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Fruits & Vegetables

Florida strangler fig

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

Synonyms:
*Ficus cabusana Standl. & Steyerm.
*Ficus ciliolosa Link 1822, rejected name
*Ficus cookii Standl.
*Ficus dimidiata Griseb.
*Ficus isophlebia Standl.
*Ficus jimenezii Standl.
*Ficus laterisyce W.C. Burger
*Ficus lundellii Standl.
*Ficus mayana Lundell
*Ficus rigidula Lundell
*Ficus sapotifolia Kunth & C.D.Bouché
*Ficus tecolutensis (Liebm.) Miq.
*Ficus tuerckheimii Standl.
*Ficus venusta Kunth & C.D. Bouché

Common Names: Florida strangler fig (or simply strangler fig), Golden fig, or Higuerón

Habitat: Florida strangler fig is native to the U.S. state of Florida, the northern and western Caribbean, southern Mexico and Central America south to Panama.

Description:
Florida strangler fig is a tree which may reach heights of 30 m (98 ft). It is monoecious: each tree bears functional male and female flowers. The size and shape of the leaves is variable. Some plants have leaves that are usually less than 10 cm (4 in) long while others have leaves that are larger. The shape of the leaves and of the leaf base also varies—some plants have leaves that are oblong or elliptic with a wedge-shaped to rounded base, while others have heart-shaped or ovate leaves with cordate to rounded bases. F. aurea has paired figs which are green when unripe, turning yellow as they ripen. They differ in size (0.6–0.8 cm [0.2–0.3 in], about 1 cm [0.4 in], or 1.0–1.2 cm [0.4–0.5 in] in diameter); figs are generally sessile, but in parts of northern Mesoamerica figs are borne on short stalks known as peduncles.

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Cultivation & propagation:
Regardless of the fact that ficusaurea is an opportunistic tree, it has fruits that are largely attractive in nature. That make them a highly cultivated tree through yards. They can spread as wide as 150 feet tall in their native land, trees that are cultivated for commercial purpose grow to be as tall as 30 feet in height. This differs on various species of the tree.

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They form an interesting structure of a tree garden because of its dense canopies and mutli stemmed trunks that are broad in nature. The leaves hanging on these canopies are bright green in colour and are a delight to watch.
These plants grow the best given that conditions are favourable. They need full to partial sun shade, also an abundant fill of water given once in every week or two. They are very flexible when it comes to soil type and thrives the best in moist, well-drained soil which is like highly alkaline to slightly acidic pH levels. This helps them retain moisture level and is very useful during hot summer season. They do not restrain heavy pruning and behave completely fine when their growth is controlled by the same. Figs grown out of the container are the only ones that need fertilizing when compared to other sorts.

Edible Uses:
The fruit of Ficus aurea is edible and was used for food by the indigenous people and early settlers in Florida; it is still eaten occasionally as a backyard source of native fruit.

Medicinal Uses:. Florida strangler fig was also used in traditional medicine in The Bahamas and Florida. Allison Adonizio and colleagues screened F. aurea for anti-quorum sensing activity (as a possible means of anti-bacterial action), but found no such activity.

Other Uses:
The latex was used to make a chewing gum, and aerial roots may have been used to make lashings, arrows, bowstrings and fishing lines. The fruit was used to make a rose-coloured dye. F. aurea was also used in traditional medicine in The Bahamas and Florida. Allison Adonizio and colleagues screened F. aurea for anti-quorum sensing activity (as a possible means of anti-bacterial action), but found no such activity.

Individual Florida strangler fig trees are common on dairy farms in La Cruz, Cañitas and Santa Elena in Costa Rica, since they are often spared when forest is converted to pasture. In interviews, farmers identified the species as useful for fence posts, live fencing and firewood, and as a food species for wild birds and mammals.

The fruit was used to make a rose-coloured dye.

