A Seed Saver's Garden

Zeedman

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Yikes!!! That's even thornier than Litchi tomatoes, with none of that plant's redeeming characteristics. Totally toxic with irritating sap, a reservoir for potato virus - and perennial. :ep Granted, I do like wandering off the beaten (garden) path, and am drawn to the unusual... but the only reason I can think of to grow this in perpetuity would be if I was a hermit, and wanted to keep people off my property.
 

Pulsegleaner

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Yikes!!! That's even thornier than Litchi tomatoes, with none of that plant's redeeming characteristics. Totally toxic with irritating sap, a reservoir for potato virus - and perennial. :ep Granted, I do like wandering off the beaten (garden) path, and am drawn to the unusual... but the only reason I can think of to grow this in perpetuity would be if I was a hermit, and wanted to keep people off my property.
If I was a hermit, I'd go nastier. I'd write off to Australia and get my hands on seeds for the Gympie-Gympie tree (a.k.a. the Australian Suicide tree) and line my property with them. Then I just sit back and listen to the sweet music of them writhing in agony.
 

heirloomgal

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Oh, THAT one. For a minute I got it confused with the lichi tomato, Solanum sisymbriifolium (which I have also heard referred to as the five minute plant, since it is equally thorny).

But there ARE other equally thorny plants out there. I have recently been playing around with some species of the Genus Caesalpinia (most familiar to gardeners from the Bird of Paradise flower, Caesalpinia gillesii, and the peacock flowers C. pulcherrima .). But I have been working with some of the other species. ALL are super thorny, and while the two above are shrubby, this is not universal to the genus. C. Bonduc The grey nickernut (whose seeds, as a common "sea bean" are widely used as jewelry and gaming counters, is a sort of weedy little thing. But C. sappan, and C. cilliata are BIG timber trees. And so is C. echinata whose species name I think means "spiny". Actually if echinata and sappan WEREN'T big trees, they probably wouldn't be so valuable and endangered (Both are producers of Brazil Wood[From which the country of Brazil gets it's name], or Pernambuco, used in furniture, VERY expensive violin bows, and dyeing)
I think this one is solanum atropurpureum. What was your impression of the thorny ones you're working with? Interesting?
 

heirloomgal

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i recall a particular orange rose i grew for a short time as a kid. it was a grafted plant of course, but the most striking feature was that the stem was absolutely covered in very long thorns. i did fertilize it with my own blood from time to time. that was just the price of admission for those. the plant lived only a few years, it was in a rather exposed corner of the garden. not many roses survived long in that location.
I have to admit that when I got to the part that read 'fertilize it with my own blood' I laughed out loud. I'm not laughing at your pain, that sounds terrible, but your phrasing there was sort of poetry in motion. Some garden flowers charge admission I guess. 🤣
 

flowerbug

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I have to admit that when I got to the part that read 'fertilize it with my own blood' I laughed out loud. I'm not laughing at your pain, that sounds terrible, but your phrasing there was sort of poetry in motion. Some garden flowers charge admission I guess. 🤣

haha! yes, those did, roses do in general, but that plant must have been in extra need of nutrients.
 

heirloomgal

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Yikes!!! That's even thornier than Litchi tomatoes, with none of that plant's redeeming characteristics. Totally toxic with irritating sap, a reservoir for potato virus - and perennial. :ep Granted, I do like wandering off the beaten (garden) path, and am drawn to the unusual... but the only reason I can think of to grow this in perpetuity would be if I was a hermit, and wanted to keep people off my property.
I only know of 2 places selling seed for it, one of them sells it with this purpose in mind, though the unwanted visitors in this case are raccoons. Raccoons do not like these, and the vendor suggests making a barrier with them, though that would seem like a lot of plants?

That you can eat nothing from it gives me pause, I barely even grow annual flowers for the same reason. That's a big part of why I'm yet to grow it, but seeing how much this lady (who generally has superb taste in much of what she grows) loved this plant really perked up my antennae.

Here are some bizarre tomatoes she's growing - they aren't misshapen, they grow like this. It's called 'Phil's One'.
1642203575656.png


And 'Phil's Two' -
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Here's one of her latest bean grow-outs - "Speckled Brown Butter Bean', a lima I think.
1642202940983.png


She grows a strange & beautiful cow pea called Holstein Southern Pea' -
1642203746857.png


And a 'Caterpillar' chili -
1642203349846.png
 

Pulsegleaner

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I think this one is solanum atropurpureum. What was your impression of the thorny ones you're working with? Interesting?
Potentially. I really CAN'T recommend growing C. bonduc. Not only is the tree sort of thin and weedy, but the seeds are a B**CH to scarify. They're too hard for sandpaper to work, so you have to use an emery wheel. And they also are GREAT at absorbing heat, so they get red hot from the friction. So you need to wear very thick gloves to keep from being burned. And you have to grind off ALL the seed coat for water to get in correctly. I imagine I will have the same issue with C. ciliata (this order that is coming in will be the first time I have ever gotten my hands on seed for this one, well seed that didn't have a hole drilled through it). The French person I bought them from says a hacksaw works well, but I'd imagine you'd have to be pretty skilled to saw through the seed coat and not saw the actual inside of the seed in half.
Also bear in mind these are tropical trees, so unless you are planning to move WAY far south, or build a HUGE greenhouse they probably aren't for you.

