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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.
Small tree or shrub. Fruit have spicy gin after-taste. Widely used in Hindu medicine.
This slow growing tree is native in the Indomalaya ecozone to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and in Indochinese ecoregion east to Java and the Malesia ecoregion. In some parts of the world, this fruit is called elephant apple because it's a favorite food of elephants, while in other areas, it gets the name wood apple because of its hard wooden shell. It is actually considered sacred by Hindus, and is widely cultivated and eaten in India.
It is erect, with a few upward-reaching branches bending outward near the summit where they are subdivided into slender branchlets drooping at the tips. It has rough, spiny bark. It can be grown in a pot as a small specimen or used as a bonsai. The leaves have a citrus-scent when crushed.
The edible fruit is technically a berry 2-3" in diameter, sweet and sour. It has a very hard rind which can be difficult to crack open, and contains sticky brown pulp and small white seeds. The fruit looks similar in appearance to fruit of Bael (Aegle marmelos).
The pulp can be eaten raw, but it is popularly scooped out and frozen, or made into jam. It can also be mixed with coconut milk for a delicious, health beverage, or frozen into ice cream. The ripe bel fruit is sweet and can also be used for making a tasty drink known as wood apple milk. The ripe fruit is consumed as custard with sugar or honey in certain cultures. The raw bel fruit is sour to taste and is used to make chutney, while the leaves of the bel fruit tree are used as salad ingredients. The vast array of health benefits that are attributed to wood apples are mainly due to their nutrients, vitamins, and organic compounds, including their tannins, calcium, phosphorous, fiber, protein, and iron.
It is a commonly known herb in Indian system of medicine to treat various disorders including diabetes. The fruit pulp extract is used in folk medicine against gastric ulcers.
Bel fruit is great for digestion, and a remedy for digestive disorders. The trunk and branches of bel trees contain a gum-like substance called Feronia Gum. Bel leaves contain tannin, which is known to reduce inflammation, and has antifungal and antiparisitic activities.
Bel fruit juice mixed with warm water and sugar is used for blood purification and the removal of toxins. It is effective for ear aches. High level of vitamin C in Bel fruit increases the strength and potency of the immune system.
The Feronia gum, contained in the trunk and branches of the bel tree, counteracts diabetes by reducing the severity of the condition and helps to manage the flow, secretion, and balance of sugars in the bloodstream. Leaves of the Bel fruit tree supposedly help people avoid chronic or recurring colds and related respiratory conditions. They also help in curing sore throat and treating chronic cough due to its function as an expectorant. The fruit is used as an energy food thanks to its high protein content.
Considering the detoxifying powers of wood apples, the kidney and liver can be protected if the correct organic compounds from wood apples are kept at healthy levels.
Liver Health: As a good source of beta-carotene, wood apples also cure liver problems. They contain thiamine and riboflavin, both of which are known as liver health boosters, this fruit also functions as an ingredient in cardiac tonics.
Melicope denhamii is native to South East Asia, it grows 5-10 feet tall as a large shrub or 10-20 feet as a small tree. It can be grown in USDA Zones 9-11. It requires full sun in order to thrive and does best in regular water and well-drained soil.
This slow-growing tree is hardy and drought tolerant once it is established. Good air circulation is important to avoid fungal diseases. Fertilize twice a year in late winter and in summer with a fertilizer that's low in nitrogen, high in phosphorus and potassium.
When pruning this tree, it is important to take caution with pruning due to its dense foliage and to avoid over-pruning which may damage the plant. Pruning should only be done periodically and light pruning done in late winter or spring with the goal to reduce overgrowth and encourage new, healthier growth.
For those looking to grow this tree in areas with colder climates, it can be grown in a large container. It should be placed in an area that receives full sun and watered consistently throughout the year. During winter months, the tree should be protected from temperatures below 20F and brought indoors to avoid cold damage.
Overall, Melicope denhamii is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant and ornamental evergreen plant that can add lots of color to your garden or patio. With the right care and attention, it can bring a lot of joy and beauty to any environment.
Euodia elleryana is not a commonly seen tree, but given its tolerance to a wide range of conditions, will become more popular. Although it is very adaptable to a range of soils, they should be well drained.
It can be grown from cutting or seed. Although seedlings grow fast, and can flower after three years, germination is very sporadic and can take up to one year.
This dwarf variety of murraya stays compact. The shrub gets bushy but stays short 1-2ft tall. Very fragrant flowers year round followed by red fruit. Good for potting culture and as a house plant. This plant is very interesting. The seedlings start blooming in small 1-2" size, when they have only 3-4 leaves! It needs lots of direct sun, likes to be somewhat on a dry side. Do not push it with fertilizer. It is VERY slow-growing. In 2 years it may grow as little as 1 ft tall, this is why it is called Mini. But the good thing is it starts blooming in few weeks to 1-2 months after germination!
Growing from seeds: like all murrayas (including M. koengii - Curry Leaf), seeds must be planted fresh, once collected. The ripe fruit is bright red. Very important: the red fruit skin and orange flesh must be carefully removed, and only a clean green "bean" should be planted. The seed inside the fruit is usually double, you may separate the halves - those are separate seeds. Be very careful, they are very tender - like a fresh green pea. Once planted in well-drained soil and provided with heat and constant moist, it should germinate within 1-2 weeks. Normally germination is around 100% if everything done right. Just remember, do not let the seed dry, and remove red skin - otherwise germination rate goes down or it will never sprout at all. Enjoy, this tiny little plant blooms year round and fragrance is wonderful!
Small leaves are rich in an essential oil and are source of the spice. The commonly used spice curry patta is traditionally consumed by diabetics in southern part of India. In Indian cuisines, curry leaves are used fresh; for some recipes, the leaves should be oven-dried or toasted immediately befor usage. Another common technique is short frying in butter or oil The small white flowers are sweetly scented. It needs warm temperatures with full sun to partial shade. The soil should be allowed to thoroughly dry between waterings. Fertilize weekly during the growing season. Winter temperatures should not fall below 50°. Water very sparingly during the winter months and do not fertilize. Since it is a small tree it doesn't need repotting very often.
Murraya paniculata (Orange Jasmine) thrives in warm climates, however it can be grown in USDA Zone 9-11 by providing some basic care. When planted in colder areas, Murraya paniculata should be grown in a large pot, with protection from the cold in winter. It should be placed in a sunny spot and well watered, however it will also tolerate semi-shade. An additional layer of mulch should ensure that roots do not freeze. It is also tolerant of dry soil and coastal conditions, as well as salt which makes it a great seaside plant.
Murraya paniculata is a particularly attractive shrub, growing five to ten feet tall and boasting glossy green foliage. The plant is bedecked with fragrant white or off-white flowers that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Appropriately pruned, it can create an impressive hedge, with the added bonus of its lovely fragrance.
This is an excellent choice for warm climate gardens, as it is easy to grow, requires minimal care, and adds beauty and fragrance to its surroundings. For those in colder climates, a pot of this delightful shrub may give days of pleasure.