September 5, 2008

Che Fruit

Cudrania tricuspidata Bur. ex Lavallee
Moraceae
Common Names: Che fruit, Chinese Che, Chinese Mulberry, Cudrang, Mandarin Melon Berry, Silkworm Thorn.

Distant Affinity: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), Jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), Fig (Ficus spp.), Mulberry (Morus spp.), African Breadfruit (Treculis africana).

Origin: The che is native to many parts of eastern Asia from the Shantung and Kiangson Provinces of China to the Nepalese sub-Himalayas. It became naturalized in Japan many years ago. In China, the leaves of the che serve as a backup food for silkworms when mulberry leaves are in short supply. The tree was introduced into England and other parts of Europe around 1872, and into the U.S. around 1930.

Adaptation: The che requires minimal care and has a tolerance of drought and poor soils similar to that of the related mulberry. It can be grown in most parts of California and other parts of the country, withstanding temperatures of -20° F.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: The deciduous trees can eventually grow to about 25 ft. in height, but often remains a broad, spreading bush or small tree if not otherwise trained when they are young. Immature wood is thorny but loses its thorns as it matures. Female trees are larger and more robust than male trees.

Foliage: The alternate leaves resemble those of the mulberry, but are smaller and thinner and pale yellowish-green in color. The typical form is distinctly trilobate, with the central lobe sometimes twice as long as the lateral ones, but frequently unlobed leaves of varied outlines are also found on the same plant. As the plant grows, the tendency seems towards larger and entire leaves, with at the most indistinct or irregular lobing. The general form of the leaves comprise many variations between oblong and lanceolate. The che leafs and blooms late in spring--after apples.

Flowers: The che is dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants. Appearing in June, both types of flowers are green and pea-sized. The male flowers turn yellow as the pollen ripens and is released, while the wind-pollinated female flowers develop many small stigmas over the surface of the immature fruit. Male plants occasionally have a few female flowers which will set fruit.

Fruit: Like the related mulberry, the che fruit is not a berry but a collective fruit, in appearance somewhat like a round mulberry crossed with a lychee, 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The ripe fruits are an attractive red or maroon-red color with a juicy, rich red flesh inside and 3 to 6 small brown seeds per fruit. The flavor is quite unlike the vinous quality of better mulberries. While still firm they are almost tasteless, but when fully soft ripe they develop a watermelon-like flavor that can be quite delicious. The sugar content is similar to that of a ripe fig. In colder areas with early leaf drop the bright red fruit are an attractive sight dangling from smooth, leafless branches.

CULTURE

Location: Ches need a warm, sunny location. They should not be planted near sidewalks since the fallen fruit will stain. Like the mulberry, the trees are quite wind-resistant. One method of planting is to put a male and a female plant in a single site, about 1 ft. apart, and prune to a combined volume of approximately 25% male and 75% female.

Soil: The trees are relatively undemanding, but perform best in a warm, well-drained soil, ideally a deep loam.

Irrigation: Although somewhat drought-resistant, ches need to be watered in dry seasons. In summer dry California a deep watering about every two weeks is recommended. If the roots become too dry during drought, the plant may began to defoliate and the unripe fruit is likely to drop.

Fertilization: An annual application of a balanced fertilizer such as 10:10:10 NPK in late spring will maintain satisfactory growth. Nitrogen is the only element likely to be needed in California.

Pruning: The trees need regular pruning to control their shape. The branches formed the previous season should be pruned to half their length. The branchlets on the remaining part of the branches should also be trimmed about 50%. A summer pruning of the male plant is also necessary when planted in a single site with the female. To grow as a tree, in addition to pruning the lateral branches, the leading branch may also need to be staked to point it in a vertical direction. Trees grafted onto Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) rootstock tend to be more robust and grow in a more upright fashion.

Propagation: The che is readily grown from seed, although the plants can take up to 10 years to bear. Seeds should be sown as soon as extracted from the fruit. The plants are often propagated from softwood cuttings taken in midsummer and treated with rooting hormone. The che is also easily grafted to Osage orange rootstock using either a cleft or whip-and-tongue graft.

Pests and Diseases: No pests or diseases have been noted. The ripe fruit is attractive to birds, and deer will browse on both the fruit and foliage.

