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GEDRAPHOL_Willughbeia edulis

By parmarch28/12/20180

GEDRAPHOL
(Willughbeia edulis)

A plant of gedraphol

Family: Apocynaceae

Other names: Chittagong rubber, luti aam.

Gedraphol is found in the north eastern part of India, the region which is adjacent to Myyanmar. 

Description

A woody climber, with long hooked tendrils.

Flowers fragrant. 

 A gedraphol fruit on tree

Fruits yellow or red, 5.0 – 7.5 cm long and 3.8-5.6 cm wide, resembling small mangoes, edible.

Utilization:

Gedraphol fruits taste pleasantly acid and are popularly eaten by local people.

Gedraphol fruits

            This plant yields a cautchouc which contains about25-27 per cent rubber.  The cautchouc also yields 55-85 per cent resin.

Cultivation:

Gedraphol vines are sometimes planted around homes by local people.  New plants are raised from seed.

BORNEO RUBBER_Willughbeia coriacea

By parmarch28/12/20180

BORNEO RUBBER
(Willughbeia coriacea)

Borneo rubber  

Family:  Apocynaceae

Synonyms: Willughbeia firma

Borneo rubber grows wild in South Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Java and Sumatra, Borneo etc.  It bears very good quality fruits which are popularly eaten by local people.

Description:

A woody climber.

            Fruits light orange.

Fruits of Borneo rubber

Utilization:

The fruits are edible and eaten fresh.  These are very pleasant to eat.

            The plant yields a cautchouc which is collected by local people.  This cautchouc, however, inferior to that obtained from Hevea trees and therefore does not have much demand.

Cultivation:

Borneo rubber plants can be raised from seed.  These are very prolific bearers.  One can sometimes see a vine bearing hundreds of fruits at different stages of development.

GRAPE_Vitis vinifera

By parmarch28/12/20180

GRAPE
(Vitis vinifera)

A grape vineyard

Grape is one of the oldest fruits being grown by man. However, it was introduced into north India from Iran and Afghanistan in 1300 AD by the Muslim invaders; and into south India in 1832 by the Christian missionaries from France.  Grape was well known to people even in ancient India but it was not commercially cultivated until the 14th century. Wild grapes grown in the North West Indian state of Himachal Pradesh were used to prepare local wine.

            Presently grape cultivation is concentrated in the peninsular India, accounting for 90% of the total area. Major grape-growing states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the north-western region covering Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

CLIMATE AND SOIL

            Temperature, humidity and light are important for grapes. Hot and dry climate is ideal. Areas with high rainfall are not suitable. The climate requirements of vinifera are different from those of labrusca grapes.

            Mild temperature, not exceeding 35 C in summers, impairs the fruiting of vinifera grapes, particularly, in Thompson Seedless. Higher night temperatures (above 25 C) during ripening hamper the colour development in coloured grapes. Cool nights and hot days even though congenial for coloured grapes, pink pigmentation development in green grapes if the diurnal differences are more than 20 C during ripening.

            Under high humid conditions, the vines put forth excessive vegetative growth at the expense of fruiting. Berries do not ripen properly. Disease incidence is high. The total amount of rainfall is not the criterion, but the timing frequency and duration of rainfall are important considerations for grape cultivation. Rains associated with cloudy weather and poor sunlight during 45-60 days after back pruning in the tropical India reduce the fruitful buds in a vine. Rainfall during flowering and berry ripening cause enormous damage to gapes. If rains coincide with flowering, the panicles are destroyed by downy mildew. Rains during ripening cause berry cracking and rotting.

            Grapes are grown on a variety of soils in India, alluvial in north, heavy black clay in Maharashtra and north Karnataka, red loam in southern Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and very light sandy locally called ‘Chalka’ soils in Andhra Pradesh. Soil with good drainage and water-holding capacity in a pH range of 6.5-7.5 is ideally-suited for grapes. Presence of excess salts, particularly sodium and free calcium is detrimental for grapes. Vines become weak and their productive life span is reduced. The electrical conductivity of the saturated extract of soil should be less than 4mimos/cm; its exchangeable sodium content should be less than 15%. When the soil contains more free calcium than 12%, vines suffer from iron deficiency and the soil gradually becomes sodic. High content of sodium in soil poses drainage problems and the root growth is impaired. Soil of Maharashtra, Haryana and Punjab are saline-alkali. Free calcium content is also high in soils of Maharashtra.

VARIETIES

            More than 20 varieties are under cultivation. However, only a dozen are commercially grown. They can be grouped under 4 categories based on colour and seeds.

They are:

Coloured – seededBangalore Blue (Muscat) 
Coloured – seedless Beauty Seedless and Sharad Seedless
White – seeded Anab-e Shahi, Dilkhush (clone of Anab-e Shahi
White – seedlessPerlette, Pusa Seedless, Thompson Seedless, andIts clones Tas-A-Ganesh, Sonaka andManik Chaman

            Currently, Thompson Seedless is the ruling grape, occupying 55% of the area with its clones. Bangalore Blue occupies approximately 15% of the total area while Anab-e-Shahi and Dilkhush (15%), Sharad Seedless (5%), Perlette (5%) and Gulabi and Bhokri together (5%).

PROPAGATION AND ROOTSTOCKS

Grape is mostly propagated by hardwood stem cuttings. Four-noded cuttings fromWell mature canes on proven vines are made. The diameter of cuttings should be 8-10mm. Cutting are mostly obtained from October pruning in the peninsula. Rooting of cuttings is not a problem. However, Thompson Seedless roots are poorer than Anab-e-Shahi or Bangalore Blue. To increase the rooting of stem cuttings, they should either be soaked or dipped to cover the basal buds in IBA solution. For overnight soaking, 500 ppm IBA solution is used, while 2000 ppm solution is used for quick dipping for 10sec. before planting the cuttings. Quick dip method is preferred. Cutting after treating with IBA should be planted in the nursery or directly in the field.

            Cuttings are planted in nursery either in beds or polybags for rooting. The beds or polybags should be under partial shade. The rooting media should have 30-405 well-decomposed cattle manure to retain moisture and similar proportion of sand to provide drainage. The beds or rooting medium should be treated with Chloropyriphos or Furadan granules to prevent termite damage. Light frequent watering is to be given to the cuttings.

A bunch of grapes ready for harvesting

            For planting in field, 3-4 cutting should be plated at each spot. Cuttings are covered with green twigs to provide shade. After rooting, one good cutting is retained at each spot. Gap filling should also be done at this stage.

            Rootstocks are employed for grapes to overcome salinity, nematode damage and to impart vigour to vines. In normal soils with good and adequate water for irrigation, rootstock is not necessary. In nematode-prone soils, the rootstock 1613 can be used for Anab-e-Shahi or Thompson Seedless. In saline soils, Dog ridge is better. Use of Dog ridge in non-saline, nematode-free soils, particularly under mild climatic conditions makes the vines barren by imparting excess vigour.

