Author Topic: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia  (Read 7869 times)

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2023, 06:36:11 PM »
For anyone who is interested in this fig thread, I believe that I know where the elusive ficus SPI 52406 can be found. According to the USDA website, it is still maintained at the germplasm collection in Miami. At some point, they dropped the s at the beginning and it is now just PI 52406. As Mike predicted, it was finally identified as Ficus racemosa.

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/accessiondetail?id=1108318

Here is a link to the Florida Horticultural Society Article that Craig referenced.

https://journals.flvc.org/fshs/article/view/103230/99158

And my final proof, here is the original description for PI 52406 as attached to the USDA page I liked above. You will notice that the description in the article is a direct quotation from this description.

https://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/pi_books/scans/66/pi066_025.pdf

Now the catch, is there anyone associated with a research team or university that could request this material for distribution to the forum? USDA no longer honors private requests.

Epiphyte

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2023, 04:38:14 AM »
Galatians522, nice detective work.  i did some digging and found this passage from Ira Condit's 1947 book "the fig"...

Quote
The principal interest in stocks for figs is directed to securing one resistant to root troubles, especially that caused by the root-knot nematode. No variety of the Ficus carica complex has so far been found which shows sufficient resistance to or immunity from root-knot to warrant using it as a stock. One species, however, has been found which does show immunity to nematode attacks. It was introduced from Australia by the United States Department of Agriculture under P. I. No. 52406 and was later identified as Ficus glomerata.  Common figs grafted on this stock in Florida grew vigorously at first but later died out. The stock is tender, leaves being injured by only 4 or 5 degrees of frost. For these reasons interest in this species as a possible stock has abated.

eh, that's confusing. 

in any case, it would be curious if a variety of ficus racemosa in australia was noticeably more graft compatible with carica than other varieties of racemosa.  this would imply that the australian variety was a lot more closely related to carica than say the indian variety?  this would indicate that either the australian racemosa or the other racemosas should be a different species. 

i have a bunch of small seedling racemosas from seed that i purchased on ebay.  no idea which variety of racemosa the seeds are from.  i also have a 3' ficus racemosa that i bought as a noid.  back in may, when i had no idea what it was, i grafted 3 small twigs from it onto my neighbor's big carica.  the scions didn't do anything and i assumed they failed, but last week i noticed that 1 of the scions put out a couple of small leaves.  i'm not sure what it means when it takes so long for a scion to push.  maybe it was just because the scions were so small. 

here are most of the ficus that i've tried grafting onto carica (all done this year) for the purpose of discerning compatibility/relatedness, ranked from 0 (fail) to 10 (success)...

ficus afghanistanica - 10
ficus auriculata - 1, surprising result given that it's been crossed with carica
ficus cocculifolia - 7?
ficus coronata - ?, recent graft
ficus dammaropsis - 2
ficus deltoidea - ?, recent graft
ficus erecta - 8, not very surprising since it's been crossed with carica
ficus formosana - 9
ficus gasparriniana - 4
ficus aff heterophylla - 9, looks closer to palmata
ficus ingens - 0
ficus lutea - 0
ficus opposita - 9
ficus palmata (hybrid?) - 10
ficus racemosa - ?
ficus sycomorus - 9
ficus sur - 1
ficus tannoensis - 10
ficus tikoua - 0
ficus umbellata - 1
ficus vaccinioides - 9
ficus vasta - 0

if you're signed into ourfigs you can see some pics here... ficus carica's closest relatives in taiwan?

not sure why i haven't tried pumila.  perhaps because i already know it's graft and cross compatible? 

the 1st time i saw the cross between pumila and carica it blew my mind.  they seem so completely different.  i still trip out when i look at vaccinioides happily growing on carica. 

i spend all my time comparing my preliminary results to the ficus family tree, for example... phylogenetic reconstruction of ficus subg. synoecia and its allies (moraceae), with implications on the origin of the climbing habit.  honestly i'm not exactly sure how they create the cladogram.  yeah they use genetics, but...

x = cladogram created using genetics
y = cladogram created using grafting

how much of a difference will there be between x and y? 

in terms of nematodes, even if it is the case that vaccinioides is super compatible with carica, it probably wouldn't be very practical to use vaccinioides as a rootstock.  but if vaccinioides and carica can be crossed, then perhaps the hybrid might work as a rootstock.  and perhaps a backcross might work even better as a rootstock.  then again, perhaps the backcross would have even tastier fruit than carica does. 

having spent a considerable amount of time looking at the available ficus cladograms i'm under the impression that quite a few hybrids can, and should, be made with carica. 

i recently tried injecting ficus fraseri pollen into carica, specifically fignomenal, using the syringe method.  i'm not holding my breath.  so far i harvested a couple figs.  they had spoiled, but had a decent amount of seeds that sank, but it's only been around a week since i attempted to pollinate them, so i'm guessing that fraseri isn't the daddy.  at least it will be interesting to see how many, if any, of the seedlings inherit the dwarfing and everbearing traits of fignomenal.

naturally we should try to develop the best tasting ficus for growing epiphytically.  that's one way to deal with nematodes. 

