Author Topic: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry  (Read 2505 times)

simon_grow

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Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« on: February 12, 2021, 02:55:29 PM »
So Iíve been reading through the various Surinam Cherry (Eugenia Uniflora) posts and wanted to get the most updated information regarding the best tasting Surinam Cherry found so far. It would be great to see pictures of your favorite variety and why you like that particular variety. It would also be great to hear a detailed flavor description.

Iíve only tasted about 5-10 different varieties of Surinam Cherries and I wasnít in love with them before so I didnít keep track of their names. The only named ones I can recall are Vermillion, Jim/Mark Thick leaf and, Zill Dark and my Zill Dark Seedling #1.

The only variety Iíve recently eaten is a special Surinam Cherry that was purchased by Jim Neitzel from Walter Anderson Nursery some 20+ years ago. It was labeled ďEugenia SmithiiĒ.

Mark Lee got this special plant from Jim and shared a few cutting of it with me a few years ago. I grafted the scions onto a seedling and it has given me fruit for the last two years.

If Mark Lee didnít save this variety, it would probably be lost already. What makes this variety so special is that the leaves are very large and extremely thick. The leaves feel twice as thick as regular Surinam Cherries. This variety makes extra large fruit that is very dark, almost completely black that is sweet and has very little Diesel/turpentine taste, if you know what I mean.

My grafted plant was growing in a 5 gallon container and I just up potted it a few days ago. Iím surprised how big the fruit got considering it is in a relatively small pot and I didnít water much. This fruit is probably especially big because there are only a few fruit on the tree at that time.

This small tree consistently produces fruit Quarter sized and the larger fruit are Half dollar size or slightly larger. This particular fruit had a Brix of 14.3% and Iím sure it can get sweeter with age and if planted in the ground.


Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2021, 03:09:47 PM »
Hereís a picture of the Jim/Mark thick leaf fruit next to a quarter and half dollar

Another picture but this time, the fruit is on top of the half dollar. You can see the fruit is slightly larger than the half dollar. You can just barely see the edge of the half dollar if you zoom in on the picture


Sorry I canít give a more detailed flavor description, it was just sweet with a nice acid balance. It was very juicy and had a hint of blackberry to it. This large fruit had a double seed.

Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2021, 03:25:09 PM »
Side shot

Brix

Iím not saying this is the best tasting variety Iíve had so far because I havenít done a side by side comparison to other varieties but this variety is really excellent because of the taste, size and productivity. It is also very different than all other Surinam Cherries Iíve had because of the extremely thick and larger leaves.

Iím still trying to figure out where ď Eugenia SmithiiĒ came from and if this is or is not a hybrid with done other Eugenia, if thatís even possible.

When something canít be explained, Iím going to go with the easiest and most probable guess that this is just a special selection of Eugenia Uniflora that just happens to have larger and thicker leaves.

With so many people growing out Surinam Cherry seedlings, Iíd be surprised if no one else has discovered another seedling selection with these thick and large leaves.

Simon


simon_grow

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2021, 05:16:27 PM »
Here is my Zill Dark Seedling #1, itís another dark skinned variety and this is the first fruit from this plant. Itís about the size of a quarter with a sweet taste. Very slight resin notes from my memory. This fruit was picked about a month ago and Iím trying to remember the taste profile but nothing in particular comes to mind. This fruit has a Brix of 16%. Itís currently in a 5 gallon pot and needs to be up potted.

The sibling to this tree is also flowering for the first time.







Simon

simon_grow

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2021, 09:25:28 PM »
Vermillion is one of the best Red colored Surinam Cherries I have eaten. The fruit is very large, sweet, juicy and has a medium resinous flavor that I once hated but now enjoy. The resinous flavor of Surinam Cherries reminds me a lot of the strong resinous taste of specific Indian mangos such as Alphonso and Kesar. It is a bit like Diesel fuel or pine sol which sounds weird and disgusting but when itís combined with the sugar acid balance of the fruit, it gives the fruit some character.