Harvest: Ches begin to bear at an early age and mature trees can produce as much as 400 pounds of fruit. The fruits ripen around November in California. Unlike mulberries, the ripe fruits do not separate easily from the tree and must be individually picked. It is important that the fruits be thoroughly ripe to be at their best. A darker shade of red with some blackening of the skin is a good indication of full ripeness. The fruit will keep for several days in a refrigerator in a covered dish. The fruits can be eaten out of hand or cooked in various ways. Cooking with other fruits that can contribute some tartness improves the taste. Mixing the ripe fruit in a blender and straining out the seeds yields a beautiful and delicious che "nectar".

Commercial Potential: In China and other parts of East Asia the fruit is sometimes found in local markets, but is relatively unknown commercially elsewhere. The attractive color and reasonable shelf life of the che seem to indicate that with a little effort, there could be a niche for it in farmer's markets and specialty stores. There also appears to be some demand for the fruit in Asian markets. Better selection should further increase the marketing potential of the che. A seedless fruit or one with with a bit of tartness would be a great improvement, as would earlier ripening cultivars that separate readily from the branches.

CULTIVARS
In China various selections of the che are grown, but in this country there are no known cultivars as such. (source: crfg.org)

Cudrania Fruit

Cudrania tricuspidata - (Carrière.)Bur. ex Lav.
Silkworm Thorn
Author (Carrière.)Bur. ex Lav. Botanical references 11, 200, 266
Family Moraceae Genus Cudrania
Synonyms Cudrania triloba - Hance.
Maclura tricuspidata - Carrière.
Known Hazards None knownRange E. Asia - China, Japan and Korea.
Habitat Rocky slopes and roadsides in W. China. Sunny forest margins and mountain slopes at elevations of 500 - 2200 metres.
Edibility Rating apple iconapple icon 2 (1-5) Medicinal Rating apple iconapple icon 2 (1-5)

Physical Characteristics
A decidious Tree growing to 6m by 6m at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in July. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). The plant is not self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats

Woodland Garden, Secondary, Sunny Edge.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Fruit - fresh or preserved. Somewhat like a mulberry. The firm fruit is relatively tasteless, when soft-ripe it is sub-acid to sweet and some forms can be quite delicious. It contains lots of large seeds. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter. Leaves - a famine food.

Medicinal Uses
Antiperiodic; Galactogogue; Ophthalmic; Women's complaints.

An infusion of the wood is used to treat sore or weak eyes. The inner bark and the wood are used in the treatment of malaria, debility and menorrhagia. The root is galactogogue and is also used in the treatment of amenorrhoea. The plant is used to eliminate blood stasis and stimulate the circulation in cancer of the alimentary system, blood and lungs.

Other Uses
Dye; Fibre; Wood.

A yellow dye is obtained from the wood. The bark fibers are used for making paper . Wood - finely grained. Used for utensils.


Cultivation details
Prefers a warm well-drained fertile loam . Requires a sunny position . A very hardy plant . The leaves are a food source for silk-worms. Probably only the male tree is in cultivation in Britain, though at least one selected female form is being grown in N. America . Both male and female plants normally need to be grown if fruit or seed is required but male trees occasionally produce a few small fruits .

Propagation
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame . Cuttings of mature wood, November in a sandy soil in a frame.

Cultivars

'Female'
The fruit is large and flavourful, ripening in late summer to the autumn. A small thorny tree, it bears heavy crops annually in N. America.

'Male'
A small thorny tree that is used mainly as a pollinator for female trees, though it does produce a few fruits occasionally.

Chempedak Fruit

By Thulaja, Naidu Ratnala written on 2003-03-21
National Library Board Singapore
Comments on article: InfopediaTalk

Cempedak (Artocarpus champedan), a tropical fruit native to Malaya and Thailand, belongs to the family Moraceae. It is similar to the Jackfruit in appearance and in the way the fruit is used. It is the pulpy flesh of the seeds within the fruit that is sought after for its fragrant taste. However, the hard seeds are also cooked and eaten.

Origins and Distribution
Cempedak is probably a native of Malaysia. It is often found growing in the wild of Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. The fruit has many local varieties that come from different parts of Indonesia, eastern Thailand and Malaysia. Most of these local varieties are derivatives from a wild variety of the fruit called bangkong, native to Peninsular Malaysia. This was improved to obtain cultivated varieties by selection and propagation through grafting. Cultivated cempedak is found from Cochin-China throughout the Malayan archipelago. In Malaysia, cempedak is commercially grown in the state of Kedah and Perak.

