Garry Thompson of Rosebud Farm gave a most interesting and informative slide display and talk on his recent visit to South America on a seed collection expedition.
David Chandlee has kindly provided a précis of the talk: Garry said he enjoyed Guatemala the best of all the countries he visited in Central and South America - friendly people, good fruit.
Northern Guatemala: the Alto Verapaz. Savannah with palms - looked like an orchard but wasn't.
Costa Rica - Research station at Luvialba.
Amazon - Manaus (900 miles upstream from mouth)
Leticia (2000 miles upstream from mouth)
Peach palm, red and yellow - 15' apart; edible seeds, the taste is a cross between cheese and a peach; staple in South and parts of Central America.
Spondias tuberosa, Imbu
S. purpurea, Red Mombin - better flavour
Mombin, Yellow Mombin.
Palms - all palms - like growing together, sheltering each other. Garry recommends very close planting, 1-4 m. apart each way.
Tikal swamp palm - beautiful.
Malay apple - a beautifully symmetrical tree and nice, crunchy fruit.
Paradise nut - a huge tree, to 150', good nut.
Inga - 215 species.
Inga siambillo (pronounced shimbeyah) is a good flavoured one.
I. fagifolia is a good one and has beautiful twisted pods.
I. edulis )
I. paterno ) good, all in N. Queensland
I. spectabilis )
'Ecuador' (botanical name unknown) beautiful young leaves.
Rollinia - rarely taller than 15'. Can take shade as well as sun; an all-year-round fruit although it has a chief bearing season.
R. deliciosa - fantastic flavour.
R. mucosa - occurs in different area; slightly inferior flavour.
Star apple - doesn't vary much in flavour; little difference between the green and purple varieties (apart from the colour) except that one can eat closer to the skin of the green star apple. A large tree which tolerates cutting back. (Bill Whitman's tree was shown.) Six years to fruit.
Sachamango - not bad, but stringy.
Guyana Chestnut - has a nice flower, small tree (good nut according to Meninger.)
Genipa - large tree to 50'; worst fruit in world?
Abiu - Pouteria caimito - a good fruit, Amazon.
Amazon tree grape - in clusters, dark blue/black; an excellent grape-like fruit; you can eat hundreds.
Mamey Sapote - large tree, fruit and seed; not much variation in flavour between seedlings and each a named variety.
Green Sapote (Calocarpum viride) - close relative of Mamey but from highlands to 8,000 feet; not noticeably different in flavour from Mamey Sapote. Both large trees.
Black Sapote - Garry saw few large trees, but Popenoe says it is a large tree on deep, rich, moist soil but smaller away from these conditions and at lower temperatures. Planted 15' x 15' at Luvialba (experiment). Must be fully ripe before eating.
Yellow Sapote - Pouteria salicifolia , P. campechiana.
South American Sapote - large tree with delicate foliage liable to wind damage and insect attack; likes swampy clay jungle conditions, protected. Garry's favourite fruit.
Camu camu - Myrciaria jaboticaba - a shrub which makes a good drink.
Jaboticaba - Myrciaria cauliflora - a shrub with good small fruit; crops often and heavily.
Passiflora ligularis - good sweet passionfruit. "Sweet grenadilla" in RFCI list.
DATE: September 1980
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