Leo Manuel has a large and absolutely beautiful Vermillion Surinam Cherry in his backyard that is a perfect tree shape which is loaded with fruit almost year round. You will never find Surinam Cherries at the Supermarket because of the fruits delicate nature so youíll have to grow your own if you want to enjoy the fruit, or have friends that like to share.

Scroll through this thread to see pictures of Leoís beautiful Vermillion Surinam Cherry tree.

http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=3188.50

I will grab some Vermilion fruit next time I visit Leo and get a Brix reading.

I would like to see which Surinam Cherry variety has the highest Brix.

Simon

socalbalcony

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2021, 10:17:40 PM »
I should get a refractometer, I have some seedlings that were grown from a guy who got the seeds from a Florida professor after they were done doing breeding research(?).. I forgot the full story, the fruits are kind of purple I think. No pics atm but I'll get some soon..

As another socal person, any tips on surinams? What fertilizers do you use for your potted plants/how often? They are one of my favorite fruits, most of mine have lost their foliage due to harsh santa ana winds, and another one I have barely has any foliage but has been flowering since November, its not setting any fruit, perhaps due to lack of foliage/temps down here? 60 during the day, 45 at night..

simon_grow

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2021, 11:07:15 PM »
Socalbalcony, I neglect most my trees and Surinam Cherries are one of the easiest plants to grow. They seem to thrive on neglect. Since they grow so easily, my best advice is to up pot as soon as they have outgrown their pot.
I use a 50/50 mixture of Foxfarm ocean Forest and Happy Frog potting soil. I feed with organic 0-10-10 when the trees are blooming or holding fruit.

Simon

nexxogen

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2021, 01:59:02 AM »
I have a few seedlings of what the eBay seller claimed was the 'Black Star' variety. The fruits are dark red but not so much that they look black and the gasoline flavor is constantly there and simply too much for me to enjoy the fruit which would otherwise be excellent.

I've heard that Cherry of the Rio Grande and Savanah Cherry don't have this gasoline flavor at all. Can someone confirm this?

socalbalcony

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2021, 03:57:37 PM »
Socalbalcony, I neglect most my trees and Surinam Cherries are one of the easiest plants to grow. They seem to thrive on neglect. Since they grow so easily, my best advice is to up pot as soon as they have outgrown their pot.
I use a 50/50 mixture of Foxfarm ocean Forest and Happy Frog potting soil. I feed with organic 0-10-10 when the trees are blooming or holding fruit.

Simon

Hi Simon, thanks for the response. I purchased this one as a 5gal early december (roots coming out of the bottom..) and it had two fruits left on it , moved it to a 10gal grow bag, gave it some hollytone, and mid January up until now it has been blooming but not setting any fruits (see the pictures). As you can see it also doesn't have much foliage left on it. Should I try a 0-10-10? Any particular fertilizer/brands?






ScottR

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2021, 05:45:07 PM »
Simon, my favorites are 'Chamba'
Also have had excellent Cherry of the Rio Grande' & Vermillion I do have a graft of Zill's dark but hasn't fruited yet! We're cooler than the L.a. basin especially me because mi'm maybe two miles as crow fly's from Ocean. Have some other seedlings some dark such as Westree 396 but has to be dark black before sweet. I enjoy them very much if picked ripe I don't notice this diesel flavor most folks talk about. Also have Lolita seedling and Louver there is a tree @ Orange County Fair grounds when CRFG has demo-garden by Barn.
I use the tickle test when picking them underneath fruit if ripe will fall in your hand.
I've heard about Mark Lee's var. from Jim N. will have to get that one too!
great post! ;)
Also have had excellent Cherry of the Rio Grande in last two year's with this year two crops the last one still has small fruit hanging.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 10:33:25 AM by ScottR »

