Fwd: RE: [nafex] Chinese Che
lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Mon Jun 17 17:25:01 EDT 2002
In response to Pete's query about Che fruit, I dug up the following
response out of my archived NAFEX files - in this case a response from
Richard Moyer to a question posed by Mark Blossom.
On another topic, has anyone heard from Richard lately?
>Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 17:18:48 EST
>From: <ramoyer at king.edu> (Richard A. Moyer)
>Subject: RE: [nafex] Chinese Che
>We have had Che fruit in for 7 years. Putin both a male and female
>plant. Survived 14 below several winters ago. Blooms after frost; has
>not frozen out in five or so years (am away from my notes), unlike our
>mulberry. No observed disease or insect problems. Birds are a problem,
>have netted the female. Disease and insect resistance similar here to
>mulberry and fig, which are in same family (Moraceae).
>Pollination is the adventure with this plant:
>The male sets fruit but most of these fall off; a few of them will ripen
>and be identical to female fruit. Male died to ground two winters ago;
>the female still set a full crop of seedless fruit. The male grew back
>last year, bloomed thisyear and acted like a female by setting the largest
>crop of ripening fruit yet. (It may be in the process of some type of
>conversion; time will tell.) Some debate has gone on for the need of a
>male pollinator. I'm not sure that I had any less fruit without the male
>two years ago. Our plants are on the far side of the field and hence do
>not merit close observation; my kids eat most of the fruit with the birds.
>Both our plants are grafted onto Osage Orange. Hence, if you know how
>Osage Orange does on yours or similar land, this should suffice for your
>site. A.J. Bullard let a single stem go up to 8-9 ft, and cuts all others
>off, he has a nice form as the result. A number of our limbs on our bush
>are on the ground.
>Hidden Springs grafts theirs onto Osage Orange if I recall correctly; they
>do not grow seedling trees of Che. If you mean they graft an unnamed
>"seedling", they then are no different from any other nursery, to my
>knowledge. Don't know of anyone who has selected and named superior
>cultivars from the wild (somewhere in China?) My impression of the one
>nursery that sells a seedless selection is that this if merely a
>female. My sample size is too small to determine the value of two for
>pollination vs. one female.
>We are at 1800' zone 6, we rarely get into the 90s; we are on the
>borderline for enough heat to ripen Che fruit. In a cool summer,
>defoliation in fall will occur before last of fruit is ripe.
>Ripe fruit has a strawberry color, knotty exterior like Osage Orange,
>tastes a bit like pear and fig to us; sweet but not overly so. Strange in
>that slightly unripe fruit leaves a metallic taste in my mouth.
>In summary, an overlooked minor fruit. Well worth the effort to put in as
>a carefree, dependable producer in our area. The Blacks at Hidden Springs
>have made a jam with them. Lee Reich plans to include a chapter on this
>plant in his second edition of 'Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention'.
More information about the nafex