Exotic fruit trees

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John J

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Exotic fruit trees
« on: August 31, 2012, 05:13:46 AM »
The mangos available at most greengrocers in London seem to come from Brazil and are very often stringy. Our Indian friends swear by the Alphonso variety and I agree with Pamela that these are superb - sweet, juicy and without fibres. However they might not be suitable for cultivation in the Med.

John, do you grow all the other exotic fruit-trees you mention?
I wish, Alice!! I'm afraid these are all from our time in Singapore/Malaysia. The only one I've tried here is the Carica papaya, though so far, without success. It will grow in Cyprus as you come across it from time to time in other's gardens. The fruit they produce are very much smaller than the ones we got in Singapore, however. I am experimenting at the moment with one of the Custard-apples a Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) but the tree is only a couple of years old so it could be a long time before anything happens, if ever. I have heard that there is someone on the island who is growing Lychee (Litchi chinensis) but I haven't got around to tracking them down yet.
Do other Forum members have any success in growing, or attempting to grow, unusual or exotic fruits?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 02:07:35 PM by Alisdair »
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

pamela

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Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 08:21:13 AM »
This is my list of planted fruits and vines although some are small trees/plants not yet fruiting eg kiwifruit, mango, avocado, I have patience.........!

Actinidia chinensis( Kiwifruit )
Citrus x paradisi (Grapefruit)
Citrus limon (Lemon)
Diospyros kaki( Kaki)
D. kaki (Sharon)
Eriobotrya japonica (Nispero)
Ficus carica   
Acca sellowiana (feijoa)
Vitis vinifera Chasselas
                     Muscat de Hambourg
Mangifera indica ‘Osteen’
Morus alba Pendula
Punica granatum (Pomegranate)
Persea americana (Avocado)
Psidium guineense (Brazilian Guava)
Physalis edulis (Cape gooseberry)

Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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Alisdair

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Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 02:01:50 PM »
The mangos available at most greengrocers in London seem to come from Brazil and are very often stringy. Our Indian friends swear by the Alphonso variety and I agree with Pamela that these are superb - sweet, juicy and without fibres. However they might not be suitable for cultivation in the Med.

John, do you grow all the other exotic fruit-trees you mention?
You can find the full context of this question from Alice, which started off this Exotic fruit trees thread, in the separate Mango discussion.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 02:10:22 PM by Alisdair »
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John J

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Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 03:47:36 PM »
Pamela, your list prompted me to take a look at what we currently grow. The usual suspects, of course:
Olive
Grapefruit
Orange
Mandarin
Lemon
Pomelo
Bergamot - small tree, not yet producing.
Bitter orange - we don't make marmalade but the flowers are used for a traditional 'glyko' (sweet).
Fig
Pomegranate
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)
Mulberry  - the leaves also feed the silkworms.
Vines - of unknown provenance but the grapes are small and sweet.

Slightly more unusual;
Opuntia (Prickly pear)
Passionfruit
Plums - unknown varieties
Apples - unknown varieties
Eleagnus angustifolia - quite popular with some Cypriots, especially among the older generations. An acquired taste that I haven't acquired!

Even more unusual;
Acca sellowiana
Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum)
Guava
Medlar (Mespilus germanica)
Mango
Kiwi - young plant yet to produce.
Cherimoya - young plant yet to produce.
Avocado - 2 young trees yet to produce and 1 very large one, 12 years old, grown from seed that has never produced a single fruit but is kept for decorative and sentimental reasons.

In the nut category;
Almond
Pecan
Walnut - young tree not yet produced.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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Alisdair

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Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 07:25:37 PM »
Gosh, you know how to make us jealous, John!  :P
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

Jill S

  • Full Member
Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 11:29:30 PM »
Good heavens, certainly a case for 'ENVY'
John, do you also have silk worms? do they produce viable silk thread?, or do you balk at having to destroy the 'worm' to get a useful product? which I've always thought rather counter-productive.
Jill
Member of RHS and MGS. Gardens in Surrey, UK and, whenever I get the chance, on Paros, Greece where the learning curve is not the only thing that's steep.