socalbalcony

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2021, 06:04:07 PM »
Simon, my favorites are 'Chamb
Also have had excellent Cherry of the Rio Grandea' & Vermillion I do have a graft of Zill's dark but hasn't fruited yet! We're cooler than the L.a. basin especially me because mi'm maybe two miles as crow fly's from Ocean. Have some other seedlings some dark such as Westree 396 but has to be dark black before sweet. I enjoy them very much if picked ripe I don't notice this diesel flavor most folks talk about. Also have Lolita seedling and Louver there is a tree @ Orange County Fair grounds when CRFG has demo-garden by Barn.
I use the tickle test when picking them underneath fruit if ripe will fall in your hand.
I've heard about Mark Lee's var. from Jim N. will have to get that one too!
great post! ;)
Also have had excellent Cherry of the Rio Grande in last two year's with this year two crops the last one still has small fruit hanging.

There is a tree on the OC fairgrounds by the barn?

FMfruitforest

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2021, 06:58:06 PM »
The red fruiting variety is used all over in my area as a hedge in the landscape. Ive found most to be piney and tart but sometimes youíll find a red thats sweeter. The dark fruiting variety has provided me the best tasting so far.
I purchased a small seedling from fruitscapes few years back. It turned out to be dark fruiting and excellent in flavor. It completely covers itself in blooms in full sun.




FMfruitforest

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2021, 07:00:07 PM »
Im excited for my ďCrimson TideĒ Seedling as I see its just pushed it first blooms.

Kevin Jones

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2021, 09:26:20 PM »
Here's a couple of Black Star and Crimson Tide photos:






Kevin

« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 09:31:21 PM by Kevin Jones »

Galatians522

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2021, 09:40:35 PM »
Here's a couple of Black Star and Crimson Tide photos:






Kevin

I've been waiting for you to post on this thread. After all, how can the guy whose avatar is a picture of a Suriname Cherry not have an opinion on this?

Kevin Jones

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2021, 03:10:17 PM »
The Suriname Cherries was my gateway drug into the tropical fruit world... the addiction continues!
The "Crimson Tide" selection is my hands down favorite of what I've tasted. Very sweet with a mandarine/tangerine flavor.
I wish I were better at grafting Surinames... because I would really like to propagate this selection.
I've managed 3 so far... but fumbled many more!
Same with "Black Star".
I've managed to successfully graft a few... but a lot more failures.
I've got plenty of rootstock... so I will continue trying once the weather warms up.

Kevin


socalbalcony

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2021, 03:15:50 PM »
Is there a reason why more people don't just air layer instead of graft?

Kevin Jones

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2021, 04:21:30 PM »
I will try air layering this spring.

Kevin


socalbalcony

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2021, 05:36:08 PM »
Good luck! Definitely post results.. I know it can be done, I have a surinam bonsai that is from airlayer (I see no reason to lie about this from the artist's perspective). They told me in warm/humid places like Florida (and perhaps where you are, Kevin) it occurs with ease..

Kevin Jones

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2021, 07:33:44 PM »
Last fall I order a large quantity of these plastic air layering balls on ebay:



Thought I'd give them a try...

Kevin

K-Rimes

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2021, 07:38:30 PM »
I'm an avid pitanga collector and have a ton, perhaps the biggest part of my collection. I have a few ten foot tall trees that were terribly shaped / cared for and are soooo lanky. I am considering just lopping them off at 4' and seeing what happens. They produce ok.

One red 10' tree that is ok, and the other is black star that is the sweetest, but does not produce well. The black star is so sweet that it kind of lacks character, but if sweetness is your thing, that's the one.

I have a grafted vermillion from Papaya tree that produces an insane amount of fruit. Some days there would be 20 ready to eat and the tree is only about 3' tall. I plan to graft this type onto my seedlings. It is sweet, no diesel notes, and can go purple/black if you leave them long enough and the birds don't find them. It is just slightly more tart than the black star.

Then the list of other trees I've bought or propagated ranges from the big Obera types from Marcos in Argentina (the leaf shape is very unique and long / pointy) and they are more aesthetic vegetatively, to some much larger seedlings that I bought from Exotica in SD. They are between 2' - 6' tall. Lolita, Chamba, and vermillion. I heavily pruned them before winter and hope they all produce this year. They were just big bushes before.

