Delivery May to Sep 2013
Carica Papaya Babaco or Paw Paw fruit 1 litre 1ft tall plants ■☻
This mountain hybrid Papaya comes from the highlands of Ecuador and thrives in a cool subtropical climate, free of frost. The Babaco is much more tolerant of cool, damp winters than the papaya. It will withstand temperatures to about 28° F in very short bursts, although it may lose most of its leaves. The Babaco is ideally suited to container culture and also excellent for greenhouses in a sunny spot.
Eventually growing to about 6 feet in height it does not branch and during the cold winter months the leaves degenerate and are usually shed below 12C but will keep growing if kept warmer. As these plants are vegetatively propagated they only produce self fertile female flowers. The excellent large seedless fruits, to 12" long ripen in the late autumn to winter depending on the season. The flesh of the Babaco is very juicy, slightly acidic and low in sugar with a unique flavour that has been described as having overtones of strawberry, pineapple and papaya. New growth from the base should be only encouraged when the old stem has become too old to be productive.
New for 2013!
Paw Paw Dwarf Red Maradol 3 litre plants ■☻
A dwarf Papaya capable of fruiting within 7 months from seed when only 50cm tall in tropical conditions. A native of Mexico it has pink flesh rather than the normal peach. This plant will need to be kept between 15°C and 30°C to grow properly and the flowers will not set or will fall off outside of this temperature range. Self fertile variety 6 month old plants available.
Coffea arabica or Coffee Bean Tree 1 litre plants ■☻
Smallanthus sonchifolius or Yacon 1 litre plants ■☻
A rare South American delicious root crop
Smallanthus sonchifolius or Yacon is native to Colombia and Ecuador and is a semi hardy, attractive herbaceous perennial that yields a large harvest of tubers. The tubers have an appealing crunchy crispness that tastes like a cross between apple and watermelon, with overtones of sugar cane. As a member of the sunflower family, Yacon can grow to 2 metres in height with small, daisy-like yellow flowers and large sunflower like leaves.
Yacon actually produces two types of underground tubers, small reddish rhizomes directly at the base of the stem, which can be eaten when young but are mainly used for propagation and the larger brown tubers, which have no growing eyes and the main cropping tuber. Best started off in a greenhouse before planting out as they are not frost tolerant and takes 6 to 7 months to reach maturity. The large tubers can be peeled and eaten raw for a thirst quenching snack but is also excellent cut into chunks and added to a fruit or green salad. If you prefer them cooked they are best roasted or steamed.
Pepino 1 litre plants ■☻
A small bush or shrub from South America much like the tomato in looks and habit. Usually fruits in 9-12 months from seed but these are propagated from mature plant cuttings and already showing buds or flowers. Pepino’s will stand a few degrees of frost however best grown like a pot tomato plant and in the same conditions although they have proved much hardier and continue to grow through our winter even in a cold frost free greenhouse. Our trial plants started flowering in August from a spring seed sowing and the fruit that ripened around Christmas was best described as a sweet melon flavour with the texture of a Kiwi fruit and quite delicious. One fruit shown in the picture was about the size of a grapegruit.