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.

Brazil 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.

Garry Thompson/David Chandlee

DATE: September 1980

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