Cannot wait for Spring!




simon_grow

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2021, 11:25:51 AM »
Howís everyoneís Surinam Cherries doing? I continue to harvest a few fruits here and there from Jim/Marks thick leaf Surinam. Itís still one of the best Surinam Cherries Iíve tasted but Iíve only tasted a handful of varieties. The tree fruits consistently and the fruit are large and sweet with an excellent Surinam cherry flavor with perfect sugar acid balance. I always tickle or palm the fruit and if it falls off, itís ripe.

Iím loving this fruit more and more but my tree has a very poor shape so I will graft it to a seedling and also put on an air layer.

It would be great if other members could take size measurements of their fruits, give a description and also give a Brix reading if possible.

Iím on the hunt for varieties that are large, productive, sweet and have excellent taste. So far, Jim/Marks thick leaf is winning this race.

Simon

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2021, 12:15:54 PM »
This year I really changed up my fertilization regimen on my surinams which didn't produce much (other than my grafted vermillion which was INCREDIBLE for production and quality) and what I am finding really interesting is that the leaf thickness is substantially improved by switching to high P fertilizers. Last year the leaves were very thin and delicate when using lots of N, but I also feel that's why they didn't produce - nutrients I used were all high N slow release.

My trees all fully defoliate in the winter so they are still building out a new coat of leaves, but are doing so rapidly now. Here in 9b they miss the first fruiting period (it flowers when there's still risk of frost and there are no leaves to protect the delicate flowers). I'm really wanting to extend my greenhouse and pack all of them inside it for the winter so this doesn't happen next year.

My grafted vermillion does not produce large fruit, but it makes a ton of them that are sweet but not overwhelmingly so. My black star produces noticeably larger and sweeter fruits, but hardly holds onto any of them or flowers much at all. I've been grafting a lot of the vermillion onto my other plants because it's so much better for production and also added several Zill's grafts this year but have not had any fruit from them. Of note, the Zill's leaves are super thick. My suspicion is that leaf thickness may have something to do with fruit quality and size?

This was an average day in late October. I was getting 10-20 fruit a day from just one 4' plant that's pretty scraggly. I look forward to this year when it builds a better canopy - I up potted from 15 gallon to 25 gallon.



socalbalcony

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Re: Hunt for the best Surinam Cherry
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2021, 02:13:16 PM »
Howís everyoneís Surinam Cherries doing? I continue to harvest a few fruits here and there from Jim/Marks thick leaf Surinam. Itís still one of the best Surinam Cherries Iíve tasted but Iíve only tasted a handful of varieties. The tree fruits consistently and the fruit are large and sweet with an excellent Surinam cherry flavor with perfect sugar acid balance. I always tickle or palm the fruit and if it falls off, itís ripe.

Iím loving this fruit more and more but my tree has a very poor shape so I will graft it to a seedling and also put on an air layer.

It would be great if other members could take size measurements of their fruits, give a description and also give a Brix reading if possible.

Iím on the hunt for varieties that are large, productive, sweet and have excellent taste. So far, Jim/Marks thick leaf is winning this race.

Simon


Glad to see the thread being kept alive, I can't do brix but I'll try taking size measurements..

I have a grafted blackstar, 'Hawaiian' blackstar that I just forced into flowering, four other different seedlings that will be fruiting first time this year - one of which has something like 100 fruits set its first time.. two others that are in shock from being bare rooted about 2 months ago. Largest fruit so far has been the typical blackstar but it doesn't look like it beats the thick-leaf.

The other day I tried fruit from a collector with the following trees: seth, westree 369, vermillion and "pb2" or pfx2 - I forgot, seth had the most complex flavor with low resin for me but very small fruits

I'd be curious if any members can comment on Nacha or 404 - http://fruitsandgardening.blogspot.com/2020/01/california-rare-fruit-growers-fruit.html - search for Eugenia Uniflora