Cultivation of Neglected Tropical Fruits with Promise

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    Cultivation of neglected tropical fruits with promise. Part 3, The pummelo
    (Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1977-02) Martin, Franklin W. ; Cooper, William C.
    The pummelo, Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck, is the most tropical of the citrus fruits, yet is poorly distributed, underutilized, and often unknown. It is an excellent fruit, however, which finds ready acceptance wherever tried. Pummelos probably originated in China but were carried to Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where their evolution has continued and where many varieties are now available. The tree is large and spreading, with large, winged leaves, and frequently with thorns. The flower is very large for a citrus (3-5 cm in diameter), and the fruits vary from large to extra large. The rind is often thick. At maturity the sweet to subacid fruit vesicles separate easily from the membrane of the segments and are served in a dish as a dessert fruit. Varieties of pummelo can be classified as Thailand group (best tropical varieties), Chinese group (better suited to subtropics), and Indonesian group (extremely variable and sometimes inferior). The pummelo produces a monoembryonic, normal, sexual seed, and thus can be improved by breeding. Improved varieties are maintained by bud and cleft grafting as well as by marcotting. Culture is similar to that of other citrus trees, but the trees need somewhat larger growing areas. Cover crops or cash crops can be planted among the trees until they are too large. Normal chemical treatment schedules for pests and weeds can be used, but have not been adequately tried with the pummelo. Some pummelos are tolerant to foot rot, a disease that always requires careful treatment. Since flowering may occur several times a year, fruiting is irregular, but usually one harvesting season predominates. The fruit is picked just as it yellows or later, and is more flavorful when stored for several months. Because of its thick rind, the pummelo is easy to ship and keeps well even in common storage. KEYWORDS: fruit, citrus, pummelo, pummelo cultivation, shaddock, tropical fruit, tropicial fruit cultivation.
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    Cultivation of neglected tropical fruits with promise. Part 6, The rambutan
    (Science and Education Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1979-02) Almeyda, Narciso ; Malo, Simon E. ; Martin, Franklin W.
    The rambutan, Nephelium lappaceum L., is a popular fruit of Southeast Asia still practically unknown in the Western Hemisphere. A medium-size tree with an open structure, the rambutan produces panicles of small flowers followed by clusters of ellipsoidal fruits up to 10 cm in length. The fruits are covered by a thick skin bearing flexible protuberances. The skin is easily peeled away, revealing a whitish pulp around a central seed. The pulp is sweet to subacid, translucent, attractive, and suitable for processing. The rambutan is strictly tropical in growth requirements and needs high humidity and a long rainy season. Cultural techniques are discussed. A problem of iron deficiency, which causes chlorosis, makes establishment of seedlings difficult. Improved varieties propagated by grafting are available. The rambutan would be a suitable and popular fruit for Puerto Rico and other parts of the American Tropics. KEYWORDS: botany, fruits, plant cultivation, rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), tropical agriculture (fruits).
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    Cultivation of neglected tropical fruits with promise. Part 8, The pejibaye
    (Science and Education Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1980-06) Almeyda, Narciso ; Martin, Franklin W.
    The pejibaye, Bactris gasipaes H.B.K., is an important fruit common in some areas of the American Tropics and unknown in others. It is a palm native to South American forests, and was introduced to Central America in pre-Columbian times, but is still seldom found in the Caribbean and other tropical areas. The palm has several spiny trunks that each bear several multifruited panicles yearly. The fruits contain a single seed. The trees are usually propagated from seeds, but better techniques are needed to preserve selected trees as clones. The trees are adapted to a wide variety of tropical soils and climates, and so far, few important diseases have been found. When mature, the fruits are harvested by a variety of techniques, none of which is very satisfactory. Harvested fruit is easily damaged and damaged fruits rot rapidly. Mature fruits are boiled, and the pulp is eaten fresh, made into a meal, or macerated to make a drink. The seed is also edible. The palm cabbage is also harvested, usually from old trunks that are being removed anyway. KEYWORDS: botany, fruits, pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes), plant cultivation, tropical agriculture (fruits).
