends yesterday. Look at the enthusiasm on the faces of a new generation of durian hunters and consumers.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / In the market for mangoes
« on: February 19, 2021, 04:33:52 AM »
After the mango gluttony of November and early December I decides to look at the market today for mangoes as it is the twilight of the season. I want good mangoes at a good price. Let me say I saw some examples of highway robbery and sometimes the banditos are on the other side of the counter.

Keitts were the equivalent of 49c/lb US but I need to bag something better.

The seasoned mango enthusiast might say pearls are only fit before swine but that is a good price being under $1 US/lb.

Here we have a classic example over-priced fruit at its finest.

Now we are getting somewhere. If I am going to be stung to the tune of $2.30 US/lb they had better be decent which is what Maha Chanok and sam ru du are. I purchased some of these.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Garcinia macrophylla looking fruit
« on: February 13, 2021, 08:54:57 PM »

One of the pics from yesterday's thread on some fruit collected got people interested in one of these Garcinias.

It was this one. I can say they are like a big sweet achacha and taste way better than achacha and are not like the brazilian Garcinia macrophylla. This big fruited Ecuadorian is is a great fruit. I will select a big one and show it inside.

A bit over ripe but still tasty. There are 4 segments each with a seed.

To add to the confusion another Ecuadorian Garcinia much like a sweet achacha also seems to be another type of Garccinia macrophylla also. Maybe these two are undescribed as they don't seem to fit with the known Ecuadorian Garcinias.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Inside Durio dulcis and Leopard Chempadak
« on: February 13, 2021, 08:26:43 PM »
For those people laying awake at night wondering what the leoopard skin chempadak and Durio dulcis are like inside let me show you. Do they taste bet they did.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Feast your eyes on a days' collection.
« on: February 13, 2021, 03:03:06 AM »
I went to the Mossman area with my brother today and threw the fruit we got on the table with some from yesterday afternoon. We got more than expected but no durians or jackfruit (only jack x chempa). There were a few gems in this assortment.

We did bag some good Garcinias

There was a large Durio dulcis bagged

And other interesting stuff was seen along the way.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Annona cornifolia fruiing
« on: February 08, 2021, 08:28:04 AM »

I have a couple of Annona cornifolia and they grow quickly with multiple thin trunks to around 12 feet and produce fruit fast in my climate. The fruit are small and bright orange and have a mild tasting orange flesh with small seeds.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Which Tocoyena is this?
« on: February 06, 2021, 03:00:51 AM »

A few years ago I got some seeds of Tocoyena from Brazil. It became a handsome small shrub having white elongated tube flower bunches every so often. I just noticed a couple of fruit have set.
Through the fog of the past I think it was either T.formosa or T.bullata but I don't know.If a Brazilian south coast fruit hotshot could let me know what it really is and if it is good to eat I would appreciate it.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Garcinia schomburgkiana and ambarells
« on: February 05, 2021, 08:14:07 PM »

Stumbled across a Garcinia schomburgkiana tree today. The fruit are sour and used in cooking.

Big ambarellas littered the ground under the trees from cockatoos chewing fruit and stems.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / My Lansiums have flowers
« on: February 04, 2021, 03:37:31 AM »
When I first was looking for some Lansiums to plant I wanted duku, longkong and duku-langsat and was not so keen on langsat. There weren't many around and I was lucky to get the ones I wanted although Duku Terrenganu rather than Duku Jahor is what I would have liked but you just have to take what you can get. They have served me well and produced fruit for a few years now with the duku-langsat having the best fruit in my opinion and the biggest fruit as well. I jut went out to look and they are in flower now.
The duku has bark with corky patches all over as dukus seem to do a bit and there are a few flowers and small fruit.

Two of my 3 longkongs are flowering and my largest one has a few flowers coming but isn't going crazy.

The duku-langsat is a marcotted tree and it is my favourite of the lansiums and it seems to have a few flowers and small fruit.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Lean Season for backyard durian
« on: February 04, 2021, 03:21:48 AM »
Well chums it looks like the durian season in my backyard is a pretty lean one. The dry season was extra dry and wet season stared with a bang and I had 35 inches of rain in January. Maybe the early dryness didn't help. My red prawn has no fruit this year and neither does my luang.
The penang 88 has 3 fruit only but they are big.

