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Ideas for Tropical Like Fruit
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jekahrs
81 Posts
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1
December 29, 2020 - 5:56 pm

I am developing my list for this year. Want to replace the ugly honeysuckle with a poem for my "tropical" garden. Maybe too Mediterranean. What is a good cultivar with lighter seed coverings (arils) as I hate the stains, but also has good antioxidant qualities? And what grows well in cool weather and has blossoms a long time? Looking at:

Eversweet (clear),
Azadi (pink), Salavatski (peach)
Surh Anor (Almost clear)

Mentioned before. Don't like my Stella fig so thinking about a replacement. Something with big leaves and tasty fruit. I think black fruit taste better. Am I wrong? Maybe something else with cool leaves like persimmons or quince. I tasted Garretson's 8 years ago or so when OGW put on the fruit fair. Really flavorful but the leaves are not as tropical or impressive as the Japanese varieties. What about the hybrid? Can Garretson's be added to the hybrid?  I know G requires another plant for pollination. 

Putting blue china vine by the fence. Was thinking of replacing it with Akebi, which might grow faster. Both look tropical.

Going to try some cool (hot?) bananas. Gettting rid of Musa Basjoo. Too easy and kinda useless except for the leaves. Maybe California Gold which supposedly might produce occasionally in this climate. Then there is the cool Musa Vulentina, the pink banana. Something fun for the fall. 

Any ideas or thoughts to share?

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Dubyadee
Puyallup, Washington, USA
80 Posts
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December 29, 2020 - 9:40 pm

In 2016 I planted Basjoo, California Gold, Williams and Bordelon that I bought from Green Earth Publishing Co. 

https://www.greenhousebusiness.....lants.html

The banana plants were very good sized. Unfortunately only the Musa Basjoo survived the first winter here in Puyallup. It gets down to the teens here. 

Pineapple guava has glossy evergreen leaves. 

I have a few hardy fuchsias that are interesting to look at and attract hummingbirds. 

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Larry_G
99 Posts
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December 30, 2020 - 12:03 pm

Pineapple Guava does not have typical tropical foliage, but does have tropical or exotic looking blossoms June-July.

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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December 30, 2020 - 3:18 pm

I have one pineapple guava. May add another. Some guy down the street has one in his tropical garden. They could very easily come from a subtropical savanna.  :0

I am kinda done with Musa Basjoo. In Portland they grow like weeds and I would like one with a maroon blossom. irrigated would nice or red but that is tough in this climate? Better to get that from cannas I think.

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coolbrze
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January 1, 2021 - 4:00 am

Right away I thought of PawPaws (Asimina triloba). Not sure where you're located but here in VA they grow very well. They're a small, understory tree, the fruit taste very much like mangos 🙂 Grow wild here, mostly in the forest canopy shade.

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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January 1, 2021 - 3:32 pm

I actually have two paw paws, but I have had limited success so far. I have Sunflower and Overleese. Interestingly Sunflower if low on toxins while Overleese is higher. Not being raised on paw paws, I find the scent and flavor to be a bit overpowering. I was thinking of getting rid of Overleese and replacing it with something else. supposedly Sunflower is self fertile. 

I am always torn about the difference between a Mediterrean and tropical garden. I suppose a tropical garden is wetter so the leaves should be wider and more lux. So pomegranate is kinda pushing it although I guess subtropical works. 

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John S
1020 Posts
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January 1, 2021 - 6:56 pm

I think that paw paw is the only temperate species of an otherwise tropical genus and family.  To get a lot of fruit, I have found that it helps to manually pollinate. This site helps to understand the complicated steps involved:

https://www.wilsonbrosgardens......trees.html

I have found before that I have gotten enormous quantities of pawpaws with pollination.

I get some with sunflower, which I have, but a lot more with manual pollination.

John S
PDX OR

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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January 2, 2021 - 7:45 pm

Thanks John. I will look carefully at that link. What about if a grafted a branch from the Overleese onto the Sunflower?

I was thinking of adding a couple of unusual bananas (Musa Veluntina - aka the pink banana), and the lotus banana. (Interestingly, one brand of "murder hornets" share the latin name "velutina" with the banana.

John, any ideas? Anything Mediterranean that might fit a subtropical garden?