CULTIVATION

Planting

            Before plating the rooted/UN rooted cuttings in the main field, the land is cleared of all bushes and leveled. Trenches or pit 1m wide and 75 cm deep are opened. When plant spacing within a row is less than 2m, continuous trenches are made. The pits/trenches are filled with farmyard manure, green manure/leaf-mould, bone-meal (1kg), super phosphate (1kg) and allowed to settle by watering. Cuttings are planted in their position by opening a small pit. A mixture of sand, well-rotten manure and super phosphate (0.5kg) is packed around the cutting in the pit. The soil around the planted cuttings is drenched with a solution of Chlorpyriphos.

            October is ideal time for planting the unrooted cuttings directly in the field. Rooted cuttings are planted in January-February. When rootstock plants are planted, budding or grafting is done in July-August. Either chip budding or wedge grafting is employed. Wedge grafting is better.

            Spacing of vines depends on the variety, vigour of vines and system of training Generally Anab-e-Shahi and Dilkhush vines are spaced at 3.3, x 6.6m or 5.0m x 5.0m. The spacing of vines of seedlings varieties varies from 1.2m to 2.0m within a row and 2.7 to 3.6m between rows when trained to ‘T’ or ‘Y’ trellis. For Thompson Seedless, the spacing of 1.8m x 3.0m is ideal for bower and ‘Y’ trellies trained vines respectively.

Training and pruning

            Different systems of training-head, kniffin, telephone, V, expanded Y and gable-are in vogue in India. Productive potential of vines is better exploited on bower than on any other system of training. But this system is expensive, encourages diseases, and is not suitable for mechanization of cultural operations. On head, Kniffin and telephone systems of training not only the yields are low but the fruits are exposed to sun resulting in sun-burn, but the yield is the same. The expanded Y with long arms and gable system connecting the side arms of adjacent rows are best-suited for training seedless grapes,since these systems posses the advantages of bower and at the same time do not have disadvantages associated with it.

            In north India, vines are pruned in winter (December-January). Half of the canes are pruned to renew spurs and the rest for fruiting canes. One or two buds from the cordon (arm) are retained in renewed at spurs and 12 buds are retained on fruiting canes. The numbers of buds left on fruiting canes depend on variety and thickness of cane. Thick canes are pruned longer and the thin shorter. The fruited canes are pruned to renewal spurs and the canes developed from renewal spurs are pruned to fruiting canes in the next winter.

            In Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and north Karnataka, vines are pruned twice (April and October). The April pruning is generally termed as back pruning or foundation pruning. While October pruning is called fruit pruning or forward pruning. All the canes are pruned to spurs at back pruning, irrespective of the variety or cane thickness. The number of buds retained on a cane at forward pruning depends on variety and cane thickness.

Manuring and fertilization

The nutrient status of vines is far in excess than required leading to certain nutrient imbalances, particularly Mg deficiency as a result of heavy doses of K.

            Grape requires more K than N which in turn is required more than P. However, P is required at the time of fruit-bud formation when N requirements are less. The N is required more for shoot growth during the fruiting season. Whereas K is required after bud differentiation for shoot maturity and increasing the size of fruit-bud. It is also required after berry set until ripening. The annual schedule for manuring grape plants is given in Table 1.

            More P and less K are required in Maharashtra and north Karnataka for Thompson Seedless grape, as the soils of this region are rich in k and fix more P. the doses are adjusted by regularly monitoring the petiole nutrient contents.

            Petioles of leaves at fifth node from base are sample on 45th day after black pruning, while those of leaves opposite to flower clusters at full bloom are sampled after October pruning in south India. It is better to sample on 45th day after back pruning. However in north India, sampling is done only at full bloom. The optimum petiole nutrient contents on percentage dry weight basis are given in Table2.

Table1. Manurial schedule for grape

VarietyDoses of nutrients (kg/ha)
Anab-e-Shahi and other seeded grapesAprilMayJuneOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuary
N15050100100100
P2O5200100200
K2O300100200200200
ThompsonSeedless and other seedless grapesAprilMayJuneOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuary
N1001005050
P2O5200100200
K2O300100200200200
Perlette and other seedless grapes in north IndiaFebruaryMarchAprilMay   
N250350100
P2O5800400
K2O400400200

Table2. Petiole nutrient content (dry weight basis)

VarietyNPKMg
Anab-e-Shahi1.0-1.50.4-0.62.5-3.50.2-0.3
Thompson seedless1.0-1.50.4-0.61.5-2.50.4-0.6
Perlette0.900.383.46

Nutrient application in the subsequent years should be based on these petiole nutrient standards.

            Heavy dose of cattle manure is applied to improve soil structure and to increase its moisture-holding capacity. About 25-50 tonnes of well-decomposed cattle manure, 5 tonnes of oil cake (deoiled) and 1,200 kg of organic mixture should be applied every in a hectare crop. When such organic nutrients are applied, the inorganic doses are proportionately reduced.

            Among the nutrient deficiencies, Mg deficiency is universal. About 100-200 kg of magnesium sulphate/ha/year should be applied depending upon the severity of its deficiency. While 50 kg is applied after 30 days of April pruning, the rest is applied in 2 splits during the fruiting season once at berry set and again after a month. Magnesium is t b applied to soil at least one week prior to potash application to increase its uptake.

            Iron deficiency is very common in black soils. Foliar application of 0.2% ferrous sulphate solution or chlelated iron compound is recommended. Although all soils in India are deficient in Zn, its deficiency in the plant is not observed.

Irrigation

Grape is a shallow feeder. Light and frequent watering is better for grapes. Water requirement of grape are very high during berry growth. This period coinciding with hot and dry weather, more water is required at this stage. Least water is required during fruit-bud formation. This period if coincides with cloudy weather and rains, watering are totally to be stopped. Reduced irrigation during ripening, i.e. (one month prior to harvesting) improve the quality of grapes and hastens ripening. Too much stress during ripening can also increase the berry drop at and after harvesting.

            Currently due to the shortage of water, grapes are irrigated through drips. The number of drippers/vine and their placement are very crucial in drip irrigation. The active feeder root zone is to be wetted by the water discharged through the emitters. Since the wetted pattern is more horizontal than vertical in clay soils but more vertical than horizontal in sandy soils, more emitters with low discharge rate for longer duration are advisable to get good results with drip irrigation in sandy soils. Inadequate wetting of root zone reduces shoot vigour and weakens the vines. Gradually they develop deadwood and go barren 7-8 years after planting.

            The quantity of water to let through drip irrigation daily depends not only on the stage of growth of the vine but also the evapotranspiration in a vineyard. Putting these two factors together the water requirement of grapes through drips is given in Table3.

Table3. Water requirement of grape through drip irrigation

Stage of growthWater required/ha (litres/day)
1-40 days after summer pruning 48,000-60,000
41-100 days after summer pruning 24,000-32,000
101 days after summer pruning to winter pruning15,000-20,000
1-45 days after winter pruning 20,000-24,000
46-75 days after winter pruning 16,000-20,000
76-100 days after winter pruning 48,000-60,000
111 days after winter pruning until harvesting36,000-48,000
After harvesting untill summer pruning 20,000-24,000

            Grape is sensitive to chlorides and total salts content in irrigation water. Water with electrical conductivity of less than 1mmhos/cm, chlorides less than 4m.e/litre, sodium adsorption ratio less than 8.0, residual sodium carbonate less than 1.25 m.e/litre and boron less than 1.0 mg/kg is considered safe for irrigation grapes.