Florida strangler fig is used as an ornamental tree, an indoor tree and as a bonsai. Like other figs, it tends to invade built structures and foundations, and need to be removed to prevent structural damage. Although young trees are described as “rather ornamental”, older trees are considered to be difficult to maintain (because of the adventitious roots that develop off branches) and are not recommended for small areas. However, it was considered a useful tree for “enviroscaping” to conserve energy in south Florida, since it is “not as aggressive as many exotic fig species,” although it must be given enough space.

it makes a good source of fire woods and also acts as food source or fodder for many gazing animals and mammals.

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_aurea
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/florida-strangler-fig.php

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Fruits & Vegetables

Finger Lime

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

Synonyms:
Citrus australasica var. sanguinea F.M.Bailey
Microcitrus australasica (F.Muell.) Swingle

Common Names: Finger Lime, the Australian finger lime or caviar lime

Habitat:
Finger Lime is a thorny understorey shrub or small tree of lowland subtropical rainforest and rainforest in the coastal border region of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.

Description:
The plant is 2–7 m (6 ft 7 in–23 ft 0 in) in height. Leaves are small, 1–6 cm (0.39–2.36 in) long and 3–25 mm (0.12–0.98 in) wide, glabrous, with a notched tip and crenate towards the apex. Flowers are white with petals 6–9 mm (0.24–0.35 in) long.These trees grow to be thorny and are known to produce very unique finger shaped fruit known as the finger lime. The fruit grows as long as 12cm with a green yellow shaded skin and fleshy pulp inside it. This fruit can also sometimes produce a pink ? red flesh that occurs absolutely naturally to them The fruit is cylindrical, 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) long, sometimes slightly curved, coming in different colours, including pink and green.

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It has edible fruits which are under development as a potential new commercial crop

Edible Uses:
Finger limes are a delight to eat. The most important application of finger lime is by using it cooking various dishes, but the most popularly accepted method of consuming finger limes is by eating it raw or used as a garnish with the main dish. The food that goes best with finger limes are seafood, chicken. Spirits melons and cream based desserts to add a tinge of sourness to the dish. Adding a finger lime on an oyster shooter takes the dish t whole new level as it adds slight crunch and lots of flavour that escalates the dish to be the star of the menu. Grilled salmons and seared scallops are other two sea foods that goes really well if complimented with finger limes. Another treat made better by finger lime is by slicing avocado or melons and sprinkling finger lime caviar on top of it, followed by a dash of sea salt. This makes an amazingly refreshing afternoon snack in the summer season. As lip smacking as they taste finger limes are a sign of sophistication to cocktails and spirits as they use them as floating garnish. The caviar of finger lime is also used to garnish sushi, cheesecake, ceviche, Grilled shrimps or any other dish that requires an outburst of flavours. Mainly citrus flavour.

Health Benefits:
The king of citrus fruits are none other than limes and lemons. Citrus fruits are known to be abundant source of Vitamin A, which is also reflected to be one of the most important antioxidant. Our body needs Vitamin A which is essential vitamin in protecting your cells against various diseases, even as seriously as cancer. People with poor and sensitive vision look for Vitamin A rich food to improve their vision. Disorders like night blindness can also be avoided by adequate consumption of Vitamin A. abundance of potassium can be found in finger lime, potassium is very effective in combating high blood pressure. People with hypertension make sure to add finger lime caviar in their meals to avoid any further health issues. The development of kidney stones can be highly avoided by the presence of potassium in the body, as we know finger lime is a power house of potassium it can largely be avoided making consumption of finger lime an often practise. The reason behind the formation of kidney stone is no rocket science. Kidney stones are a result of accumulation of calcium in one’s kidney which leads to the formation of stone like structures. Potassium keeps the level of calcium in our body under check and hence leads to lowering the risk or formation kidney stones. Many terminal diseases such as breast colon, and prostate cancer can be avoided.Also known for is rich presence of Vitamin D this fruit helps in the formation of stronger teeth and bones. This fruit helps majorly in keeping the blood count in check.

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_australasica
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/finger-lime.php

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Fruits & Vegetables

Fibrous Satinash

Botanical Name: Syzygium fibrosum
Family: Myrtaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. fibrosum

Synonyms:

Common Names: Fibrous satinash, Small red apple, (Bamaga) and Apricot satinash.

Habitat : Fibrous Satinash is native to monsoon forests of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia.