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    Cultivation of neglected tropical fruits with promise. Part 2, The mamey sapote
    (Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1976-11) Almeyda, Narciso ; Martin, Franklin W.
    One of the best fruits of the Western Hemisphere, and yet one that is relatively unknown, is the mamey sapote, Calocarpum sapota (Jacq.) Merr. Widely distributed in Central America before Columbus, the encroachment of civilization has actually reduced the availability of this fruit. Those who know it well believe that there is no better fruit. Its creamy texture and rich flavor are unmatched. The mamey sapote is a large-spreading tree commonly propagated from seeds, but this method leads to trees of variable quality. Selected trees can be propagated by the tedious method of inarching. Other propagation techniques have not given satisfactory results. Trees are grown in a wide variety of soils, chiefly in regions of heavy rainfall (the humid Tropics). Trees can be established first in containers and then transplanted at the beginning of the rainy season. Regular fertilization, weeding, and supplemental irrigation are desirable. Cover crops are useful, especially during the period of establishment of the orchard. Pruning is done to shape the tree and remove dead wood. A few insect and disease problems occur, but these can be avoided or treated. Fruits are first borne in grafted trees at 3 years of age, and on seedlings at 7 years. When the fruit begins to redden, it is ready for harvest, which should be done carefully to avoid damage and maintain fruit quality. After harvest the fruit ripens in a few days. KEYWORDS: fruit, fruit cultivation, mamey sapote, mamey sapote cultivation, tropical fruit, tropical fruit cultivation.
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    Cultivation of neglected tropical fruits with promise. Part 4, The lanson
    (Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1977-12) Almeyda, Narciso ; Martin, Franklin W.
    The lanson, Lansium domesticum Corr., is a delicious fruit of Southeast Asia still practically unknown in the Western Hemisphere. The lanson is usually eaten fresh, for it is easy to peel, not messy, and attractive. The flavor is sweet to subacid. The lanson is propagated primarily from seeds, but some success has also been obtained with cuttings, grafts, and air layers (marcots). The lanson is best planted in fertile loams where problems of drought and flooding are avoided. The seeds need prompt planting, for they rapidly lose germinability. They can be started in seedbeds, transplanted to plastic bags, and planted in the field at about 1 year. Once planted, the lanson needs careful watering, fertilization, and weeding. Cover crops may be used advantageously among the trees, and little pruning is normally required. Diseases and insects have scarcely been observed, but anthracnose is troublesome. Rats may damage ripening fruits. If fruits are harvested when they begin to yellow, they are strong, flexible, and easy to handle. A good tree can produce about 1,000 fruits each year. KEYWORDS: fruit, fruit cultivation, Lansium domesticum, Lansium domesticum cultivation, tropical fruit, tropical fruit cultivation.
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    Cultivation of neglected tropical fruits with promise. Part 5, The canistel and its relatives
    (Science and Education Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1978-08) Franklin W. Martin ; Simon E. Malo
    The canistel, Pouteria campechiana (HBK) Baehni, and its close relatives, the lucmo, P. obovata HBK, and the abiu, P. caimito (Ruiz & Pav.) Radlk., are excellent fruits of the American Tropics which are not well distributed and are little known. All are about the size of an apple or an orange, and they are produced on attractive, chiefly evergreen trees. These species do well in areas with cool nights and have adapted somewhat to dry regions; the canistel seems to be the most adaptable. All can be propagated from seeds, but named varieties of lucmo are propagated by grafting. Cultural requirements are described based on the fragmentary information available. The canistel and the lucmo have a strong aroma and a mealy pulp, yellow or orange. Although the fruits are often eaten by hand, the pulp, either fresh or dry, can be used in the flavoring of drinks and desserts. The fruits are good sources of provitamin A. The fruit of the abiu is gelatinlike in consistency and must be eaten when fully ripe to avoid a sticky pulp. These three fruits merit attention and would probably be readily accepted by most people. Export markets also seem feasible. KEYWORDS: abiu (Pouteria caimito), canistel (Pouteria campechiana), eggfruit, fruits, lucmo (Pouteria obovata), lucuma, plant cultivation, tropical agriculture (fruits).