a couple ficus species that i'd suggest testing for carica compatibility are ficus montana and ficus ischnopoda.  both are available from the fairchild botanic garden.  hmmm... ficus sagittata and ficus villosa might also be compatible with carica.  they should be tested as well.  i already have both though but neither is quite large enough to easily graft onto a carica.

here we are now, seemingly so modern, until we truly fathom that the surface has been just barely scratched in terms of fig progress.  i think condit deserves credit for 1st crossing pumila and carica?  he made the cross decades ago.  i somehow missed the memo for most of my life.  we can't stand on shoulders whose existence we are unaware of.  this is how and why progress goes... bonk. the solution, as i've mentioned previously, is to use donations (to this forum) to prioritize forum threads

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2023, 12:05:20 PM »
 Thanks for the insight. I won't go into too much detail, but I thought that might be the case. However, some sources say that the incompatibility arose because the evergreen roots starved when the scion went dormant. This could very possibly be solved by leaving a "nurse branch" on the rootstock to keep it alive when the top is dormant. It also stands to reason that the more graft compatible cultivars of racemosa would be the best place to start hybridization attempts. Ultimately, I think the permanent solution to the root knot issue will be a hybrid ficus. In the mean time I think this rootstock has lots of promise. Since the grafted trees were reported to have produced as many as 100 figs in the first year, the grafted plants could be produced annually or maintained with nurse branches to prevent the roots from dying off. It is very interesting to me that there are some reports on this thread that trees can live for several seasons (with dwarfed growth) on oppositifolia. That fig is reported to be semi-deciduous in its native environment due to droughts.

Epiphyte

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2023, 02:17:14 PM »
in this ourfigs thread... RKN battle Cont. - Update of F. Sycomorus... in the 1st post there's a pic of a carica happily growing grafted onto a sycomorous.  it probably isn't a coincidence that there are a few nurse branches on the sycomorous. 

a while back i did a decent amount of digging to find examples of deciduous trees grafted onto evergreen rootstocks.  i didn't find many.  seems like the consensus is that evergreen rootstocks need a continual supply of energy in order to stay alive, which is possible with the use of nurse branches, as you mentioned. 

in this other oufigs thread... Suggestions for Determining Nematode Resistance of F. Palmata Rootstock... in the 11th post there are some pics of a carica scion starting to grow on an opposita.  there are quite a few nurse branches, but not sure how many, if any, are needed, since opposita can go deciduous, as you pointed out. 

my best guess is that the more graft compatible a ficus species is with carica, the higher the likelihood that they can be crossed.  hopefully some of my more compatible ficus will produce figs next year. 

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2023, 07:04:10 PM »
 Interesting stuff. I have never spent much time on that forum.

pagnr

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2023, 07:30:04 AM »
"A large clean tree with fruit of fine delicate sweet flavor and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded and dark crimson when ripe."

Interesting that this doesn't clearly ring bells.
Cluster Fig sounds pretty close by size and colour. Flavour is OK too.
Sandpaper Fig seem closer to domestic figs, but I have never seen red fruit, and they are smaller fruited than carica.
Going by the above description, you could eliminate a good 35 to 40 of the 45 Australian Ficus.
That leaves the most likely candidates for you to experiment with.

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2023, 01:10:59 PM »
"A large clean tree with fruit of fine delicate sweet flavor and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded and dark crimson when ripe."

Interesting that this doesn't clearly ring bells.
Cluster Fig sounds pretty close by size and colour. Flavour is OK too.
Sandpaper Fig seem closer to domestic figs, but I have never seen red fruit, and they are smaller fruited than carica.
Going by the above description, you could eliminate a good 35 to 40 of the 45 Australian Ficus.
That leaves the most likely candidates for you to experiment with.

Suposedly it is a variety of cluster fig that is more compatible with common fig. However, it is different enough from the typical cluster fig that it took close to 70 years to get that ID. So, maybe its a sub-species?

pagnr

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2023, 04:44:42 PM »
Have you tried investigating the accession number. Ficus 52406 might have other records, like introduction information.

I have tried quite a few Australian Rainforest Figs, this doesn't really ring a bell.
If it was that good, it might be better known.

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2023, 11:07:40 PM »
Have you tried investigating the accession number. Ficus 52406 might have other records, like introduction information.

I have tried quite a few Australian Rainforest Figs, this doesn't really ring a bell.
If it was that good, it might be better known.

I did look at any information attached to the assession number. There was very little, just the introduction info in the PDF in one of the links I posted above. Are any of the Australian figs worth growing for their fruit in your opinion?

pagnr

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2023, 03:56:49 AM »
Sorry I missed that from your earlier post.
I enjoyed racemosa cluster fig, faint strawberry flavour, like a strawberry cookie. I thought NSW sandpaper figs are nice. If I remember, Deciduous Fig was ok, Moreton Bay was ok, but a few are enough. Not sure any come near Ficus carica in flavour.

Mike T

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2023, 05:26:58 PM »
It will be F.coronata and I recently pulled one out as it was too vigorous

pagnr

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2023, 09:26:25 AM »
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=636115795294385&set=a.440980541474579
Variegated Fig (Ficus variegata). The figs change from green to red as they mature and feed many species of birds and bats.
The figs grow on or close to the tree trunk, a feature termed cauliflory.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2023, 03:58:37 PM by pagnr »