Description:
As it is grown mostly in rain forest the leaf blades of this tree are a little more water resistant than the usual. Growing to the size of 6.3-10.8 x 2.9-5.2 cm, it is supported by the petiole that grows about 0.4-09 cm long.Leaves are opposite, smooth, leathery, elliptic, 5.5–11 cm long and 3.5–55 cm wide. The mid rib supporting the veins of the leaf is found to be imbedded on the upper surface of the leaf, inclining more towards the base of the leaf blade.A number of oil dots also can be spotted along the surface of the leaf. The hind portion or the under surface of the leaf does make the appearance of the veins very obvious.

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The flowers are cream with numerous stamens. The pink or red fruit has a flattened globular shape and are about 2 cm wide, containing a singular seed.
The flowers of this tree are another gem to the crown, with many stamen present flower the texture gradually feels creamy. Coming to the fruit of the plant, the fruit globular shaped and flattened in that shape giving a sour taste. This fruit is sometimes a key ingredient that is used for making jellies, jams and confectionery.

Uses:
The tree is cultivated to a limited extent for its sour fruit, which are used in jams and confectionery.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygium_fibrosum
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/fibrous-satinash.php

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Fruits & Vegetables

Feijoa

Botanical Name: Acca sellowiana
Family: Myrtaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales
Genus: Acca
Species: A. sellowiana

Synonyms:
*Feijoa sellowiana (O.Berg) O.Berg
*Orthostemon sellowianus O.Berg

Common Names: Common names include Feijoa, Pineapple guava and Guavasteen, although it is not a true guava. It has been nicknamed “Pineapple guava”, “Brazilian guava”, “Fig guava” or “Guavasteen”

Habitat: Feijoa is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Colombia.

Description:
Fejioa is an evergreen, perennial shrub or small tree, 1–7 metres (3.3–23.0 ft) in height. tree which is much branched growing from 1 to 5 meters high having reddish grey bark and cylindrical trunk which appears to be rough and flaky. The tree bears elliptical to ovate leaves which are shortly petiolate, opposite having entire margin and obtuse apex rounded at base. Leaves measures 3 to 8 cm long, 2 to 4 cm wide. Upper surface is glossy and dark green and lower surface is tomentose and silvery white. The tree bears attractive flowers in pinkish red color. Flowers are solitary in lowest two or four leaf axils and measures 3 to 4 cm across. Petals are broad elliptic to spoon shaped, reflexed and whitish having red center. There are numerous stamens measuring 2.5 cm long having yellow anthers. Flowers are then replaced by oblong to ovoid fruit measuring 5 to 8 cm by 3 to 6 cm diameter. The texture of the skin differs from smooth to rough enclosing a thick and white, sweet to subacid flesh. The translucent pulp is enclosed with numerous small seeds in oblong shape. The climate preferred by Fejioa tree is mild summers and cool winters to bear fruit.

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Fruit: Fruit measuring 5 to 8 cm long by 3 to 6 cm diameter, is oblong to ovoid in shape having persistent calyx segments complied to apex. It has waxy skin in blue or grayish green or dull blue to green color. The texture of the skin varies from rough to smooth. The fruit possess long lasting perfume. Flesh of the fruit is white, thick, granular and translucent which is enclosed with seeds. The taste resembles the combination of guava and pineapple or strawberry and pineapple. There are about 20 to 40 small seeds in oblong shape which is hardly noticeable.

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The fruit matures in autumn, is green, ellipsoid, and about the size of a chicken egg. It has a sweet, aromatic flavour, which tastes like pineapple, apple and mint. The flesh is juicy and is divided into a clear, gelatinous seed pulp and a firmer, slightly granular, opaque flesh nearer the skin. The fruit falls to the ground when ripe and at its fullest flavour, but it may be picked from the tree prior to falling to prevent bruising.

