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Fruits & Vegetables

Double Coconut( Lodoicea maldivica)

Botanical Name: Lodoicea maldivica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Coryphoideae
Tribe: Borasseae
Genus: Lodoicea
Species: L. maldivica

Synonyms:
*Borassus sonneratii Giseke
*Cocos maldivica J.F.Gmel.
*Cocos maritima Comm. ex H.Wendl.
*Lodoicea callypige Comm. ex J.St.Hil.
*Lodoicea sechellarum Labill.
*Lodoicea sonneratii (Giseke) Baill.

Common Names: Double Coconut, Sea coconut, Coco de mer, or Lodoicea

Habitat: Lodoicea maldivica, is endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles. It formerly also was found on the small islets of St Pierre, Chauve-Souris and Ile Ronde (Round Island), all located near Praslin, but had become extinct there for a time until recently reintroduced. The name of the genus, Lodoicea, may be derived from Lodoicus, the Latinised form of Louis, in honour of King Louis XV of France. Other sources say that Lodoicea is from Laodice, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba.It inhabits in rainforests where there are deep, well-drained soils and open exposed slopes; although growth is reduced on such eroded soils.

Description:
The tree generally grows to 25–34 m tall. The tallest on record, measured on the ground after felling, was 186 feet (56.7 meters) in total height. The leaves are fan-shaped, 7–10 m long and 4.5 m wide with a 4 m petiole in mature plants. However juveniles produce much longer petioles; up to 29′ 6″ (9 meters) or even 33 feet (10 meters). It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male flowers are arranged in a catkin-like inflorescence up to 1 m long which continues to produce pollen over a ten-year period; one of the longest living inflorescences known. The mature fruit is 40–50 cm in diameter and weighs 15–30 kg, and contains the largest seed in the plant kingdom. The fruit, which requires 6–7 years to mature and a further two years to germinate, is sometimes also referred to as the sea coconut, love nut, double coconut, coco fesse, or Seychelles nut.

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Leaves:.CLICK & SEE
The crown is a rather dense head of foliage with leaves that are stiff, palmate up to 10 m in diameter and petioles of two to four metres in length. The leaf is plicate at the base, cut one third or more into segments 4–10 cm broad with bifid end which are often drooping. A triangular cleft develops at the petiole base. The palm leaves form a huge funnel that intercepts particulate material, especially pollen, which is flushed to the base of the trunk when it rains. In this way, Lodoicea improves its nutrient supply and that of its dispersal-limited offspring.

Flowers:CLICK & SEE
The clusters of staminate flowers are arranged spirally and are flanked by very tough leathery bracts. Each has a small bracteole, three sepals forming a cylindrical tube, and a three-lobed corolla. There are 17 to 22 stamens. The pistillate flowers are solitary and borne at the angles of the rachis and are partially sunken in it in the form of a cup. They are ovoid with three petals as well as three sepals. It has been suggested that they may be pollinated by animals such as the endemic lizards which inhabit the forest where they occur. Pollination by wind and rain are also thought to be important. Only when Lodoicea begins to produce flowers, which can vary from 11 years to 45 or more, is it possible to visually determine the sex of the plant. The nectar and pollen are also food for several endemic animals e.g. bright green geckos (Phelsuma sp.), white slugs (Vaginula seychellensis) and insects

Inflorescence:CLICK & SEE
Inflorescences are interfoliar, lacking a covering spathe and shorter than the leaves. The staminate inflorescence is catkin-like, one to two metres long and generally terminal and solitary, sometimes two or three catkins may be present. The pistillate inflorescences are also one to two metres long unbranched and the flowers are borne on a zig-zagging rachilla.

Fruits:CLICK & SEE
The fruit is bilobed, flattened, 40 to 50 cm long ovoid and pointed, and contains usually one but occasionally two to four seeds. The epicarp is smooth and the mesocarp is fibrous. The endosperm is thick, relatively hard, hollow and homogenous. The embryo sits in the sinus between the two lobes. During germination a tubular cotyledonary petiole develops that connects the young plant to the seed. The length of the tube is reported to reach about four metres. In the Vallee de Mai the tube may be up to 10 m long.

Lodoicea was once believed to be a sea-bean or drift seed, a seed evolved to be dispersed by the sea. However, it is now known that the viable nut is too dense to float, and only rotted out nuts can be found on the sea surface, thus explaining why the trees are limited in range to just two islands.

