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  • From: "Doreen Howard" <>
  • To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Bananas
  • Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 18:48:16 -0600

If you don't experiment, you never find new things.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Claude Sweet" <>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 4:47 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Bananas

> Doreen,
> It has been years since I attended college and I am now retired. There
> may have been some additional research relating to the influence of
> pollination on the taste/flavor of vegetables and fruits whose pulp,
> rather than seed, is consumed.
> My recollection is that the pollination only produces genetic changes in
> the seed, except for the rare exceptions, and does not change the flavor
> or taste of the tissue (pulp) that surrounds the seed.
> Some species of mangoes can be seed grown as the seeds are identical to
> the female parent and thus breed true. Another exception is the
> pollination variant Oriental Persimmons that are astringent when
> seedless and non astringent when pollinated. The flesh surrounding the
> seed changes color in the chocolate persimmon cultivar so that the
> effect is very easy to see and taste. The change in astringency occurs
> with any pollen source, not a specific cross pollination transfer.
> Bananas that are allowed to reach full maturity on the stalk prior to
> harvesting are much sweeter. I prefer to actually allow the fruit to
> change color while attached to the plant. The commercial fruit is
> removed about 6 weeks prior to full maturity so it can be transported by
> ship to distant locations. The commercial banana fruit that is available
> never reaches the full flavor of the tree ripen fruit.
> Claude Sweet
> San Diego, CA
> >Claude Sweet wrote:
> >
> How do you pollinate the female banana flowers when the male flowers only
appear after the flower stalk has ceased producing the female flowers?
> >Doreen Howard wrote:
> >
> >I grow several varieties--Raji Puri, Dwarf Cavenish and Zan Moreno--and
they flower at different times, but close together. You are right about
many cultivars not requiring pollination, but I do it anyway on the
following theory. When I grew them in the ground, the banana flowers that
were visited by sweat bees and hummingbirds had the sweetest fruits. And
these fruits had prominent seeds. I may be wrong in my theory, but I'm
still experimenting.
> >
> >
> >
> >
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