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Most Brassavola orchids are very fragrant, attracting pollinators with their citrusy smell. But they are only fragrant at night, in order to attract the right moth. Longevity of flowers depends on the species and is between five and thirty days.
In 1698 Brassavola nodosa was the first tropical orchid to be brought from the Caribbean island Curaçao to Holland. Thus began the propagation of this orchid and the fascination for orchids in general. Brassavola nodosa are found in low lying coastal regions, generally below 1640 ft. (500 m), growing on either trees in lowland tropical forests and mangrove swamps, or on exposed rocks and cliffs near the shore. During the growing period they require plenty of water. After the pseudobulbs have finished growing, water should be restricted for a few weeks during the rather indefinite rest period.
Brosimum alicastrum, commonly known as the breadnut or Maya nut, is a tree species in the family Moraceae, genera including figs, mulberries and jackfruit. This tree is found on the west coast of central Mexico and in southern Mexico (Yucatán, Campeche), Guatemala, El Salvador, the Caribbean, and the Amazon.
The breadnut fruit disperses on the ground at different times throughout its range. It has a large seed covered by a thin, citrus-flavored, orange-colored skin favored by a number of forest creatures. More importantly, the large seed which is enveloped by the tasty skin is an edible nut that can be boiled or dried and ground into a meal for porridge or flatbread. Breadnut is nutritious and has value as a food source, and may have formed a part of the diet of the pre-Columbian Maya of the lowlands region in Mesoamerica. It was planted by the Maya civilization two thousand years ago and it has been claimed to have been a staple food in the Maya diet. The breadnut is high in fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid, iron, zinc, protein and B vitamins and is very high in antioxidants. The fresh seeds can be cooked and eaten or can be set out to dry in the sun and eaten later. Stewed, the nut tastes like mashed potato; roasted, it tastes like chocolate or coffee. It can be prepared in numerous other dishes. In Guatemala, the breadnut is being cultivated for exportation and local consumption as powder, for hot beverages, and bread.
A shrub or small tree, widespreading, with a very short, thick, trunk. Develops a swollen trunk, and can be a spectacular specimen. Flower is small, creamy white, borne on long stalks, may be clustered or solitary. Bark is tight and smooth, very attractive, reddish brown and peeling to reveal gray-green. Drought deciduous. Leaves have distinct citrus odor when crushed. Great ready bonsai! The fruit is brown maturing in late fall. The seeds are red, and germinate quite easily. The dried sap of some of the species sold as frankincense.
A bi-generic hybrid, Citrus aurantifolia x Fortunella sp. An evergreen frost tender tree. It is in leaf all year. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs. Edible fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is about 3-5cm in diameter, very acid, it can be used in all the ways that lemons are used.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil. Requires a position in full sun in a fertile well-drained but not dry soil. Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position. When growing plants in pots, a compost comprising equal quantities of loam and leafmould plus a little charcoal should produce good results. When watering pot plants it is important to neither overwater or underwater since the plant will soon complain by turning yellow and dying. Water only when the compost is almost dry, but do not allow it to become completely dry.
The seed is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it ripe after thoroughly rinsing it. Sow stored seed in March in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2-3 weeks at 13C. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least three growing seasons before trying them outdoors. Plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in October.
A rare, unique, relatively cold hardy tropical fruit tree native to India and Southeast Asia. The translucent lipstick pink fruit has a soft texture and the taste of grapes, accompanied with a peculiar unique flavor. It is is sweet and citrusy with notes of fennel, coriander, licorice, and coffee. The show stopping color of the berries makes it an excellent garnish. The tree also has edible leaves. The leaflets have a characteristic, curry-like smell when crushed.
Pink Wampee grows excellently in subtropical and tropical climates but is also cold hardy into the mid or even lower 20's. Medicinally, in Thailand and Southeast Asia, Pink Wampee is cultivated for the use of it's bark, branches, and roots as a potherb for variety of ailments.
Clausena excavata is also grown as an ornamental due to its pretty leaves.
Distant relative of the citrus fruits. The tree is fairly fast-growing or rather slow, depending on its situation; attractive, reaching 20 ft (6 m), with long, upward-slanting, flexible branches. A fully ripe, peeled wampee fruit, of the sweet or subacid types, is agreeable to eat out-of-hand, discarding the seeds. The pulp can be added to fruit cups, gelatins or other desserts, or made into pie or jam. Jelly can be made only from the acid types when under-ripe. The Chinese serve the seeded fruits with meat dishes. In Southeast Asia, a bottled, carbonated beverage resembling champagne is made by fermenting the fruit with sugar and straining off the juice. The fruit is said to have stomachic and cooling effects and to act as a vermifuge. The Chinese say that if one has eaten too many lychees, eating the wampee "will counteract the bad effects. Lychees should be eaten when one is hungry, and wampees only on a full stomach". The halved, sun-dried, immature fruit is a Vietnamese and Chinese remedy for bronchitis. Thin slices of the dried roots are sold in Oriental pharmacies for the same purpose. The leaf decoction is used as a hair wash to remove dandruff and preserve the color of the hair.