The limberlost tree is a market and is doing a little better and it is the most reliable tree I have. I tried one so far and it was good.

My gumpun tree has only 3 fruit and they are quite big but 3 won't satisfy my durian appetite.

I have heard from others that it is a pretty lean year all around in Queensland so I hope other areas like the NT  have had a better year.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / E4 Abiu the best for taste
« on: February 03, 2021, 05:58:20 PM »
E4 abius are ripening again and I forgot how good they are. At 300g to 900g they are whoppers although the first to ripen are a bit closer to 4oog. They have the richest taste of any abius I have tried with strong caramel and vanilla and they are very sweet. They are almost latex free even when half green. I rate them ahead of the illustrious z4 but they do have softer and more transparent flesh.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sansapote, orange G. forbesii and Oncoba
« on: January 23, 2021, 09:35:40 PM »

In my travels today some fruit virtually presented itself to me. Feast your eyes on a few below.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / A good red papaya
« on: January 22, 2021, 03:29:59 AM »

No papaya is really red but some have orange skin and are pinkish orange inside. What I like is in the solo style but some seem to ne improved on the basic solo model with a bit more flavour, no hollow, a bit more colour and a little firmer. I do like the long reds and some of the newer varieties hitting the market with just letters and numbers for names. The pictured one is the one I like best of the ones I grow and the fruit are quite small and egg shaped.


On the weekend I lost the top of my big eyes sugar apple to pink disease and have had some citrus impacted also.

I hope the remaining tree stump and a few small branches makes a comeback.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / A real jack-in-the-box
« on: December 11, 2020, 11:19:15 PM »
It has been a week of jackfruit and chempedak overload for me chums. I had a few ripe ones on my trees and received plenty from other sources also. A trip to the jackfruit farm today had ne sampling numerous varies of jacks, chempas and crosses. My advice is don't eat more than 10 or 11lbs in a week and don't eat more than 2 or 3lbs of flesh in a sitting or you will feel totally tanked up like I am at the moment.
A chance hybrid of timor red jack and chempedak was a real surprise and stood out from the pack. It is a high producing dwarf with firm, zesty flesh of terrific lemony and fruity taste. It was super easy to peel by hand and almost latex free. A real winner and the well known farming family is justifiably very happy with fruit tree. Even though I had consumed too much fruit I found the room to go that little bit further and sample this one. I need one of these trees.

Here is a tree with the farmer

They are small trees which fruit quickly.

The fruit are in the 2kg range consistently with big bulbs.


I have a pitomba and several Eugenia pyriformis x lutescens That have been producing fruit for several years. I am routinely loaded with a few other Eugenias like candolleana and pitangatubas and people often ask which ones taste the best. Did I mention yellow grumis? Anyway I have to say the Eugenia pyriformis x lutescens is the best one I have for eating and they have a pleasant sweet flavourful taste and even a hint of apricot with a little zing but not too much acid. My 3 trees have fruit that taste quite different between the trees in terms of sweetness and strength of taste.
The proud recipient of my extra seedlings was fortunate to have trees with bigger and even sweeter fruit that mine and also commented on how fruit flavour varied between the trees that look very much the same. Those in the pic above were a few I picked this afternoon off my trees and also a pitomba.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / A special jaboticaba
« on: December 09, 2020, 03:46:01 AM »
A few years ago a Brazilian contact offered me seeds of his prize dwarf heavy bearing white jaboticaba. I gladly relieved him of some and planted all the seeds in one big pot.One of the resulting seedlings was different and grew much faster. I suspected it was a cross or just healthier for some other reason and I nurtured and planted this. The rest of the pot of seedlings I gave to a farmer friend so they live productive lives. The resulting row of trees were indeed dwarf white jabs on his farm and are fabulously productive with lovely fruit.Oddly enough two of his dwarf whites had red fruit. AXP red dwarf I will call that as I suspect some phitrantha crossing has occurred.
Meanwhile my much larger semi dwarf I guess we will call it at home hadn't fruited. It took it 4 and a half years or so but it was worth the wait. It fruits often and heavily and fruit have great taste. They are usually extra large but a bit smaller at the moment because it has been so dry.

Here are some fruit and as I said they are usually much larger. This one has earned the name AXP as it is almost certainly a white x phitrantha but not a full dwarf.

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