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John S
1020 Posts
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January 3, 2021 - 9:05 am

Overleese grafted onto Sunflower would take, but the insect that pollinates pawpaws so effectively in the South and Midwest doesn't live here, so if you want a lot of fruit, I would still hand pollinate it.

Loquat is a Mediterranean/subtropical looking plant. I've grown it for years and I just found out that it makes a very healthy tea.  It usually survives well in PNWet but rarely fruits. I've had it for years without fruit.

Do you grow any palms? I have a Chinese Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) and a Mediterranean Fan Palm at my dad's beach cabin (Chamaerops humilis, I think).  I like the way they look.

John S
PDX OR

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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January 3, 2021 - 8:49 pm

I tried hand pollinating last year, but maybe I didn't do it right. I know the flowers change sexes. I believe starting out as female so they don't self pollinate. I do have a Loquat! It is doing very well. no fruit though. Odd it doesn't blossom. I could see it blossoming and not fruiting though. How do you make tea from a loquat? I was thinking of getting a tea plant. In particular, I like Camellia sinensis 'Rosea': https://camforest.com/collecti.....s/cs-rosea. also have a yuzu. But mine has hardly produced compared to my friends. Maybe too much east wind exposure or bad soil.

Great site for tea plants:

https://camforest.com/collecti.....-camellias

I have a blue palm. I did have the jelly palm (butia) but it died. An arborist said that this is a marginal area and I may not have the best area. Was looking at Tongue Tied Sago Palm. Too bad the nursery I was looking at is in NC.

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John S
1020 Posts
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January 4, 2021 - 2:37 pm

The two palms I mentioned are very solid here. I've had them for about 20 years.

I also had a butia capitata and it also died.

I have flying dragon citrus and kumquats.  I may get a different kind of citrus some day. 

I have had a tea plant for a long time too.

I think you just cut a leaf up and pour hot water over it to make tea.

John S
PDX OR

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jekahrs
81 Posts
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January 4, 2021 - 5:06 pm

I love the idea of making my own tea. I think to get traditional tea you ferment it. But when I lived in Japan I tried "spring tea" which is made by choosing the choicest new leaves, in the spring of course. It was amazing. I like the Tea plant I mentioned above because with the red new stems it seems like it will look nice.

I sent a note to One Green World to ask some questions before I binge purchase. 

1) Aprium "summer Delight" supposedly will ripen in our climate. Guess I will find out. I was fascinated to learn that it is often advantageous to put fruit trees in cool areas to prevent the buds from opening early. Buds in April and last frost is end of March (23rd roughly). But I had a sheltered area I was thinking of using.

They're note: "It is very reliable here in our climate.  Compared to the Flavor Delight, it has a wonderful sweet note, yet contains more of a crunch."
 
2) Both Jostaberries are quite similar in flavor, however the Black Jostaberry has a nice richness in flavor along with a refreshing sweet-tart note.
3) The Triple Crown and Black Satin are both recommended for their exquisite flavor, sweetness and productivity.  Each container contains one plant.
4) Unfortunately the Che Male is not in stock and will not be available this year.  The Suhosine (mulberry) has more of a strawberry like flavor and the Che has more of a more tropical watermelon like flavor and fig sweetness.
5) The Azadi Pomegranate is an excellent variety and has proven to be quite dependable in fruiting and growth.  The taste is very sweet.  The Eversweet and Surh Anor do contain antioxidants however we are uncertain as to the exact amounts.
 
Any experience with pomogranates? I like all three. I want a sweet and fruity pomegranate. I like the idea of peach colored arils. The Suhosine mulberry has nice leaves that could look tropical. Of course any mulberry would also. Never had a mulberry though. 
 
I gotta hand it to OGW. I sent my request for info on Friday and they respond essentially the next day. Wish I could grow finger limes outside...
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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
155 Posts
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13
January 4, 2021 - 9:23 pm

jekahrs said
I tried hand pollinating last year, but maybe I didn't do it right. I know the flowers change sexes. I believe starting out as female so they don't self pollinate. I do have a Loquat! It is doing very well. no fruit though. Odd it doesn't blossom. I could see it blossoming and not fruiting though. How do you make tea from a loquat? 