Edible Uses :
The real purpose of the fruit, the edible part is the endosperm of the fruit that is succulent and a delight to the taste buds. In case of the immature seeds they tend to contain a jelly like substance that melts in the mouth with a sweet taste. This is treated as a delicacy and is enjoyed by the locals.

Medicinal Uses:
Back in old times this plant was used for its medicinal properties that helped in wading off many life threatening diseases.
The fruit is used in Siddha medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and also in traditional Chinese medicine. In food, it is typically found as flavor enhancers for soups in southern Chinese cuisine, namely cuisine around the Canton country.

Other Uses:
The species is grown as an ornamental tree in many areas in the tropics, and subsidiary populations have been established on Mahé and Silhouette Islands in the Seychelles to help conserve the species. The long leaves were big enough to be used in making huts and thatches for roofs. The shells of the fruit served as utensils and storage containers to store water and other essentials in them. The dried remains of the tree served purposefully as a stuffing for pillows. Owing to the magnificence the shell of the fruit holds it is often treated and traded as a souvenir or also adorns the walls of many as a decorative item. The endocarps of the larger fruits are utilized as bowls, plates and water drinking tumblers. The leaves are also used in making of fancy hats and baskets that are eco-friendly in nature.

The seeds of Lodoicea have been highly prized over the centuries; their rarity caused great interest and high prices in royal courts, and the tough outer seed coat has been used to make bowls such as for Sufi/Dervish beggar-alms kashkul bowls and other instrument.

From rare to scarce :
The existence of this plant is mainly threatened by man induced factors such as harvesting, poaching of endemic animals that enable the dispersal of seed and forest fire induced by humans. With the rapid rate of development in infrastructure and global development at large the existence of slow growing fast diminishing trees is becoming a threat. One must pay heed to the alarming calls of the nature before these beautiful wonders of nature are wiped off from the face of the earth.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lodoicea
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/double-coconut-fruit.php

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Fruits & Vegetables

Dodder laurel

Botanical Name: Cassytha filiformis
Family: Lauraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales
Genus: Cassytha

Common Names: Dodder laurel or Lorel dodder

Habitat:Native to Western Australia. As currently defined, Cassytha has a wide distribution for a genus of so few species. Most are native to Australia but a few are indigenous to Africa, southern Asia, various islands, and regions in the Americas. Some species seem to have been spread inadvertently by human agency and probably by birds as well, and now occur on several continents; C. filiformis, for example, grows in Hawaii (where it is said to be indigenous), the Australasian ecozone, northern South America, Central America, southern Florida, Japan, and South Africa. It also appears to have been transported to many major islands, and now is effectively pantropical.

Description:
Parasitic perennial, herb and climber. Fl. white-green-yellow, Jan to Dec. Found on Daviesia, Eucalyptus, Triodia. Coastal plains & dunes. This tree is one of its kind as it is a leaf less climber that is parasitic in nature. Physically this plant lacks the vital elements of every normal sighted plant. Main elements such as barks, leaves, and roots are missing from this climber plant. Being a climber it forms a dense mat life structure on top of other plants and survives on them, thus making it a parasitic plant. The stems of the plant that forms the mesh are generally green in color not the usual bight green but more on the pale and light shade. These mesh like stems grow for about a millimeter thick and cover the other plant. During a certain period of the year the plant changes its color from light green to s bright orange, marking a change of the season.
The fruit of this tree is an oval shaped one that camouflages between the stem of the climber when it turns ripe. They ripen during the early days of dry season and become quite an attraction for many birds like Honeyeaters, Mistletoe birds and Silvereyes to feed on.
Dodder laurel can be found across the tropical regions comprising of America, Indomalaya, Australasia, Polynesia and East Africa. This plant also gets the name love vine because of its aphrodisiac property.

The leaves of this plant are distinctive and are not full-fledged leaves themselves. They are more like thin scales about 1mm long. The flowers are more like spikes borne in solitary confinement. Each flower has about 6 petals each 0.1 -2.0 mm long. These flowers then become fruits of 7mm in diameter.

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Health Benefits:
Dodder laurel has been known for its medicinal properties and is also incorporated as a key ingredient in preparation of many traditional medicines. Dodder laurel is used as an astringent and is also known for its diuretic properties. It helps in smoother digestions and fastens the metabolic system in the body. This tree is used to treat malaria, urinary system problems, diarrhea and many other ailments. Itchy skin, ulcers and parasitic conditions both on skin and scalp can be used by the consumption or application of dodder laurel.