Description
The evergreen, branching cempedak tree can grow up to 20 m with wild trees often taller and having many more seeds in their fruit. Their smooth bark becomes thick and rough as they age. The leaves are dull to medium green and have long brown wiry hair on the surface. The fruits are seasonal and either barrel-shaped or pear-shaped. When cut, the fruit secretes sticky latex which can only be cleaned off with vegetable oil rather than with water. The outer rind consists of fleshy spines, although the fruit can still easily be opened with ones hands. In each fruit are about 100 to 500 seeds, and it is the fragrant, yellow edible flesh surrounding each seed, which the fruit is sought for.

Usage and Potential

Food
Cempedak's pulpy flesh and its hard seed are considered edible. The flesh is eaten fresh or cooked such as fried cempedak: a tasty Malay snack, or the pulp creamed to be used in making jams and cakes. The flesh is salted to make a pickle called jerami. The hard seeds are boiled or roasted and eaten, a popular practice amongst the Malayan jungle tribes. Besides the flesh and seed, the young leaves and whole young fruits are cooked as vegetables.

Other uses
The tree gives timber which is generally durable and is used for building houses and boats. Young timber can be ground and used as a yellow dye although a darker brown can be derived from older trees. In Indo-China, this yellow dye was used to dye the robes of Buddhist priests. The bark can also be used for making ropes while the latex is used for making lime.

Variant Names
Common name: Cempedak.
Scientific name: Artocarpus champeden Spreng.
Malay name: Chempedak, Sempedak, Temedak, Bangkong, Bongkong (Malaysia), Champedak, Chepedak, Chubadak, Kakan (Indonesia).

(source:infopedia.nl.sg)

Canistel Fruit

Canistel fruit comes from the canistel tree, an evergreen tree that grows as far north as Mexico and as far south as Brazil. Canistel fruit is often referred to colloquially as “eggfruit.” When ripe, it is said to have a texture similar to that of a thoroughly cooked egg yolk. The meat of the fruit is sweet and edible raw.

The exterior of a canistel fruit is a glossy skin that, upon ripening, varies in yellow and orange tones. Canistel fruit is soft, rather than crisp, and it is not particularly juicy. Inside of the fruit are a few large glossy black or dark brown seeds. Some have likened canistel fruits to persimmons.

Although canistel fruits are not readily available in most markets in North America, they are available in Florida. The flesh of canistel fruits are sometimes incorporated into desserts, such as ice creams and puddings, buy Floridian chefs. They fruit is also enjoyed when tossed with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and a citrus juice such as lemon or lime. This recipe can be enjoyed either raw or lightly baked.

Canistel milkshakes are also enjoyed in Florida. These milkshakes are sometimes referred to as “eggfruit nog.” In fact, some people have actually replaced pumpkin filling with canistel pulp in pumpkin pie recipes. Such pies are purported to be quite delicious. In places where the fruit is plentiful, they are also incorporates into muffins, pancakes, and even spreads for toast.

Like most fruits, canistel fruits are rich in a number of vitamins and nutrients. They are particularly rich in carotene and niacin. They also have a good amount of ascorbic acid. Although they are not particularly common in most of North America, many food scientists and nutritionists feel that they are a very healthy food, and should be incorporated into the diet if possible.

One of the reasons that canistel fruits are not readily available in North America is that it is difficult to grow them here. Canistel fruits cannot tolerate cold temperatures. Although they can grow in some parts of Florida, they have never been able to flourish in California. Because they have not become widely popular, they are not imported for distribution throughout markets in the northern states. If you are interested in sampling a canistel, you may have to take a trip to Florida, Mexico, or South America. (www.wisegeek.com)

Camu Camu Fruit (Myrciaria dubia)

Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Myrciaria
Species: dubia

Also known as: Camu Camu, Rumberry, Cacari, Camocamo, Guavaberry. A close relative of the Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora)

A small ( approx. 3 meters tall) bushy river side tree from the Amazon rain forest region of Peru, which bears a red/purple cherry like fruit. Its small flowers have waxy white petals and sweet smelling aroma. It has bushy feathery foliage. The evergreen, opposite leaves are lanceolate to elliptic. Individual leaves are 3 - 20 cm in length and 1 - 2 cm wide.

Description
Long used by native peoples wild camu camu is harvested directly into canoes. The fruit has only recently come into large-scale cultivation and sale to the world market with Japan being the major buyer. It is relatively easy to cultivate. It survives best in hot, damp tropical climates but will grow in the subtropics, surviving temperatures down to just above freezing. It requires copious water and withstands flooding. Trees begin to bear fruit after about 4 to 6 years.

It's fruit contains about 2800 mg of Vitamin C per 100 gm of fruit or about 60x the concentration of an orange. It is believed to have the highest Vitamin C content of any fruit in the world.