Widely used in Thai (Tom Yum Gum soup) and Vietnamese cooking. Lemon grass is a perennial, which means once you plant it, the grass comes back year after year. Depending on the area you live in the plant will go dormant in the winter. In harsh climates the plant will need to be potted and wintered indoors. This aromatic herb is used in Caribbean and many types of Asian cooking and has become very popular in the United States. Most of the commercial crops for the United States are grown in California and Florida. Lemon grass is also used for medicinal purposes. This fragrant grass is a versatile performer in the kitchen where it can be used in teas, beverages, herbal medicines, and Eastern inspired soups and other dishes. Lemongrass is equally versatile in the garden. This tropical grass grows in dense clumps that can grow to 6 ft (1.8 m) in height and about 4 ft (1.2 m) in width. The straplike leaves are 0.5-1 in (1.3-2.5 cm) wide, about 3 ft (0.9 m) long, and have gracefully drooping tips. The evergreen leaves are bright bluish-green and release a citrus aroma when crushed. It is the leaves that are used as flavoring and in medicine. They are steam distilled to extract lemongrass oil, an old standby in the the perfumer's palette of scents. The lemongrass plants that you are likely to encounter are cultivars and do not typically produce flowers. Gardeners in subtropical areas will enjoy using lemongrass in beds and borders. It also does well in tubs and containers. It is especially nice along walkways where plants release fragrance when brushed against by passersby. If you live in a frosty area, you can enjoy it as an annual. You can also pot it up for the winter and keep it in a brightly lit area indoors. Lemongrass has been used for centuries as the source of an aromatic oil that is used in perfumery, flavorings and herbal medicine. Keep some around the house to add a lemony snap to ice tea and interest to your stir fries. To harvest, dig up a clump, separate the sections, cut off the roots and tops keeping about 6 in (15 cm) of the light colored base. Natural way or controlling mosquitoes and other pests - try some near your patio. Good for dogs and gives them fresh breath.
Plants, like living organisms, require adequate nutrition for grown. The concept of plant nutrition includes the following substances:
Carbon dioxide. In the process of photosynthesis with the participation of chlorophyll, in the leaves of plants from water, carbon dioxide and light, organic compounds are formed that participate in the construction of the organism. This is the main and only significant source of organic matter for plants.
MACRO-elements. The macroelements include inorganic compounds necessary for the vital activity of a living organism. The prefix macro-means a relatively high content of these elements in the composition of plants, respectively, their high demand. The macroelements include: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus.
Liquid Sunshine Boosters - Mild stable formulas, can be used year-around. Organic acid-based, Sunshine Boosters are perfect for organic gardens, edibles and do not affect crop pure taste. Amino-acid stable formulas have NO EDTA chelators to eliminate nutrients lockup in soil. Pollinating insects friendly. Designed for continuous use, Sunshine Boosters contain no excess salts, maintain soil pH at optimal level (5.5-6.5) and do not require soil flushing or additional pH regulators. They can be use with every watering, year around.
Water-soluble fertilizers - dry (powdered) fertilizers that must be diluted in water before use. EDTA-chelated. Can be used only during hot weather, during active growth season.
Smart release (granulated) fertilizers - Slow-release during 1-3-6-12 month period. EDTA-chelated. Can be used only during hot weather, during active growth season.
MICROelements. Microelements are inorganic compounds involved in the synthesis of enzymes and biologically active substances. The content in a living organism is very low, but they play a vital role in the life of plants. The microelements include: iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, cobalt.
ULTRA-microelements. Very small amounts of almost all elements of the periodic table are contained in all organisms. They fall into plants with root nutrition from the soil. The necessity for the life of ultramicroelements is not fully proved. Of more or less necessary are considered: vanadium, iodine, nickel, titanium, aluminum, cadmium, fluorine (for plants).
See full article: The role of elements in plant nutrition.
Fertilizers, or Plant Food, contain macro- and micro-elements, for example:
Macro-elements: Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), Potassium (K).
Micro-elements: Boron (B), Molybdenum (Mo), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zink (Zn), Sulfur (S).
Application: Follow directions on the labels. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Less concentration is always better than overdose. Generally, for tropical plants, dry fertilizers should be used only during the growth period when temperatures are above 65F, and Amino-acid based liquid fertilizers can be used year around.
See also: Plant Growth Hormones
Kumquats have been called "the little gems of the citrus family".
The kumquat tree is slow-growing, shrubby, compact, 8 to 15ft tall, the branches light-green and angled when young, thornless or with a few spines. The apparently simple leaves are alternate, lanceolate, 1 1/4 to 3 3/8in long, finely toothed from the apex to the middle, dark-green, glossy above, lighter beneath. Sweetly fragrant, 5-parted, white flowers are borne singly or 1 to 4 together in the leaf axils. The fruit is oval-oblong or round, 5/8 to 1 1/2in wide; peel is golden-yellow to reddish-orange, with large, conspicuous oil glands, fleshy, thick, tightly clinging, edible, the outer layer spicy, the inner layer sweet; the pulp is scant, in 3 to 6 segments, not very juicy, acid to subacid; contains small, pointed seeds or sometimes none; they are green within.
Kumquats are believed native to China. They have been grown in Europe and North America since the mid-19th Century, mainly as ornamental dooryard trees and as potted specimens in patios and greenhouses. They are grown mainly in California, Florida and Texas; to a lesser extent in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Surinam, Colombia and Brazil. In South India, they can be grown only at high elevations. There is limited cultivation in Australia and South Africa.
Foliage: Simple, alternate, oval to heart-shaped deep green leaves; 2" to 3" long; citrus fragrance when crushed. Flower/Fruit: Tiny yellow flowers on a 5" spike and with four white bracts. Cultivars: Plena: bronzy green leaves; Chameleon: yellow, green, pale green, gray, cream and scarlet leaves. Sun to light shade; range of soil types provided they are moist to wet, not drought tolerant. Leaf: Treatment of vineral diseases, external use for skin diseases. Whole plant: diuretic, genito-urinary antiseptic.