1642204586352.png


I only know of 2 places selling seed for it, one of them sells it with this purpose in mind, though the unwanted visitors in this case are raccoons. Raccoons do not like these, and the vendor suggests making a barrier with them, though that would seem like a lot of plants?

That you can eat nothing from it gives me pause, I barely even grow annual flowers for the same reason. That's a big part of why I'm yet to grow it, but seeing how much this lady (who generally has superb taste in much of what she grows) loved this plant really perked up my antennae.

Here are some bizarre tomatoes she's growing - they aren't misshapen, they grow like this. It's called 'Phil's One'.
View attachment 46710

And 'Phil's Two' -
View attachment 46708

Here's one of her latest bean grow-outs - "Speckled Brown Butter Bean', a lima I think.
View attachment 46705

She grows a strange & beautiful cow pea called Holstein Southern Pea' -
View attachment 46712

And a 'Caterpillar' chili -
View attachment 46707
Amazing. I'M growing Phil's Two next year! I found a site in France that was offering Wooly Zebra, and I needed two more seed packs to make the minimum order. (The third is Abracazebra).

And if that is the chili I think it is, Chili Gusano, a more accurate translation would be "grub chili"
 

heirloomgal

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Potentially. I really CAN'T recommend growing C. bonduc. Not only is the tree sort of thin and weedy, but the seeds are a B**CH to scarify. They're too hard for sandpaper to work, so you have to use an emery wheel. And they also are GREAT at absorbing heat, so they get red hot from the friction. So you need to wear very thick gloves to keep from being burned. And you have to grind off ALL the seed coat for water to get in correctly. I imagine I will have the same issue with C. ciliata (this order that is coming in will be the first time I have ever gotten my hands on seed for this one, well seed that didn't have a hole drilled through it). The French person I bought them from says a hacksaw works well, but I'd imagine you'd have to be pretty skilled to saw through the seed coat and not saw the actual inside of the seed in half.
Also bear in mind these are tropical trees, so unless you are planning to move WAY far south, or build a HUGE greenhouse they probably aren't for you.

View attachment 46713


Amazing. I'M growing Phil's Two next year! I found a site in France that was offering Wooly Zebra, and I needed two more seed packs to make the minimum order. (The third is Abracazebra).

And if that is the chili I think it is, Chili Gusano, a more accurate translation would be "grub chili"

Oooooh, those are PRETTY seeds 🥰 Like stones rubbed smooth by the ocean, sea glass but made of stones instead.

Yes, that is the right pepper - she actually titled it 'Aribibi Gusana Caterpillar Chili' but I like the 'grub' name MUCH better, way more creepy. I like the wild and weird. Her 'Phil's 1' and '2' actually looked like banana plants. They didn't look like Reisotomate, which is more fused cherries. Hers were fingers, almost mini bananas. They were so cool. I couldn't copy it here because it was on the gram.

It amazes me how you are so well acquainted with such truly unusual species @Pulsegleaner. I consider myself someone who likes to venture well off the beaten path, but I have to google nearly everything you post about!! 🤣

edit: I have grown 'Wolly Blue Jay' @Pulsegleaner , it's a yellow mid size with antho shoulders on a super angora plant, very similar to the one you mentioned. Pretty neat 'mater.
 
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Pulsegleaner

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Only sort of. I mean, as far as I know, both are Tom Wagner tomatoes (most blue ones are). Basically, I just picked that one because I am fond of Green Zebra, and a fuzzy fruited version would be better for my tomato salad (I find the fuzzy tomato's hairs "catch" the marinade and hold it better.)

As for unusual, it's simply a matter of keeping your ear to the chatter, wandering around places like eBay Etsy and the general web from time to time, and being willing to try almost anything once.

And there are one or two things YOU may have access to that I don't down here. For example, I can't get seed or plants of crowberry down here. Actually I only KNOW about crowberry thanks to a field guide I got when I was in the Maritimes and I have only SEEN it once, when I went to camp in Maine (It was growing on a big rock they took us to to see the sunset. I actually discovered it makes a very nice pillow.)
 

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