Loquat leaf tea, most sites I looked at agreed that scraping the fuzz off the underside of the leaves is Easier while fresh. Brew or dry and brew like tisanes or herbal ‘teas’, longer infusion than the Camillia Sinensis.

I think you’re in my area, Loquat should still be in blossom now. Mine flowers starting early November, even late October.

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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
155 Posts
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January 4, 2021 - 9:48 pm

jekahrs said
I love the idea of making my own tea. I think to get traditional tea you ferment it. But when I lived in Japan I tried "spring tea" which is made by choosing the choicest new leaves, in the spring of course. It was amazing. I like the Tea plant I mentioned above because with the red new stems it seems like it will 

 

my understanding is regular tea leaves when picked, oxidizes rapidly; the point to dry.... is the art of the tea. the youngest harvested ‘white tea’ (your spring tea?!) is pretty immediately dried. green tea is dried before oxidation can set in; via air drying, or warmed ceramic surfaces or hotter, like pan frying; optional hand rolling (massage/bruise cells) to pellets or to twists, for any of these processes. Oolong is allowed to ‘half’ oxidize becoming physically darker, before drying. Black tea is allowed to fully oxidize. Pu-erh  tea can start either green but I’ve seen what’s called ‘cooked’ more often; it’s known as a post-oxidation fermentation. The dried tea is piled, moistened, turned regularly while ferment happens, some, not too much.(insert compost reference/joke here). Then press into readily negotiable, easily transportable blocks, disks, nest or other shapes and return them to your storage cave to age and ripen.

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jafar
474 Posts
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15
January 4, 2021 - 10:04 pm

James, apologies if you've already posted elsewhere - or told me in person - but how often does your loquat fruit?

I've grafted 4 varieties of loquat onto my quince trees, and just bought a couple of seedlings for grafting too.  I'm hopeful that one or more of these will turn out to be a winner.  A couple of them at least, are supposed to be cultivars that rebloom if they are frozen out. 

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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
155 Posts
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16
January 21, 2021 - 8:40 pm

jafar said
James, apologies if you've already posted elsewhere - or told me in person - but how often does your loquat fruit?

I've grafted 4 varieties of loquat onto my quince trees, and just bought a couple of seedlings for grafting too.  I'm hopeful that one or more of these will turn out to be a winner.  A couple of them at least, are supposed to be cultivars that rebloom if they are frozen out.   

Sorry, thought I’d answered this back when.... guess I must have pushed cancel instead of submit. It take me so-o-o long to compose..

I’ve never had fruit on my tree. Didn’t expect to. Although, a new ADU painted dark is now twelve or 15 feet WNW of her, might reflect some heat units. I’m thinking a surprise would be a happy occurrence if the stars align just right with the climate shifting and all. Want to be hopeful. 
 
I’m aware of a tree that fruits I’d say 3 out of 5 years. It’s probably 40’ high with a yellow roundish fruit, situated SE Portland, residential, with a low building to the SE. Southern exposure is unobstructed, four or 6 mostly unused parking spaces perpendicular off street, two lane street, low lying buildings entirely S. To the West: two lane concrete and parking lanes (less traffic now with calming features and light rail infrastructure); low lying buildings, rail thoroughfare and track sidings through all the way to the river and SW hills... lots of heat units to keep her warm .... until high rise development happens I suppose.

I've heard of another tree somewhere in N Portland; said to be a reliable producer. I try to imagine it may be on the river bluff/overlook south of the university with the all day south and western exposures. 

Joe Leitch said he thinks his loquat at the Eco Village gets fruit. Southern exposure with now less than 4 lanes of NE Killingsworth Street for heat units. North of tree is two story, connected dwellings reflecting from maybe 12’ away..  I’ve not seen fruit there the last two years since I’ve been watching. 

How did you figure to put loquat on quince? That works?

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jafar
474 Posts
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17
January 22, 2021 - 10:35 am

Hi James,

I read about grafting to quince.  Probably ran into to it in a Google search, or perhaps at growingfruit.org forum, which I highly recommend.

Some sources say they may be shorter lived on quince.  I assume it imparts some vigor control mainly because loquats are bigger trees than quince.  Hopefully they'll be more precocious as well.

BTW, I've emailed you with an unrelated question.

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