Uses
The nutritious pulp has a citrus taste and is traditionally prepared into a refreshing drink . It is more recently also used in, ice creams, sweets, etc.

Processed powder from the fruit pulp is beginning to be sold in the west as a health food in loose powder or capsule form. In addition to the high vitamin C content it contains the amino acids, valine, leucine and serine , and is also rich in bioflavonoids.

Conservation Issues
Currently, the over-harvesting of wild camu-camu threatens to make it an endangered species. Efforts are underway to encourage the commercial growing of camu-camu in the Amazon River Basin. see http://www.rainforestconservation.org/articles/camu-camu.html

(source: www.knowledgerush.com)

September 4, 2008

Chiku Health Benefits

Chiku like kiwi glance, and has many benefits for health. Chiku fruit is sweet, but rich in sugars, also contain other nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fiber and food.

This fruit was also good for heart health and blood vessels. So no wonder, now more chiku juice sold in packs. Not only that, chiku was also able to cure some diseases.

Sweet taste of this fruit make attracted many people. The specialty of chiku is also located on the nutrient content in brown-colored flesh. In 100 grams of chiku contained 102 kcal energy, 0.5 grams protein, 1.1 grams fat, 22.4 grams carbohydrates, 0.5 grams of minerals, calcium 25 mg, phosphorus 12 mg, 1 mg iron, 18 mcg retinol , and askrobat acid 21 mg.

The fiber content in chiku is also quite high so it is good to overcome digestive disorders such as constipation and diarrhea. Simple sugars in the chiku bable to recover energy quickly. chiku can also minimize the risk of gastrointestinal cancer, because this fruit has the ability to bind carcinogens in the digestive tract.

In addition, the fruit is also a good source of potassium. On the other hand, have low sodium levels. Comparison of potassium and sodium content of which reaches 16 to 1, making the chiku is very good for the heart and blood vessels.

Chiku (Manilkara Zapota) cultivated for its fruit is taken. But in fact this plant has the potential varies. Leaves, stems, until the root is good for other purposes as well as for health.

Behind the sweet taste, it saved a lot of properties. The sap of fruit and leaves, can be used as a diarrhea medication. In addition, the resin can be used for sugar mixture. For the purposes of diarrhea medicine, use about 15 drops of the sap of young fruit, then brewed with 1/2 cup hot boiled water. Results steeping drink as well.

Besides these ways, also can be used both ways. Take one young chiku fruit, wash it clean. Then shredded, and then squeezed and filtered. If necessary, add a little boiled water. Further drunk, 2 times a day. Or it could also use the leaves brown. Provide a bowl of leaves, and then chopped in two cups water for 15 minutes. Cooking water, then drink three times a day.

For patients with inflammation of the mouth, immediately grab a bowl of brown leaves. Then chopped in 2 cups water, for 10 minutes. Use water to rinse the stew. As for curing dysentery, take eight young chiku fruit, wash clean. Chew fine with salt to taste. Little by little swallow, and drink warm water. Apply 2 times a day until healed.

Based on research,  leaves and stems contain falvonoida turns brown. In addition, the leaves also contain saponins and stems also contain tannins. These substances are taking an important role in curing the diseases above.

Chokecherry

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) is a native plant of North America. The fruit of this plant is about 1 cm in diameter with a purple-black color.

This plant contains hydrocyanic acid that is harmful to the health of livestock. Animals that consume large amounts of this plant can die within 60 minutes. The existence of this plant is very dangerous because, like animals more than another crop plant is located nearby.

Chokecherry is a perennial that bears masses of white flowers in long clusters in the spring. Small ripe cherries range in color from purple to black. Leaves are dark green and glossy.

Western chokecherry and black chokecherry cause livestock poisoning when drought and overgrazing reduce the availability of grasses and other forage. Animals become poisoned if they eat large quantities of the leaves in a short time. Both sheep and cattle may be poisoned by chokecherry. Although most losses occur when feed is scarce, a few animals seem to prefer this plant to other forage. Cattle sometimes are poisoned by eating leaves on branches trimmed from cultivated chokecherry trees. The toxic substance in chokecherry, hydrocyanic acid, is found principally in the leaves. Leaves become less toxic as the growing season advances.

Chokecherry and arrowgrass both contain hydrocyanic acid. Other plants with cyanogenic potential include Sudan grass, Johnson grass, reed canary grass, white clover, birdsfoot trefoil, mountain mahogany, and Saskatoon service berry.