            Raising a bund of loose soil to a height of 1’ along the vine rows and mulching the soil around the drip zone by sugarcane trash or paddy straw can conserve the soil moisture and save irrigation water.

Weed control

Farmyard manure and compost are the major sources of weed seeds from outside. The problematic weeds in vineyards are Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) and nut grass (Cyperus rotundus). The weed intensity is less in bower trained vineyards.

            Mechanical control is most common means of weed control in India. Dhaincha and sun hemp are grown as intercrops to check the weeds in vineyards trained to T, V or Y trellises. Post-emergent weedicides-Paraquat (7.5 kg/ha) or Glyphosate (2.0 kg/ha), is also recommended. Glyphosate offers a long time control of weeds as compared to Paraquat.

Use of growth regulations

Growth regulators- CCC, GA and hydrogen cyanamide-are being used commercially in grapes. The CCC is used t suppress the vigour of vines and increase the fruitfulness of buds. It is sprayed at 500 ppm concentration at 5-leaf stage after back pruning. If weather is cloudy, cool and rainy, it is sprayed on the foliage once again at 10-leaf stage. Gibberallic acid (GA) is used invariably in all seedless varieties. It is sprayed at 10 ppm to elongate the clusters, 22-25 days after forward pruning (4-5_leaf stag). It is also sprayed on clusters @ 40 ppm at 50% bloom stage for thinning the berries. For increasing the berry size, the clusters are dipped in 60ppm GA alone or in a mixture of GA  (30 ppm) it 10 ppm BA  2 ppm CPPU at pearl millet or bajra grain-size berries and again at red gram sexed berries.  Care must be taken not to treat the Custers with GA before bajra grain-sized berries. Otherwise, berries of uneven size form a cluster. For increasing berry size, vines are girdled. Girdling is a process of removing 2-3 mm wide strip of bark around the stem without injuring the wood. This is also to be dot at the bajra grain-sized berries.

            Hydrogen cyanamide is used to hasten and increase the bud-break at winter pruning. Buds are swabbed with cotton soaked in 1.5% solution of hydrogen an amide 48 hr after pruning/ Hastening the bud-break with hydrogen cyamide also hastens the ripening of grapes in the north. Thiourea (4.0%) mixed with 1% Bordeaux mixture is also used to increase bud-break in south.

HARVESTING AND POSTHARVEST MANAGEMENT

Grapes are harvested when fully ripe, since they do not ripen after harvesting. In seeded grapes, the seeds become dark brown when they are fully ripe, while in seedless varieties, their characteristic berry colour develops fully.

      The yield potential of grape in India is highest in the world. Grape variety Anab-e-Shahi has recorded yield as high as 92 tonnes/ha, whereas Thompson Seedless has 48 tonnes/ha. The average yield o Anab-e-Shahi and Bangalore Blue is 40-50 tonnes/ha, while that of seedless varieties is 20 tonnes/ha.

      Grapes should be harvested during cool time of the day. Harvested grapes are trimmed, graded and packed. For local market, grapes are packed in bamboo strip baskets using newspaper and grape leaves as cushioning material. One basket contains 6kg of grapes. For distant markets (within the country), wood or corrugated cardboard boxes are used for packing. Old newspapers, hay and paper shreds are used as cushioning material. The size if packing is 6 or 8kg in wood boxes, and 2 or 4kg in cardboard boxes. Transport of grapes is mainly by trucks. Grapes are exported to middle-east, Europe and south Asian countries. Grapes are packed in ventilated cardboard boxes using dual release sulphur dioxide releasing pads (grape guard) as an in packing material to check the postharvest diseases during transit and storage. Strict cold chain is maintained right from harvesting by precooling and cold storage. Boxes are stored at o -1 C temperature and 90%-95% relative humidity in cold storage. They are transported by sea in refrigerated containers.

      Most of the grapes produced in India, irrespective by variety, are consumed fresh. Negligible quantities of Bangalore Blue are crushed to make juice and wine for household consumption. Wine is also produced in India with French collaboration by some private industries growing certain French varieties.

      Raisins are the only processed products in India. Approximately 30% of seedless grapes are dried to produce 15,000 tonnes of raisin. Golden bleached raisins are produced by shade drying the clusters after dipping in either boiling solution of sodium hydroxide (0.2-0.3%) and exposing to sulphur fumes. Dipping in soda oil (dipping oil) containing ethyl oleate and potassium carbonate and shade drying is the most common method of preparing raisins in India.

      Seeded grapes of Anab-e-Shahi are also dried in very small quantities to make raisins.

PHYSIOLOGICAL DISORDERS

Of physiological disorders, uneven ripening, post-harvest berry drop, flower-bud and flower drop and pink berry formation are major ones.

Uneven ripening

Presence of green berries in a ripe bunch of coloured grapes is called uneven ripening. It is varietal character and a problem in Bangalore Blue, Bangalore Purple, Beauty Seedless and Gulabi grapes. Within a variety this problem varies from bunch-to-bunch. Generally inadequate leaf area and non-availability of reserves to a developing bunch is the reason. Cultural practices like cluster thinning, girdling and use of growth regulators can reduce uneven ripening. Application of Ethephon (250 ppm) at colourbreak stage is recommended to reduce the problem.

Postharvest berry drop

This is due to weak pedicel attachment to the berries. This is common in Anab-e-Shahi, Cheema Sahebi and Beauty Seedless. Spraying of NAA (50 ppm), a week prior to harvesting can minimize the post-harvest berry drop.  

Flower-bud and flower drop

When panicles are fully expanded, the flower-buds drop before the fruit set. This is common in north India but not in the south. The reasons for this disorder are not known. Stem girdling about 10 days prior to full bloom can reduce and problem.

Pink berry formation

It is a common disorder in Thompson Seedless and its clone Tas-A-Ganesh in Maharashtra. Pink blush develops on a few ripe berries close to harvesting. The pink colour turns to dull red colour and the berries become soft and watery. They do not stand for long after harvesting. Although the definite cause of the disorder is not known, it is recommended to spray a mixture of 0.2% ascorbic acid and 0.25% sodium diethyl dithiocarbamate at fortnightly intervals commencing berry softening.

INPUT FROM

Dr. S.D. Shikhamany
Director
National Research Centre for Grapes
Solapur Road, Pune 412307 
INDIA

WILD GRAPE BHAMBAY_Vitis lanata

By parmarch28/12/20180

WILD GRAPE BHAMBAY
(Vitis lanata)

A bhambay vine in the forest

Synonyms: Vitis cordifolia, Vitis henneana, Vitis rugosa, Cissus vitiginea.

Indian names: bhambay, Mehdu (Himachal Pradesh); asajiya, asoja, paharphuta, purain (Kumaon); kolo, kolo nari (Santal).

Bhambay is found throughout the sub-Himalayan tract, ascending up to 1,500 metres from Hazara eastwards up to Burma. In Himachal Pradesh it is found up to the elevation of 1,500 metres. This species is very common in the forests lying between Kalka and Dharampur.

