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A forum for growing rare fruits, edibles and Permaculture with a focus on tropicals.

That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby Brian » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:07 am

Brian
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I seem to remember people in one of the southern CRFG chapters were trying to import Myrica rubra a while back. Did anyone ever establish any named varieties?

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby cchan » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:15 am

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I know several people were unsuccessful using another bayberry as the rootstock. But if you want to try from seed. UC Berkeley Botanical has a large tree that produces fruits with seeds. To germinate seeds they must be kept moist at all times and should be fresh.

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby TomA » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:49 pm

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Hi Chris
I didn't know the tree in the UC Botanic Garden fruited; what did you think of the taste? I've looked at it specifically to see if it fruited, but not very many times. I've always heard this species is dioecious, and my hazy recollection is that they only had one tree there. Do I have that wrong? I've always wondered why people were growing this for fruit in the US given the huge commercial production in Asia
Sunset Zone 16/17. Northern California

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby cchan » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:01 am

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TomA wrote:I didn't know the tree in the UC Botanic Garden fruited; what did you think of the taste? I've looked at it specifically to see if it fruited, but not very many times. I've always heard this species is dioecious, and my hazy recollection is that they only had one tree there. Do I have that wrong? I've always wondered why people were growing this for fruit in the US given the huge commercial production in Asia


There are fruits on the tree around June. They are smaller than those found in Asia. I am pretty sure the species is dioecious, but occasionally bisexual. But I have seen fruit on the tree in UC Botanical. I have found plants can be found in the wild in western china. The cultivated fruits taste similar to raspberries tart but more juicy. They are not good commercially since they do not store long (about 2-4 days) because of their soft skin.

Here is a good source of information for growing the plant from an Australian study. Showing cultivars, grafting techniques, cuttings, and planting conditions. For planting seeds the best chance would be loose moist soil and fresh seeds.

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby DavidLJ48 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:47 pm

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Almost 100 % of the ordered grafted plants died, or if not all, I was a part of the second order, the same thing happen to the second order too, that involved a few plus of us here in Central CA.; the roots just don't seem able to survive the two weeks in shipping to reach us, plus the time in China, were they are treated, to be allowed to come into the US. A couple in who were in the failed first order, knew enough to graft any grantable wood, to seedlings they had. But even that was hard, most of the small wood was cut off before shipping; similar to how you would get a barefoot tree here to plant in the spring

Some have acquired seeds, fresh ones from China do the best, I and others have gotten some online, poor germination normally, zero to only a few percent sprout. I got 20 seeds, fresh seeds from China, all sprouted but 5, but lost all of my seedling to wrong type of potting soil or etc, only have one left; slowly growing, but alive; I guess it was the only one that the genes to take the soil.

For rootstock, I acquire a few Myrica cerifera, they are native to the US, as are some other native US Myrica varieties.; this variety was tested by the Chinese and seems to work just fine, and its roots are not so temperamental and can take wetter soils.

I have found, you don't want to soak the seeds, just place in damp ground peat moss and put them outside in a shaded area, mine sprout here in Central CA, Nov through January. I guess if you were too cold, that wouldn't work.

The couple who were able to save some of the wood from China, are allowing them to grow, to one day offer wood to those who bough dead tree, to start off, when we can do the same, more wood and or plants will available. Seedlings are begin grown too, to see what we can come up with, as far as good wood. If one wanted to jump the hoops, one should be able to get permits to carry in a small amount of scion wood from China,


David

Brian wrote:I seem to remember people in one of the southern CRFG chapters were trying to import Myrica rubra a while back. Did anyone ever establish any named varieties?
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby TomA » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:57 pm

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That is a great paper cchan; thanks much for posting the link, and also for the info about the fruits on the UC tree. what did you think of their taste?
and thanks for the report on the plant material you ordered David.
I see plenty of processed products (especially drinks) with this fruit in them. anyone ever seen fresh fruit imported into the US/California?
Sunset Zone 16/17. Northern California

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby Brian » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:17 am

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I was just wondering as it seems it would be climatically suited to parts of CA.

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby cchan » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:12 pm

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TomA wrote: anyone ever seen fresh fruit imported into the US/California?

I do not think it would last long enough if you import them. The fruit get easily crushed and breaks apart.

Sheffield Seeds in New york sells seeds by the pound. But I have no idea how fresh they are. https://sheffields.com/seeds/Myrica/rubra

From what I have read they germinate just like Michelia champaca a warm period followed by cold stratification. I would say the best thing would be to get a batch of fresh seeds from western china in the summer or online and germinate them in a humid environment with peat, under a heating pad for 12 weeks, and then put them in the fridge for 12 weeks. (Based on table 1 from here) The trick is to keep the conditions humid at the same time. I think germination will take from 80-100 days. If you buy online I would suggest cutting one seed open to see if it is fresh so you do not waste your time germinating seeds that are not viable.

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby DavidLJ48 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:24 pm

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Two seasons ago, one of the Chinese in our order group, who was part line of those who initiated the order, went again to China and brought back fresh seed, i got 15 or of 20 to sprout. The others I have bought from seed companies, have failed, have one that just sprouted from Tradewinds Fruit seeds, but not sure if it is the only one or more will happen.

I have found they are like almonds and stone fruits, I just keep the seeds in damp peat moss, in a bag, and they spout going into winter. I am thinking that, because their native area is like here, dry in the summer and wet in wirer, that is why they sprout at his time, like a stone fruit seed left out in the field.

There seems to be varieties that are more first sensitive and some more hardy, deepening on where they are grown, down south or in northern China or etc

The fresh seeds from China, two years ago, I put them out under my patio roof in the shade, to let them cold stratify over the winter, but found them sprouting in mid November, continuing till the middle of December.
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

Re: That Myrica rubra stuff from a few years back

Postby yeti17 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:43 pm

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I planted over 100 seeds in late September in a container outdoors (zone 9b). I bought some from China on aliexpress and some from another website that seemed more reputable (I can't remember and can't seem to find the email).

Whatever the case, 0% germination so far!

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