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Does anyone have a 'Chilean Guava' fruit bush (Ugni molinae)  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Does anyone have a 'Chilean Guava' fruit bush (Ugni molinae)?
What do they taste like ? are they easy to propergate ? Do they need lots of heat ?

David
 
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Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
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We have a few big ones and lots of little ones. Sharon went on a planting spree early this spring and lifted about two dozen root sucker pups and put them along a fence by the cattle yards. The older ones are putting on new growth after a radical haircut to deal with their leggy habit and I'm amazed at how profusely they're sending up root suckers...no trouble propagating them here, anyway.

They usually flower through December here and the fruit is ripe in March. In the N hemisphere that would be June/Sept if you were in a similar climate zone (we're cool temperate, maritime with marginal summer heat and rainfall year round but heavier in winter and spring). The berries are about the size of a real cranberry but the taste is quite different: a perfect balance between sweet and tart with a nice spicy, aromatic component from the skin. Kids can strip an entire bush if they put their mind to it. Definitely an excellent fruit to have and we're a little nervous about the spread of myrtle rust in the North Island and what it may do to this plant and all of our other Myrtaceae, like feijoas and the native pohutukawa and rata trees.

Since we don't do heat here, I can assure you that they're fine without it. Our "hot" midsummer days are around 27 degrees, and 30 is about as high as it ever gets (record is 32). Their natural habitat is understory in the Chilean rainforest, so the next lot we plant out will probably be mixed in with trees. They do seem to like being on the south side of the house, even though this time of year that means they get full sun for much of the day.
 
David Livingston
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Wow thanks Phil I will be putting it on my Christmas list
How big do the bushes grow ?

David
 
Phil Stevens
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Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
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The two big ones were maybe 1.5m with a few branches reaching 2m before we chopped them back. They seem to respond well to pruning.
 
pollinator
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Location: Worcestershire, England
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They are one of my favourite fruits now, they grow really well here in U.K as they grow in the south of Chile, my Chilean friend had never seen or heard of them so they obviously don't get a far north as Santiago. I have a few 'normal' plants and two named cultivars 'Flambeau' and 'Butterball' that are meant to be ornamental but they have not fruited so far (probably due to there younger age). There is a cultivar called Ka-pow which is bred for the fruit but seems to be out of stock whenever I check for it.

There is also a close relative Ugni myricoides that grows better in hotter climates. I tried to grow these from seed (I thought it might be fun to try to make a hybrid) but I probably didn't give them enough attention and they all died on me.
 
David Livingston
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Unfortunately French garden centers are about five years behind the Brits   any other plants I could be missing Henry ?
I will check out the other one as we are a bit warmer than the UK thanks for that

David
 
Henry Jabel
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This is still my favourite 'unusual' fruit but these are pretty good too:

Honeyberry:Blueberry like without the need for very acid soil
Japanese Wineberry:Raspberry like but sweeter.
Chuckleberry: A very productive large blackcurrant like fruit. Its a cross of several Ribes species.
Cultivated sea buckthorn varieties: Mary and Sunny are good, kind of like a sour orange juice. Much more palatable than the wild version.
Cornus Kousa:I think it tastes v good but the fruit is on the small side. I tried a customer's tree so wether my Chinesis variety will have larger fruit remains to be seen.
Aronia:Tastes nice to begin with but v astringent, goes well with other fruits and cream though. My Polish partner says the ones I have are much nicer than the wild ones in Poland so I would make sure to get a cultivar.

Here are some more I am looking into or waiting for them to fruit in my garden:

Luma apiculata: Chilean/Argentine Myrtle
Myrteola nummularia:Another Chilean/Argentine Myrtle
Serviceberry
 
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