Apart from the medicinal properties, this plant is also used for making paper.
Thus this plant comes in handy not just for its berries but also for its other properties that can be termed as life saving.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/2957
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/dodder-laurel-fruit.php

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Fruits & Vegetables

Desert lime

Botanical Name: Citrus glauca
Family: Rutaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. glauca

Synonyms:
*Atalantia glauca (Lindl.) Benth. & Hook.f.
*Atalantia glauca var. inermis F.M.Bailey
*Eremocitrus glauca (Lindl.) Swingle
*Triphasia glauca Lindl.

Common Names: Desert lime,Australian Outback Lime

Habitat : Desert lime native to Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia.

Description:
Desert lime is a thorny shrub or small tree to 12 metres it has several unusual characteristics. It is cold, heat, drought and salinity tolerant and thought evergreen, if the rains should fail it will shed its leaves and live off the green bark on the plant branches. It will set fruit almost immediately after flowering and is the earliest citrus to do so. Fruit is small and variable and depends on current climatic conditions and genetic make-up. Thorns appear on low growing branches to prevent grazing by rabbits, kangaroos, cattle etc but cease on branches above the grazing level. The fruit is small with an intense piquant flavour and good rainfall years produce an abundance of fruit.

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Edible Uses:
This fruit is popular in many delicacies made in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. Desert lime is used in making a wide array of edible products such as juices, chutneys, spreads, beverages, jams, dressings, slushes, ice creams and even a great fruit to be used in its raw form. Known for its strong flavor this fruit is also used as a flavoring agent in marmalades, beverages, and other delicacies. This fruit goes really well with the popular sea food of the Australian cuisine. The flavor of this fruit is so strong that even when used in minimum quantities it gives a tantalizing effect to the taste buds. What was once rarely found now is being domesticated for easier accessibility and also because of its storage value. This fruit can be stored in cold temperature for future use.

Health Benefits:
Desert lime is rich in methoxy flavone ghycosides ? limnocitrin. Glycosides is a skin healer and is used as a natural repairer of the skin. It helps in absorption of vital ingredients needed for good skin and also helps in hydrating the skin keeping it supple and soft.
Desert lime is known to be a significant provider of antioxidant and it also enables a healthy immune system. Aiding the body to resist against various diseases. The main component of the collective tissue collagen’s production is also supported by the consumption of this fruit. Another beauty benefit gained from this fruit is that being rich in furanocoumarin, this fruit consist of properties that are anti ageing, skin repairing agent also it heals wounds and aids early skin regeneration.

Desert lime is also very rich in coumarin that helps in acting as a anti fungicidal, has anti-inflammatory benefits and also acts as an anti-oxidant. They are also added in sunscreens as they help in blocking out short wave UV rays that are harmful to the skin.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus_glauca
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/desert-lime-fruit.php#Uses-of-Desert-lime

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Fruits & Vegetables

Desert fig

Botanical Name: Ficus platypoda
Family: Moraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Ficus
Species:F. platypoda

Synonyms:
*Urostigma platypodum Miq.
*Ficus leucotricha (Miq.) Miq.

Common Names: Desert fig, Rock fig

Habitat : Desert fig is native to Australia, it is found across the Top End, from the Gulf Country around the Gulf of Carpentaria across the Northern Territory and into northern Western Australia. It generally found on sandstone outcrops, but has occasionally been found on limestone outcrops.

Description:
Desert fig grows as a lithophytic shrub or tree to 10 m high. The branchlets are covered in fine hairs. The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems and are elliptical to oval in shape, measuring 5.3 to 16.7 cm long by 3.1 to 13.3 cm wide. The undersurface is furry. The oval to round figs pale can be various shades of yellow, orange, pink, red or purple and 0.9–2.8 cm long by 1–2.8 cm across.

Desert fig individually produces three types of flowers on its shrub, there is a male flower, a long styled female flower and a short styled female flower that is also known as gall flower. Inside of these flowers contain a fruit like structure that post pollination turns out to ripen up. Herethe role of a fig wasp comes to play, a female fig wasp lays its eggs on the short styled female flowers simultaneously pollinating the long styled female flowers. There are two types of fig wasps, one that belongs to the pollinators group that stimulate pollination and the others are non-pollinators that do not contribute to the process at all. The pollinator male inseminate the female wasp and they lay their eggs in the female flowers that are receptive in nature. The population of these specialized wasp must exceed a minimum size to certify that the flowering and fruiting of the fruit takes place in a perennial fashion every year.