Morphology

A large woody deciduous climber, with long and forked tendrils; vines climbing on trees in forests going even up to the height of 25 metres and covering the entire canopy of the tree; bark, brown to blackish.

Fruit bunches of bhambay

            Leaves, simple, 13.2 cm long, 15.3 cm wide, with 7.2 cm long petioles; both branches and leaves tomentose; tomentum, less on branches and the dorsal surface of the leaves; ventral leaf covered with very dense tomentum which is Nasturtium orange 610/2; tendrils, opposite to the leaves and generally bifurcated once or twice.

           Flowers, bisexual, regular, green, ebracteate, pedicellate (pedicel, 2 to 3 mm long), complete, hypogynous, regular, pentamerous, 3 mm long; inflorescence, a corymbose raceme, each having 841 flowers; calyx, small, cup-shaped, 5-lobed, green, gamosepalous; corolla, gamopetalous, with 4 to 5 petals, calyptra type, calyptra failing off at the time of anthesis, actinomorphic, about 2 mm long; androecium, polyandrous, with 4 to 5 stamens, basifixed, bithecus and 2 to 3 cm long; gynoecium, with a short simple style, having a single terminal stigma; style, 2 to 3 mm long.

            Fruits almost round, 1.1 cm in diameter; weight, 461 mg; volume, 375 microlitres; pedicel, 9 mm long; fruit colour royal purple 834; pulp, spinach green 0960/3; number of berries per cluster, 61.

            Seeds, greenish, 7 mm long, 4 mm in diameter; weight, 63 mg; volume, 61 microlitres; seeds per berry, 1 to 6.

The flowering and fruiting season

Bhambay vines growing in Sanwara, at an elevation of 1,369 metres above the mean sea-level, were observed to flower from the 1st week of May up to the third week of May. The fruits started ripening in July and continued to do so till the middle of August.

Yield

An average-sized vine of this wild grape yields up to 18.5 kg of fruit.

Chemical composition of the fruit

These fruits contain 51.6 per cent extractable juice and have 72.7 per cent moisture. The total soluble solids are 16.8 per cent. The fruit juice contains 2.38 per cent acidity, 13.02 per cent total sugars, 11.92 per cent reducing sugars and 1.04 per cent non-reducing sugars. The vitamin C content is, however, not much and it was found to be 2.09 mg per 100 ml of juice.

            The protein content of the fruits is 1.03 per cent. The percentage of different elements in the edible portion, viz. phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron is 0.043, 0.109, 0.131, 0.092 and 0.005 respectively. The ash content of the whole fruit is 2.211 per cent.

Dessert quality

The fruits are sweet, with a blend of acid in them. They are, however, slightly sourer than the cultivated grapes. The overall fruit quality is good.

Utilization

Bhambay is found in abundance in the forests of mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. As it is evident from the chemical composition of the fruit, it contains a high proportion of extractable juice which is rich in sugars and other soluble solids.

            The juice of this fruit should make a good wine and efforts should be made in this direction.

            Some remarkable features of this fruit are that, unlike the cultivated grapes, there is no cracking of berries because of rains, and no incidence of diseases, such as mildew or anthracnose, which are very serious and common on the vinifera grapes during the rainy season. Use should be made of these characters of this species in the hybridization programs to evolve some new varieties more suited to the hilly region.

WILD GRAPE BHAMBAY
(Vitis lanata)

A bhambay vine in the forest

Synonyms: Vitis cordifolia, Vitis henneana, Vitis rugosa, Cissus vitiginea.

Indian names: bhambay, Mehdu (Himachal Pradesh); asajiya, asoja, paharphuta, purain (Kumaon); kolo, kolo nari (Santal).

Bhambay is found throughout the sub-Himalayan tract, ascending up to 1,500 metres from Hazara eastwards up to Burma. In Himachal Pradesh it is found up to the elevation of 1,500 metres. This species is very common in the forests lying between Kalka and Dharampur.

Morphology

A large woody deciduous climber, with long and forked tendrils; vines climbing on trees in forests going even up to the height of 25 metres and covering the entire canopy of the tree; bark, brown to blackish.

Fruit bunches of bhambay

            Leaves, simple, 13.2 cm long, 15.3 cm wide, with 7.2 cm long petioles; both branches and leaves tomentose; tomentum, less on branches and the dorsal surface of the leaves; ventral leaf covered with very dense tomentum which is Nasturtium orange 610/2; tendrils, opposite to the leaves and generally bifurcated once or twice.

           Flowers, bisexual, regular, green, ebracteate, pedicellate (pedicel, 2 to 3 mm long), complete, hypogynous, regular, pentamerous, 3 mm long; inflorescence, a corymbose raceme, each having 841 flowers; calyx, small, cup-shaped, 5-lobed, green, gamosepalous; corolla, gamopetalous, with 4 to 5 petals, calyptra type, calyptra failing off at the time of anthesis, actinomorphic, about 2 mm long; androecium, polyandrous, with 4 to 5 stamens, basifixed, bithecus and 2 to 3 cm long; gynoecium, with a short simple style, having a single terminal stigma; style, 2 to 3 mm long.

            Fruits almost round, 1.1 cm in diameter; weight, 461 mg; volume, 375 microlitres; pedicel, 9 mm long; fruit colour royal purple 834; pulp, spinach green 0960/3; number of berries per cluster, 61.

            Seeds, greenish, 7 mm long, 4 mm in diameter; weight, 63 mg; volume, 61 microlitres; seeds per berry, 1 to 6.

The flowering and fruiting season

Bhambay vines growing in Sanwara, at an elevation of 1,369 metres above the mean sea-level, were observed to flower from the 1st week of May up to the third week of May. The fruits started ripening in July and continued to do so till the middle of August.

Yield

An average-sized vine of this wild grape yields up to 18.5 kg of fruit.

Chemical composition of the fruit

These fruits contain 51.6 per cent extractable juice and have 72.7 per cent moisture. The total soluble solids are 16.8 per cent. The fruit juice contains 2.38 per cent acidity, 13.02 per cent total sugars, 11.92 per cent reducing sugars and 1.04 per cent non-reducing sugars. The vitamin C content is, however, not much and it was found to be 2.09 mg per 100 ml of juice.

            The protein content of the fruits is 1.03 per cent. The percentage of different elements in the edible portion, viz. phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron is 0.043, 0.109, 0.131, 0.092 and 0.005 respectively. The ash content of the whole fruit is 2.211 per cent.

Dessert quality

The fruits are sweet, with a blend of acid in them. They are, however, slightly sourer than the cultivated grapes. The overall fruit quality is good.

Utilization

Bhambay is found in abundance in the forests of mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. As it is evident from the chemical composition of the fruit, it contains a high proportion of extractable juice which is rich in sugars and other soluble solids.

            The juice of this fruit should make a good wine and efforts should be made in this direction.

            Some remarkable features of this fruit are that, unlike the cultivated grapes, there is no cracking of berries because of rains, and no incidence of diseases, such as mildew or anthracnose, which are very serious and common on the vinifera grapes during the rainy season. Use should be made of these characters of this species in the hybridization programs to evolve some new varieties more suited to the hilly region.