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John J

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Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2012, 10:28:19 AM »
I believe silk production in Cyprus dates back to Byzantine times though it was probably at its height during the Lusignan/Venetian period. By the mid 20th C it had been reduced to a cottage industry and when I first set foot on the island in 1967 it can possibly best be described as a hobby.
The practice of boiling the cocoons to kill their occupants, though apparently cruel, is necessary. If left to develop they eat their way out of the cocoon leaving a hole thus severing the thread and preventing it from being removed in one continuous piece. Some were allowed to do this to provide the next generation and the spoiled cocoons were cut and shaped to make pictures, as in the photo below. I took this photo probably around 40 years ago and it is not very clear so the detail is not obvious but it's the only one I could find.
Before she retired my wife was a Primary School teacher. She grew silkworms every year from the eggs onwards as part of the science lessons for the children. The minute worms hatched at the same time as the mulberry was beginning to put out fresh new growth. Nowadays she occasionally obtains a few eggs from a friend and grows them on just for the nostalgia value, I guess. Certainly not in the vast quantities needed to produce viable thread. Also, when our grandson's class at school were learning about 'mini-beasts' she grew some for his teacher to have in the classroom as an example.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Jill S

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Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2012, 10:56:18 AM »
Lovely art work John. The reason I asked about the silk worms was that your mention of them reminded me of a very long, hot, summer many years ago when I was weaving a length of silk. It took me ages, in fact over six weeks, and I wasn't particularly slow, and the loom was in a cleared attic space which made it even hotter. It was worth it as the finished length was, and still is, rather nice, but even then I did wonder about all the worms that had been killed to provide the thread. Cotton, wool and linen are kinder (but not as nice as silk!)
Jill
Member of RHS and MGS. Gardens in Surrey, UK and, whenever I get the chance, on Paros, Greece where the learning curve is not the only thing that's steep.

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MikeHardman

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    • www.mikehardman.com
Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 07:47:11 AM »
Yes - lovely, John.
And interesting story.
And wow to your list of fruit!
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Guenther

  • Newbie
Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 01:31:59 AM »
I believe fruits of Morus nigra has a better taste than of Morus alba.

Perhaps:
Pawpaw (Asimina papau)
Arbutus unedo
Anacardium occidentale
Cassia fistula

I believe, there is no problem with:
Pistacia vera
Coryllus avellana (Hazelnuts)
Juniperus
Cornus mas
Ceratonia siliqua
Castanea sativa
Phoenix dactylifera


« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 01:43:05 AM by Guenther »
Garden designer in pension, garden photographer. I have a garden (1200 square meter) at Wels, Austria and I passionately attend a garden on the island of Losinj, Croatia.

pamela

  • Sr. Member
Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 07:48:18 AM »
I entirely agree Guenther,  Morus nigra are far, far better in flavour than Morus alba.  We ate them in during many summers on the Island of Gozo some years ago.
Jávea, Costa Blanca, Spain
Min temp 5c max temp 38c  Rainfall 550 mm 

"Who passes by sees the leaves;
 Who asks, sees the roots."
     - Charcoal Seller, Madagascar

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 10:01:48 AM »
As a sort of follow-up to this thread. I was picking some of the ripe fruit this morning and thought I'd take photos to illustrate a few of the ones I mentioned earlier. We have;

Acca sellowiana (Pineapple guava)
Psidium cattleianum (Strawberry guava)
Mespilus germanica (Medlar)
Psidium guavaja (Guava)
Pomelo
Pomegranate
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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MikeHardman

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    • www.mikehardman.com
Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 12:11:24 PM »
Very nice; well done.
We'll have to call you farmer John!
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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ritamax

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Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2012, 06:24:51 PM »
That is absolutely fantastic! Is Guava easy to grow? I read that somewhere in the tropical climates it is considered invasive. Acca sellowiana seems to be suitable to mediterranean climate. How does the fruit taste and does it take long before it fruits?
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise

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John J

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Re: Exotic fruit trees
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2012, 09:45:26 AM »
Rita, I have found guava (Psidium guajava) easy to grow, very undemanding. Like the majority of our fruit trees it is on drip irrigation that is turned on twice a week during the hottest months. Apart from the fruit the tree is worth growing in its own right. The flowers are beautiful, as typifies the myrtle family, and the trunk is attractive with its peeling bark.
The Pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana) I grew from seed bought from Chiltern Seeds in UK about 14/15 years ago. From, I seem to remember, 7 germinations I kept 4. Again, they are well worth growing for their ornamental value. Mine have been kept as rather sprawling bushes but I have seen them growing as medium-sized trees on the boundary of one of the Cyprus Agriculture Departments Research Farms. They are reasonably drought-tolerant, moisture-tolerant, salt-tolerant enough to be grown in coastal areas and unfussy about soil type. Stunning flowers with slightly fleshy petals that are edible and can be added as an unusual decoration to fruit salads. My bushes took about 5 years to fruit and now produce far more than we can possibly eat. It's hard to tell when they are ripe as they don't undergo any colour change. I believe the recognised method of harvesting is to shake the plant and collect what falls off. I find the taste difficult to describe. The ripe fruit are initially sweet with a flesh that can have a slightly 'gritty' texture and they have an unusual aftertaste. This I find a little sharp, but not unpleasant, possibly akin to that experienced with pineapple. I read somewhere that it was like wintergreen. Anyway, I can thoroughly recommend growing Acca either for the fruit or simply for ornamental reasons.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)