Edible Uses:
Due to the impressive supply of nutrients and unique flavor, it is used for various culinary applications and also used as an ingredient in desserts, smoothies, chutneys, cocktails and stewed fruit dishes. Although the skin is edible, the fruit usually is eaten by cutting it in half, then scooping out the pulp with a spoon. The fruit has a juicy, sweet seed pulp and slightly gritty flesh nearer the skin. Feijoa may be torn or bitten in half and the contents squeezed out and consumed. An alternative method is to bite the end off and then tear the fruit in half length-wise, exposing a larger surface with less curvature and using one’s teeth to scrape the pulp out closer to the skin.

The fruit pulp resembles the closely related guava, having a gritty texture. The feijoa pulp is used in some natural cosmetic products as an exfoliant. Feijoa fruit has a distinctive, potent smell that resembles that of a fine perfume. The aroma is due to the ester methyl benzoate and related compounds that exist in the fruit.

A feijoa may be used as an interesting addition to a fruit smoothie and may be used to make wine or cider and feijoa-infused vodka. The flavour is aromatic, strong and complex, inviting comparison with guava, strawberry, pineapple, and often containing a faint wintergreen-like aftertaste. It also is possible to buy feijoa yogurt, fruit drinks, jam, ice cream, and such in New Zealand. It also may be cooked and used in dishes where one would use stewed fruit. It is a popular ingredient in chutney. The very strong, complex flavour can make using feijoas, in combination with other fruits or vegetables, a creative and complex undertaking.

The flower petals are edible, with a slightly sweet flavor with hints of cinnamon. The most common use is as an addition to salads.

Health Benefits:
Feijoa provides numerous health benefits such as improvement in digestion, assist weight loss, boost immune system, lower cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure, increase bone strength, balance metabolism, optimize uptake of nutrients, regulate blood sugar levels and stimulate cognitive function.

Medicinal Uses:
*Treat inflammatory bowel disease
*Prevent bacteria
*Lower inflammation
*Prevents Cancer
*Prevents constipation
*Improves heart health
*Mood enhancer
*Improve immunity
*Regulation of blood pressure

Other Uses: They are regularly consumed by birds. Besides its sweet fruit, it is also cultivated for ornamental purposes.

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/Acca_sellowiana
https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/feijoa/

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Fruits & Vegetables

False mastic

Botanical Name : Sideroxylon foetidissimum
Family: Sapotaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Sideroxylon
Species: S. foetidissimum

Synonyms:
*Mastichodendron foetidissimum (Jacq.) H.J.Lam
*Sideroxylon mastichodendron Jacq.

Common Names: False mastic or Yellow mastic

Habitat : False mastic is native to Florida in the United States, the Caribbean, and northern Central America. The trees are also often spotted on beaches and sea shores. This is because of the high tolerance of salt in the air. The trunks of these trees are used to make hammocks and are usually slightly more tall than broader. The branches tend to provide shade to the person resting on the hammock.

Description:
False mastic is a dense growing plant. This fruit is a small fruit with a color of yellow and orange with a gummy pulp inside it.
The tree of a false mastic fruit grows to be a dense large tree often growing to the size of 80ft tall. Known to be an ever green tree, it grows fast and flowers through-out the year. The flowers borne by this tree have a peculiar smell to it and the smell is described like cheese to many people. The tree which known for its dense nature is often grown in residential areas and also in commercial landscape as it provides shade to the area and maintains a soothing effect.

The trunk of the tree is strong and large with a width of 1-1.2 meters in diameter. Talking about the leaves of the false mastic fruit they are elongated in shape and have a glossy effect to it. This wavy edge leaf spots a dual tone; the upper half of the leaf has a bright green colour to it where as the bottom side of the leaf leaves a yellow tinge to it. Normally found in a clustered position at the end of the twig this leaf has the capability to remain green throughout the year.

The beauty of the flower comes from the flowers it bears. This tree bears flowers throughout the year with a constant on and off. These flowers grow to size of 2cm long and are yellow- orange in colour. As already mentioned about the distinct smell, these flowers smell like cheese…..CLICK & SEE
Once pollinated these flowers are the ones that turns into a fruit with a sticky and gummy orange pulp.

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Edible Uses: The fruit does not need any preservation and is usually eaten fresh off the tree.

Health Benefits: Like all other fruits this fruit has lots of health benefits.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sideroxylon_foetidissimum
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/false-mastic-fruit.php