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Edible Uses:
The fruit can be eaten when soft and ripe.There are two categories of fruits, on one side you have fruits and on the other you have fruits that turn into dried fruits.

Health Benefits:
Desert fig has lots of health benefits.

  • It improves disgestive system
  • It is Heart healthy
  • It is anticancerus
  • It is good for diabetic patients
  • It improves immunity system and prevents many diseases

Other Uses: Horticulturally, it is suitable for use in bonsai; its tendency to form a wide trunk base and small leaves being attractive features. Specimens have been exhibited in at the 5th Annual Exhibition of Australian Native Plants as Bonsai in Canberra in November 2007

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_platypoda
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/desert-fig-fruit.php

Categories
Fruits & Vegetables

Dekopon

Dekopon is a seedless and sweet variety of mandarin orange.It is considered as the Fruit of the Future.

It is a hybrid between Kiyomi and ponkan (Nakano no.3), developed in Japan in 1972.

Originally a brand name, ‘Dekopon’ has become a genericized trademark and it is used to refer to all brands of the fruit; the generic name is shiranuhi or shiranui Dekopon is distinctive due to its sweet taste, large size and the large protruding bump on the top of the fruit.

Names
The name is most likely a portmanteau between the word deko ; meaning convex) as a reference to its bump, and the pon in ponkan; one of the fruits that it is derived from) to create ‘dekopon’

There were many market names for ‘dekopon’ during the time ‘dekopon’ was a trademark of the product from Kumamoto. For instance, himepon was the market name for the fruits originating from Ehime prefecture. The ones grown in Hiroshima prefecture were marketed as hiropon. However, after an agreement whereby anyone can use the name ‘dekopon’ if they pay a fee and meet certain quality standards, the name “dekopon” is used for products from anywhere in Japan.

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‘Dekopon’ does not have an agricultural variety registration number because of its bump, which at the time of its development was considered to be unsightly, and failure to reduce acidity in the fruit.

Outside Japan
In Brazil, ‘dekopon’ is marketed under the brand name of Kinsei which derived from the Japanese word for Venus. Brazilian farmers have succeeded in adapting the variety to tropical to temperate climate in the highlands of São Paulo state. The work is done by Unkichi Taniwaki, a farmer of Japanese origin. Kinsei is easily harvested from May to September. In the high season for kinsei, each fruit costs around 0.50 USD at the Brazilian street market and supermarkets.

In South Korea and Azerbaijan ‘dekopon’ is called hallabong named after Hallasan the mountain located in Jeju-do, where it is primarily grown.

The citrus budwood was imported into the United States in 1998 by a California citrus grower, Brad Stark Jr. The rights to the sterilized budwood were purchased in 2005 by the Griffith family, owners of the nursery TreeSource and packing facility Suntreat. The dekopon was released as a commercial product in the US under the name “Sumo Citrus(R)” in early 2011

Others
‘Dekopon’ have become so popular in Japan that the chewing candy brand giant Hi-Chew has released a limited-edition ‘dekopon’ flavor.

In commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the first shipment of ‘dekopon’, Japan Fruit Growers Cooperative Association designated 1 March “Dekopon day” in 2006

Description/Taste
Dekopons are very large for mandarins— they can weight up to a pound each. They also have a characteristic large bump on one end, and thick, bumpy skin. Despite this, they are easy to peel like many mandarins, and have very thin membranes covering the firm, seedless flesh. The flavor is similar to an intense orange, but sweeter, since all dekopons must have citric acid levels below 1.0 percent. It is so sweet that is has been compared to eating candy. In fact, many people claim that the Dekopon is the most delicious citrus available today.

Seasons/Availability:
Dekopon oranges are available late winter into the spring months.

Current Facts:
The Dekopon orange is actually a large variety of Japanese mandarin, not a true orange; it is a cross between a Kiyomi tangor and a Ponkan mandarin orange. In Japan, Dekopons are also known as shiranuhi, and hallabong in Korea, while in the United States they are usually referred to as Sumos. The name Dekopon comes from the Japanese word “deko,” which means “bump,” and “pon,” which refers to its Ponkan madarin parent.

Nutritional Value:
One medium-sized Dekopon has about 100 percent of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C. Dekopons are low calorie, and contain some potassium, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, and Vitamin A.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dekopon
https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Dekopon_Oranges_11773.php