WILD GRAPE BHAMBAY
(Vitis lanata)

A bhambay vine in the forest

Synonyms: Vitis cordifolia, Vitis henneana, Vitis rugosa, Cissus vitiginea.

Indian names: bhambay, Mehdu (Himachal Pradesh); asajiya, asoja, paharphuta, purain (Kumaon); kolo, kolo nari (Santal).

Bhambay is found throughout the sub-Himalayan tract, ascending up to 1,500 metres from Hazara eastwards up to Burma. In Himachal Pradesh it is found up to the elevation of 1,500 metres. This species is very common in the forests lying between Kalka and Dharampur.

Morphology

A large woody deciduous climber, with long and forked tendrils; vines climbing on trees in forests going even up to the height of 25 metres and covering the entire canopy of the tree; bark, brown to blackish.

Fruit bunches of bhambay

            Leaves, simple, 13.2 cm long, 15.3 cm wide, with 7.2 cm long petioles; both branches and leaves tomentose; tomentum, less on branches and the dorsal surface of the leaves; ventral leaf covered with very dense tomentum which is Nasturtium orange 610/2; tendrils, opposite to the leaves and generally bifurcated once or twice.

           Flowers, bisexual, regular, green, ebracteate, pedicellate (pedicel, 2 to 3 mm long), complete, hypogynous, regular, pentamerous, 3 mm long; inflorescence, a corymbose raceme, each having 841 flowers; calyx, small, cup-shaped, 5-lobed, green, gamosepalous; corolla, gamopetalous, with 4 to 5 petals, calyptra type, calyptra failing off at the time of anthesis, actinomorphic, about 2 mm long; androecium, polyandrous, with 4 to 5 stamens, basifixed, bithecus and 2 to 3 cm long; gynoecium, with a short simple style, having a single terminal stigma; style, 2 to 3 mm long.

            Fruits almost round, 1.1 cm in diameter; weight, 461 mg; volume, 375 microlitres; pedicel, 9 mm long; fruit colour royal purple 834; pulp, spinach green 0960/3; number of berries per cluster, 61.

            Seeds, greenish, 7 mm long, 4 mm in diameter; weight, 63 mg; volume, 61 microlitres; seeds per berry, 1 to 6.

The flowering and fruiting season

Bhambay vines growing in Sanwara, at an elevation of 1,369 metres above the mean sea-level, were observed to flower from the 1st week of May up to the third week of May. The fruits started ripening in July and continued to do so till the middle of August.

Yield

An average-sized vine of this wild grape yields up to 18.5 kg of fruit.

Chemical composition of the fruit

These fruits contain 51.6 per cent extractable juice and have 72.7 per cent moisture. The total soluble solids are 16.8 per cent. The fruit juice contains 2.38 per cent acidity, 13.02 per cent total sugars, 11.92 per cent reducing sugars and 1.04 per cent non-reducing sugars. The vitamin C content is, however, not much and it was found to be 2.09 mg per 100 ml of juice.

            The protein content of the fruits is 1.03 per cent. The percentage of different elements in the edible portion, viz. phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron is 0.043, 0.109, 0.131, 0.092 and 0.005 respectively. The ash content of the whole fruit is 2.211 per cent.

Dessert quality

The fruits are sweet, with a blend of acid in them. They are, however, slightly sourer than the cultivated grapes. The overall fruit quality is good.

Utilization

Bhambay is found in abundance in the forests of mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. As it is evident from the chemical composition of the fruit, it contains a high proportion of extractable juice which is rich in sugars and other soluble solids.

            The juice of this fruit should make a good wine and efforts should be made in this direction.

            Some remarkable features of this fruit are that, unlike the cultivated grapes, there is no cracking of berries because of rains, and no incidence of diseases, such as mildew or anthracnose, which are very serious and common on the vinifera grapes during the rainy season. Use should be made of these characters of this species in the hybridization programs to evolve some new varieties more suited to the hilly region.

WILD GRAPE BHAMBAY
(Vitis lanata)

A bhambay vine in the forest

Synonyms: Vitis cordifolia, Vitis henneana, Vitis rugosa, Cissus vitiginea.

Indian names: bhambay, Mehdu (Himachal Pradesh); asajiya, asoja, paharphuta, purain (Kumaon); kolo, kolo nari (Santal).

Bhambay is found throughout the sub-Himalayan tract, ascending up to 1,500 metres from Hazara eastwards up to Burma. In Himachal Pradesh it is found up to the elevation of 1,500 metres. This species is very common in the forests lying between Kalka and Dharampur.

Morphology

A large woody deciduous climber, with long and forked tendrils; vines climbing on trees in forests going even up to the height of 25 metres and covering the entire canopy of the tree; bark, brown to blackish.

Fruit bunches of bhambay

            Leaves, simple, 13.2 cm long, 15.3 cm wide, with 7.2 cm long petioles; both branches and leaves tomentose; tomentum, less on branches and the dorsal surface of the leaves; ventral leaf covered with very dense tomentum which is Nasturtium orange 610/2; tendrils, opposite to the leaves and generally bifurcated once or twice.

           Flowers, bisexual, regular, green, ebracteate, pedicellate (pedicel, 2 to 3 mm long), complete, hypogynous, regular, pentamerous, 3 mm long; inflorescence, a corymbose raceme, each having 841 flowers; calyx, small, cup-shaped, 5-lobed, green, gamosepalous; corolla, gamopetalous, with 4 to 5 petals, calyptra type, calyptra failing off at the time of anthesis, actinomorphic, about 2 mm long; androecium, polyandrous, with 4 to 5 stamens, basifixed, bithecus and 2 to 3 cm long; gynoecium, with a short simple style, having a single terminal stigma; style, 2 to 3 mm long.

            Fruits almost round, 1.1 cm in diameter; weight, 461 mg; volume, 375 microlitres; pedicel, 9 mm long; fruit colour royal purple 834; pulp, spinach green 0960/3; number of berries per cluster, 61.

            Seeds, greenish, 7 mm long, 4 mm in diameter; weight, 63 mg; volume, 61 microlitres; seeds per berry, 1 to 6.

The flowering and fruiting season

Bhambay vines growing in Sanwara, at an elevation of 1,369 metres above the mean sea-level, were observed to flower from the 1st week of May up to the third week of May. The fruits started ripening in July and continued to do so till the middle of August.

Yield

An average-sized vine of this wild grape yields up to 18.5 kg of fruit.

Chemical composition of the fruit

These fruits contain 51.6 per cent extractable juice and have 72.7 per cent moisture. The total soluble solids are 16.8 per cent. The fruit juice contains 2.38 per cent acidity, 13.02 per cent total sugars, 11.92 per cent reducing sugars and 1.04 per cent non-reducing sugars. The vitamin C content is, however, not much and it was found to be 2.09 mg per 100 ml of juice.

            The protein content of the fruits is 1.03 per cent. The percentage of different elements in the edible portion, viz. phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron is 0.043, 0.109, 0.131, 0.092 and 0.005 respectively. The ash content of the whole fruit is 2.211 per cent.

