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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. 

OAK LEAVED PAPAYA_Carica quercifolia

By parmarch28/12/20180

OAK LEAVED PAPAYA
(Carica quercifolia)
 

 A young potted plant of oak leaved papaya

Synonyms: Vasconcellea quercifolia

Other names: Fig tree of the Mount, Mamón of the Mount, Higuera del Monte, Mamón del Monte

Oak leaved papaya is a fruit of South America.  It grows in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay.  It is not cultivated commercially.
 

Fruits of oak leaved papaya

            Oak leaved papaya is a small herbaceous dioecious tree growing 5-8 m high.  The plant grows quite fast.  It is also a quite hardy plant and can withstand temperature upto 22 F.  The plant is, however, sensitive to excessive soil moisture.  The leaves are 8-35 cm long, membranous and glabrous on both sides, with a lighter green colour on ventral side.  Flowers are greenish yellow.  Male flowers are on axillary inflorescences and the female flowers are mostly solitary or in sparse racemes.  
 

Oak leaved papaya fruits on tree

            Fruits are small, 3 to 5 cm long and 1-2 cm in dia., bright orange and juicy.  These are eaten raw and have a sweet and a pleasant flavour.  The fruits are also reported to be rich in vitamin C.  Papain can also be extracted from fruits.

            Oak leaved papaya is a quite heavy bearer and can a mature tree can bear several hundred fruits.

            This plant can be propagated by seed as well as by cuttings.

PAPAYA DE MONTANA_Vasconcellea cauliflora

By parmarch28/12/20180

PAPAYA DE MONTANA
(Vasconcellea cauliflora)
 

A tree of papaya de montana

Synonyms: Carica bourgeaei, Carica cauliflora, Carica pennata, Carica quinqueloba,

                   Vasconcella boissieri, Vasconcella cauliflora

Other names: bonete, mountain papaya, papaita, tapaculo, zonzapote, 
                          papaye de montagne.

Papaya de montana is a fruit from the Central American Region including Caribbean.  It grows semi-wild in Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad-Tobago and Venezuela. This plant generally grows in open areas and forest edge.  It is rarely seen in the Canal area.
 

Fruits of papaya de montana
 

It is also cultivated on a small scale for its fruits.

Description:

Papaya de montana is a small semi-woody tree, 3-6 m high, with a straight unbranched trunk.  The trunk is with scars of at points from where previous leaves have been shed.   The leaves are large and highly lobed. 
 

Papaya de montana leaves
 

It is a dioecious plant.  The male plants produce white flowers on long stalks out of the trunk and trunk near the leaves.  The female flowers are shorter on stalks.

Fruits are ovoid, subpentagonal to spherical, apex round or apiculate, up to 7 x 4 cm, and yellow.
 

Fruiting in papaya de montana
 

Uses:

            The fruits are not eaten raw.  However, the pulp of papaya d montana fruits is used by local people for making candy, jams, cakes, and salted preparations.  Sherbets are also made from the pulp.

WILD MEDLER_Vangueria infausta

By parmarch28/12/20180

WILD MEDLER
(Vangueria infausta)

A tree of wild medler

Family: Rubiaceae

Common names: wilde mispel, Mpfilwa, Mmilo, muzwilu, mavelo, umViyo, umTulwa, umVilo, umbizo, umViyo, 
                           Mmilo, mothwanyê umVile, amantulwane.               

Wild medler is one of South Africa’s most popular wild fruits, and can be enjoyed while walking. This lovely little tree is considered to possess evil powers and not even the wood should be used for making fire. It is believed that it could cause cattle to bear only male offspring. Despite this, the plant is used extensively.

Description

Wild medler is a deciduous shrub or small tree that varies in height from 3-7 m, depending on the habitat. It can be single or multistemmed, but usually the latter. The bark is greyish to yellowish brown, smooth and peeling in irregular small strips. The branchlets are covered with short, woolly hairs, especially when young. The leaves are single, oppositely arranged, as is typical of this family.

The leaves are light green in colour, covered with soft, velvety short hairs and even more so when young. The margin of the leaf is entire. The shape of the leaf is elliptic to ovate with the net veining conspicuous below. When older, the leaves often appear twisted and are rough to the touch.
 

Flowers of wild medler
 

            Soft, velvety, acorn-shaped buds appear either before or simultaneously with the new leaves around September to October. These open into small flowers, greenish white to yellowish in colour. They occur in clusters along the short lateral branches.

            The fruit is almost round, glossy dark green when young and changing to a light brown when ripe. The ripe fruit is soft and fleshy with a leathery skin that encloses 3-5 seeds embedded in soft pulp. 
 

Young developing fruits of wild medler

The fruit is edible and has a pleasant sweet-sour, mealy taste. It tastes like an apple. It can be found on the plants from January to April. The remains of the old flower base can be seen on the tip of the fruit.

Uses and economic value

The fruit is mostly eaten raw but in some parts it is stored as dried fruit to be used in time of food scarcity. A strong alcoholic drink or brandy can be distilled from it or fermented to make beer. If mixed with a little water and sugar it produces an acceptable substitute for apple sauce. The fruit juice can also be used for flavouring purposes by squeezing it out in water, discarding the seed and skins. This is done often for flavouring porridge.  Vinegar can be produced from the fruit.

Wild medler fruits
 

This plant has medicinal value as well. An infusion of the roots and leaves has been used to treat malaria, chest ailments like pneumonia, as a purgative and to treat ringworms. An infusion of the leaves is used for the relief of toothache. For the treatment of swelling of the limbs the affected parts are bathed in a decoction of the pounded leaves and small twigs, especially in children.

Cultivation:

The wild medlar is a hardy and drought resistant plant that can withstand moderate cold. It is rarely cultivated in the trade. It can be propagated from fresh seed or cuttings. To make sure that it germinates readily, remove the outer skin and the pulp. Sow in well-drained, sandy seedling mix.

This plant is slow growing, but would make an attractive garden plant if trimmed from the start to form a specimen plant.

INPUT FROM

Karin Behr
Pretoria National Botanical Garden, Pretoria
South Africa

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