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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Che(Cudrania tricuspidata )

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  • From: rob hamilton <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Che(Cudrania tricuspidata )
  • Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 11:06:41 -0700 (PDT)

This is one of these odd plants that have kind of peek my interest. Mine are just beginning to color up.

After the presentation on Che/Mulberries at the past NAFEX meeting, I asked Dr. AJ Bullard about select varieties and he said that he had eight different selections and none had any real size or taste difference. He also stated that in the early 1900s attempts were made to cross Osage orange with with Che the results were a larger fruit, but Osage orange taste. He did not mention any other work. It would be interesting to continue to back cross the fruit with Che to see what develops. The Che is not a strong flavored fruit, so any bitter resinous Osage flavor would stand out. Now if one could breed mulberry with with Che, then we have something shout about!

As far as grafting, I have tried this year to graft Che to Morus alba. It seemed to have taken, but the late freeze killed it. Dr Bullard mentioned that his mulberry/Che  graft took, but eventually aborted.  This MAY mean that there might be mulberries with longer or complete compatibility. I am not sure if this would offer any more advantage over Osage orange though.  One of the problems he spoke of in his presentation was that long term the Osage Orange trunk out grows the Che and splits off (15-20 years). I would assume the mulberry would be even quicker (unless one uses the dwarf mulberry)

This being said, there are other Moraceae that one could play around with in grafting and breeding, I ran across a few lesser fruits from Brazil in a book that family that looked alot like Osage orange. I plan to get this book soon and can post more info. I would love to have the space to really play with this plant.
(who am I kidding who has the patience)

Of what I gather little is still understood about this plant. The Che can change sex from one year to the next.  Some nurseries sell a true "seedless" plant. some say you need two for pollination (which of what I gather is untrue. I got lots of fruit this year with one plant). Yet I dont know if anyone can really stand by these statements.

I am curious about the size of fruits with pollination. I am told the seeds are small and crunchy, so their not a bother. If the size of the fruits dramatically increased, it would be worth getting another.


bill dality <> wrote:
Is Cudrania tricuspidata  graft compatible on Morus alba ...or vice versa?
Does anyone have a selection of this fruit (Chinese melon berry) wch is exceptional in fruit size or fruit quality.
I gather from Jerry's comment that the pollinated fruit is significantly larger than the unpollinated (seedless) fruit.
From Jerry Lehman:
Growing here zone 5b central West Indiana is one Chinese melon berry, Che also spelled Chi. It fruits almost every year and as I don't have a male it is small and seedless. Fruits are bright red when ripe, and taste like mulberry and melon. Haven't seen a problem with winter damage here.


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