Dessert quality

The fruits are sweet, with a blend of acid in them. They are, however, slightly sourer than the cultivated grapes. The overall fruit quality is good.

Utilization

Bhambay is found in abundance in the forests of mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. As it is evident from the chemical composition of the fruit, it contains a high proportion of extractable juice which is rich in sugars and other soluble solids.

            The juice of this fruit should make a good wine and efforts should be made in this direction.

            Some remarkable features of this fruit are that, unlike the cultivated grapes, there is no cracking of berries because of rains, and no incidence of diseases, such as mildew or anthracnose, which are very serious and common on the vinifera grapes during the rainy season. Use should be made of these characters of this species in the hybridization programs to evolve some new varieties more suited to the hilly region.

WILD GRAPE BHAMBAY
(Vitis lanata)

A bhambay vine in the forest

Synonyms: Vitis cordifolia, Vitis henneana, Vitis rugosa, Cissus vitiginea.

Indian names: bhambay, Mehdu (Himachal Pradesh); asajiya, asoja, paharphuta, purain (Kumaon); kolo, kolo nari (Santal).

Bhambay is found throughout the sub-Himalayan tract, ascending up to 1,500 metres from Hazara eastwards up to Burma. In Himachal Pradesh it is found up to the elevation of 1,500 metres. This species is very common in the forests lying between Kalka and Dharampur.

Morphology

A large woody deciduous climber, with long and forked tendrils; vines climbing on trees in forests going even up to the height of 25 metres and covering the entire canopy of the tree; bark, brown to blackish.

Fruit bunches of bhambay

            Leaves, simple, 13.2 cm long, 15.3 cm wide, with 7.2 cm long petioles; both branches and leaves tomentose; tomentum, less on branches and the dorsal surface of the leaves; ventral leaf covered with very dense tomentum which is Nasturtium orange 610/2; tendrils, opposite to the leaves and generally bifurcated once or twice.

           Flowers, bisexual, regular, green, ebracteate, pedicellate (pedicel, 2 to 3 mm long), complete, hypogynous, regular, pentamerous, 3 mm long; inflorescence, a corymbose raceme, each having 841 flowers; calyx, small, cup-shaped, 5-lobed, green, gamosepalous; corolla, gamopetalous, with 4 to 5 petals, calyptra type, calyptra failing off at the time of anthesis, actinomorphic, about 2 mm long; androecium, polyandrous, with 4 to 5 stamens, basifixed, bithecus and 2 to 3 cm long; gynoecium, with a short simple style, having a single terminal stigma; style, 2 to 3 mm long.

            Fruits almost round, 1.1 cm in diameter; weight, 461 mg; volume, 375 microlitres; pedicel, 9 mm long; fruit colour royal purple 834; pulp, spinach green 0960/3; number of berries per cluster, 61.

            Seeds, greenish, 7 mm long, 4 mm in diameter; weight, 63 mg; volume, 61 microlitres; seeds per berry, 1 to 6.

The flowering and fruiting season

Bhambay vines growing in Sanwara, at an elevation of 1,369 metres above the mean sea-level, were observed to flower from the 1st week of May up to the third week of May. The fruits started ripening in July and continued to do so till the middle of August.

Yield

An average-sized vine of this wild grape yields up to 18.5 kg of fruit.

Chemical composition of the fruit

These fruits contain 51.6 per cent extractable juice and have 72.7 per cent moisture. The total soluble solids are 16.8 per cent. The fruit juice contains 2.38 per cent acidity, 13.02 per cent total sugars, 11.92 per cent reducing sugars and 1.04 per cent non-reducing sugars. The vitamin C content is, however, not much and it was found to be 2.09 mg per 100 ml of juice.

            The protein content of the fruits is 1.03 per cent. The percentage of different elements in the edible portion, viz. phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron is 0.043, 0.109, 0.131, 0.092 and 0.005 respectively. The ash content of the whole fruit is 2.211 per cent.

Dessert quality

The fruits are sweet, with a blend of acid in them. They are, however, slightly sourer than the cultivated grapes. The overall fruit quality is good.

Utilization

Bhambay is found in abundance in the forests of mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. As it is evident from the chemical composition of the fruit, it contains a high proportion of extractable juice which is rich in sugars and other soluble solids.

            The juice of this fruit should make a good wine and efforts should be made in this direction.

            Some remarkable features of this fruit are that, unlike the cultivated grapes, there is no cracking of berries because of rains, and no incidence of diseases, such as mildew or anthracnose, which are very serious and common on the vinifera grapes during the rainy season. Use should be made of these characters of this species in the hybridization programs to evolve some new varieties more suited to the hilly region.

GIDAR KWAR_Vitis jacquemontii

By parmarch28/12/20180

GIDAR KWAR
(Vitis jacquemontii)

A sketch showing various parts of gidar kwar vine

Family: Vitaceae

Other names:  Jackal grape, kali dakh.

Gidar kwar is a wild growing grape that grows from 600 to 2400 m on mountain slopes in the sub Himalayan region of India and Pakistan.  In Pakistan, it occurs in Swat, Hazara and the Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

            Gidar kwar is, however, not wild everywhere.  Some vegetatively propagated selections of this grape are under cultivation too in Pakistan and the fruits can be seen being sold at fruit shops in Muzaffarabad. 

            It commonly grows along streams or regions of relatively high summer rainfall.

Description:

A robust ligneous vine, younger branches, petiole, inflorescence and under surface of the leaves woolly tomentose, older branches and stem ± glabrous, tendril mostly bifurcate.

            Leaves variable in size and shape, broadly ovate-cordate, rarely orbicular or truncate. 7-15 x 7-14 cm, lamina undivided, shallowy 3-lobed or 3-teethed, margin dentate-serrate acute or shortly accuminate mature leaves ± glabrous above, clothed with dense short woolly tomentum beneath turning rusting red in herbarium after few years, petiole 3-8 cm long. Peduncle 5-6 cm long, ± floccose.

            Flower if bisexual functionally female, minute c. 2 mm long, greenish, pedicel c. 3 mm long, glabrous thickened in fruit. Calyx cuplike, c. 0.5 mm across, petals 5 elliptic-lanceolate, 2x 1 mm. Disc with five confluent glands, ovary adnate to hypogynous disc, style absent, stigma short.

            Berry 10-13 mm wide, black, 50-100 per cluster which are 15-30 cm long.

            Seeds 1-3, obovoid with a short beak at the base and a spathulate tubercle on the back from which a ridge run over the top, ventral surface with 2 shallow linear grooves.

Utilization:

Gidar kwar fruits are eaten fresh.  These are juicy.  The flesh has a pleasing flavour and a good sugar/acid ration.  The fruits from cultivated selections are even better than those from wild growing vines.  The fruits are offered for sale too.

Cultivation:

Unlike vinifera grapes, the gidar kwar berries are not affected rains.  These have also been noted to be relatively less affect by diseases.  So these can be grown at places where the rains start early in the season.

            Gidar kwar vines are grown in the same way as vinifera grapes.  No special technology is involved.

WILD GRAPE BHAMBTI_Vitis himalayana

By parmarch28/12/20180

WILD GRAPE BHAMBTI
(Vitis himalayana)

A bunch of wild grape bhambti fruits

Indian names: phlankur (Himachal Pradesh); chappar tang, bara churcheri (Kumaon).

Bhambti is a commonly found climbing shrub in the forests ranging in altitude between 500 and 1,500 metres. One of the important characteristics of these grapes is that they ripen very late, i.e. in October.  The common grapes ripen in this region in July.

            Second unusual feature of this plant the tuberous roots.  The tubers attain almost the size of a large bottle gourd.  These tubers are cut into small pieces and fed to milch cattle. They are said to have a cooling effect on the animals.

Morphology

A deciduous vine, climbing on other trees in the forest by means of bifurcated stem tendrils; height varying from 5 to 8 metres; tendrils, borne opposite to the leaves and also at the base of inflorescences; internodal length, 10.2 to 16.5 cm.

           Leaves serrated, long-stalked having 8.5 cm long pedicel, trifoliate palmate; terminal leaflet, 8.5 cm long, 4.1 cm broad; lateral leaflets, 7.9 cm long, 4.8 cm broad; newly formed leaves, simple, having reticulate venation and acuminate margin.

Flowers, bisexual, regular, green, pedicellate to nearly sessile; inflorescence, compound umbel, containing 73 to 205 flowers per cluster; calyx, small, lobed, green; corolla, with 4 to 5 petals, a light red to green, actinomorphic; androecium, polyandrous, stamens having a short filament, circular yellow anther lobes; gynoecium, single-styled, small, having a terminal stigma.

            Seeds, 4 to 5 mm long, 2 to 3 mm broad; weight, 243 mg; volume, 265 microlitres; 2 to 4 seeds per berry.

The flowering and fruiting season

Flowering starts from the first week of August and continues up to the end of August. The fruiting season starts from the middle of October and continues up to the middle of November.

Yield

It is not a heavy-yielding grape and the average yield is about 750 g per vine.

Chemical composition of the fruit

These fruits contain 49.8 per cent extractable juice. The moisture content of the fruit is 75.7 per cent. The total soluble solids and acidity in the fruit juice are 18 and 1.27 per cent respectively. The juice contains 8.60 per cent total sugars, 6.69 per cent reducing sugars and 1.82 per cent non reducing sugars. The vitamin C content of the fruit is good, being 12.19 mg per 100 ml of juice.

            The total mineral content of the fruit, as represented by its ash, is 1.437 per cent. The protein content of the fruit is 2.86 per cent. The content of some of the important mineral elements of the fruit, viz. phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron is 0.071, 0.413, 0.122, 0.099 and 0.007 per cent respectively.

Dessert quality

The fruits are juicy and sweet to acidic. The overall fruit quality is fair.

Utilization

The fruits are edible. They are sweet and are liked by all. Birds cause heavy damage to these fruits during the fruiting season.

            One of the important characteristics of this species is its very late fruit-ripening. Use should be made of this character in hybridization for evolving varieties which might ripen after the monsoon.

            Root tubers of this wild grape are chopped to pieces and fed to to cattle. Local people believe that these have a cooling effect on cattle.  However the nutritive as well as the medicinal value of the tuber roots of this species should also be studied.
 

Root tubers of wild grape bhambay
 

            Grape cultivation is not very successful in Himachal Pradesh because of heavy rains at the time of fruit-ripening, as the fruits are damaged by rain. If some late-ripening variety is evolved by crossing the vinifera grapes with this species, it would be a great boon to the orchardists of this region.

HIMALAYAN WILD GRAPE_Vitis parviflora

By parmarch28/12/20180

HIMALAYAN WILD GRAPE
(Vitis parviflora)
 

 A portion of wild Himalayan grape vine

Family: Vitaceae

Synonyms: Vitis flexuosa

Himalayan wild grape (numerous common names) grows in Himalayan region from Pakistan, India, Nepal and then also in Western and Central China.

This is a deciduous climber that may ascend to a height of about 5 metres.  It is fond in subtropical parts of Nepal.

Description:

A deciduous trailing climber, branchlets terete, with longitudinal ridges, with sparse arachnoid tomentum when young, becoming glabrescent; tendrils bifurcate.

A leaf of wild Himalayan grape

Leaves simple; stipules caducous; petiole 1.5-7 cm, with sparse arachnoid tomentum or subglabrate; leaf blade ovate, triangular-ovate, oval, or ovate-elliptic, 2.5-12 × 2.3-10 cm, abaxially with sparse arachnoid tomentum when young, eventually glabrescent, basal veins 5, lateral veins 4 or 5 pairs, veinlets inconspicuous, base slightly subcordate or subtruncate, rarely cordate, often asymmetrical, leaves with cordate bases with obtusely angled notch, margin with 5-12 slightly irregular teeth on each side, apex acute or acuminate; panicle leaf-opposed, loose, 4-12 cm, basal branches well developed, or short and slender; peduncle 2-5 cm, with sparse arachnoid tomentum or nearly glabrescent. Pedicel 1.1-2.5 mm, glabrous. 
 

An inflorescence of wild Himalayan grape

Buds obovoid, 2-3 mm, apex rounded and subtruncate; calyx glabrous, undulately lobed; filaments filiform, 0.7-1.3 mm; anthers yellow, oval, 0.4-0.6 mm; pistil abortive in male flowers; ovary oval; style short. 
 

wild Himalayan grape berries

Berry globose, 8-10 mm in diam.

Seeds obovoid, apex subrounded, chalazal knot elliptic, raphe slightly raised and surface smooth, ventral holes furrowed upward 1/4 from base.

Utilization:

The fruits are very sweet and have a delicate flavour too. These are widely eaten by local people. These are also sold at some places.

Cultivation:

The fruits of Himalayan wild grape are collected from wild everywhere.  This fruit has still not brought under cultivation.

PLEM_Vitex doniana

By parmarch28/12/20180

PLEM
(Vitex doniana)

A tree of plem

Family: Verbenaceae

Synonym: Vitex cuneate,Vitex milnei.

Other names: Black plum, West African plum.

Plem is an African fruit.  This is widespread in tropical West Africa and then extending eastwards to Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.  This species if found growing in coastal woodlands and savannah, at low altitudes in wetter areas and in upland grasslands upto an altitude of 1500 m. 

            This fruit is widely used by various communities in Africa for many purposes including wine and jam.

Description:

Small to medium deciduous tree, upto 25 m tall; bole branchless upto 11 m, 90-160 cm in diameter, often slightly fluted at the base; bark surface grayish white to pale grayish brown, fissured and scaly, inner bark yellowish white, darkening to brown; young branches shortly hairy, glabrescent.

Flowers of plem

            Leaves opposite, digitately compound with (3–)5(–7) leaflets; stipules absent; petiole 5–20 cm long; petiolules up to 2.5 cm long; leaflets obovate to elliptical, 4–25 cm × 2.5–10.5 cm, notched to rounded or shortly acuminate at apex, entire, leathery, nearly glabrous.
 

Fruit bearing in plem 

 Inflorescence an axillary cyme up to 10 cm long and 16 cm wide, orange-brown hairy; peduncle 2–7.5 cm long; bracts up to 6 mm long; flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, 5-merous; pedicel up to 2 mm long; calyx conical, 3–5 mm long, with short teeth, enlarging in fruit; corolla white to pale purple, tube 6–8 mm long, curved, limb 4-lobed, lobes c. 3 mm long and middle lower lobe up to 4.5 mm long; stamens 4, inserted in the corolla tube, 2 long and 2 short; ovary superior, obovoid, 4-celled, style c. 7 mm long.

            Fruit san obovoid to oblong-ellipsoid drupe 2-3 cm long, purplish black, fleshy, with woody, 4-celled stone.

Seeds upto 4, without endosperm.

Utilization:

The fruits are sweet and are eaten raw. It tastes like prune.  The fruits are collected and eaten by children.  However, these are also eaten by all when there is a shortage of food. In certain areas, the fruits are also cooked before consumption.

Plem fruits

            The fruits are a good source of Vitamin C containing 18.1 g of it in 100 g of pulp.

            Numerous medicinal uses plem are reported in literature in Africa. It can be used to treat used to treat anemia.  The root is used to treat gonorrhoea. It is also supposed to improve fertility and is used to treat jaundice, leprosy, and dysentery.

            The tree produces teak like timber which is said to be resistant to termites.

Cultivation:

The tree regenerates naturally by seed and natural suckers.  The seeds take long to germinate.  It is therefore better to collect natural suckers for getting new plants.

HIGHBUSH CRANBERRY_Vibrunum trilobum

By parmarch28/12/20180

HIGHBUSH CRANBERRY
(Vibrunum trilobum)

Plants of high bush cranberry

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Highbush cranberry is native to Canada and the Northern United States.  It mostly grows in nature in moist to wet soils of lake margins, slopes, or open woods. During the last few decades, it is also being brought under cultivation for its fruits as well as a plant for landscaping.

Fruits of high bush cranberry

 Description:

A deciduous shrub growing upto 4 m; bark gray, rough having a scaly texture; stems arching and very dense, twigs reddish-brown.

            Leaves opposite, three-lobed, 6-12 cm long and 5-10 cm broad, with a rounded base and serrated margins; surface wrinkled with impressed leaf venation; leaf buds green,  bud scales are valvate.

High bush cranberry leaves

            Flowers white, borne on corymbs up to 13 cm diameter; each corymb comprises a ring of outer sterile flowers 2-2.5 cm diameter with conspicuous petals, surrounding a center of small (5 mm), fertile flowers.

            Fruit is oblong red drupe, 15 mm long and 12 mm broad, containing a single flat, white seed.

Utlization:

The fruits are edible and can be eaten raw.  They are said to be a rich source of vitamin C.  These are also processed into a very attractive sparkling jelly.  In fact, highbush cranberry fruits are well known for this jelly.  The fruits are also used for juice.  The berries can also be used in pies, sauces, liqueurs, and wine.  Each berry has a large, heart shaped seed in the centre, making it more suited for use as a processed fruit rather than fresh.

A close up of a high bush cranberry plant

            The Natives of Canada used many parts of highbush cranberry for both food and medicine.  The berries are high in vitamin C and were eaten fresh or made into pemmican.  The bright red fruit was also used for ink and a dye for clothing.  The bark and leaves, which contain a bitter tasting chemical called viburnine, were boiled into teas and used as sedatives and pain relievers.

            The bark and leaves may be boiled into a tea that is used as a sedative and to relieve muscle cramps and spasms.  The bark, called Cramp Bark, is also used extensively to relieve menstrual cramping. 

Cultivation:

Cultivation of highbush cranberry is becoming popular for fruits as well as an ornamental plant.  This shrub is considered a four season shrub, meaning it has attractive features for every season.  So it is becoming popular for this purpose too.

High bush cranberry flowers

            The plant is progated from seed as well as cuttings.  Some varieties have also been selected from the wild growing plants.  Most important of them are:

Andrews: A compact variety that grows to three metres.  It will not get leggy like some varieties. The fruit is large and late maturing.

Wentworth: Vigourous grower, and will reach its mature size of three to four metres quickly.  It bears large clusters of early maturing fruit and has a very spectacular falkl colour.

Garry Pink: Plants are similar to the wild growing one but has light pink flowers.  It is relatively a shy bearer compared to other varieties. Garry Pink also has an outstanding red colour during the fall.

Alfredo:  This is a dwarf variety growing to two meters.

            Highbush cranberry is a cross pollinating plant, which means it needs pollen from a different shrub in order to produce fruit.  Be sure to plant two or more varieties in your yard if you are planning on using the fruit.
 

            Highbush cranberry does not need annual pruning like some shrubs, but if you want to get the most fruit off of your plants light renewal pruning is a good idea.  Renewal pruning consists of the removal of the oldest and thickest branches of a shrub.  Prune the branches right at ground level.  Leaving stumps will make the plant look messy, and give disease organisms a place to infect the shrub.

MOOSE BERRY_Vibrunum edule

By parmarch28/12/20180

MOOSE BERRY
(Vibrunum edule)

Plant of mooseberry

Family: Adoxaceae

Synonym: Vibrunum pauciflorum

Other names: Squashberry

Moose berry is believed to a native of boreal North America.  It is found in Pacific North West from Alaska to northern Oregon.  The plants grow wild in swamps, edges of wet meadows, flood plain forests and other very wet forests.

Description:

A spreading to erect, deciduous shrub, to about 2 m tall; branches glabrous,  terminal buds present, bud scales 2, dark red, valvate. 

           Leaves opposite, simple, petiolate;  leaf blade 4-12 cm long; smooth and dark green above, paler below, with short hairs along the veins; margins dentate to serrate; usually bearing a pair of small glands at the base of the blade near the petiole;  leaves of two forms: upper leaf pairs elliptic to ovate, unlobed or barely 3-lobed, with pinnate venation, base blunt to rounded, apex acute to acuminate; lower leaf pairs broader, 3-lobed, palmately-veined, with 3 to 5 major veins; base rounded to truncate, apex acute.

Mooseberry flowers

Flowersbisexual, milky white, tinged with pink beneath, arranged in few-flowered clusters (cymes), 1.5-2.5+ cm across, terminal on lateral branches arising from the previous year’s growth; calyx small, inconspicuous; corolla 5-lobed; stamens 5, adnate to the corolla, not extending beyond the corolla tube; the ovary inferior.

Foliage and fruits of mooseberry

Fruit berry-like drupe, ovoid, yellow (when immature) to orange-red, 6-12 mm long.

Seed 1, flat, inside stony pit. 

Utilization:

Moose berry fruits are mildly acid with a pleasant taste and a musky smell.  These are highly valued for jam.  The fruits can also be dried for later use.

            The flowers are used in fritters.

Mooseberry fruits

Cultivation:

Though basically a wild growing plant, moose berry can be cultivated easily. Though it succeeds in most type of soils, yet it has been noted to perform best in deep rich loamy soils which are slightly acidic.  Though there is no experimental data to support, but observations indicate that it is self-incompatible plant and would require to be cross pollinated.

Seeds of mooseberry

            New plants can be raised from seeds as well as from cuttings. 

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