1) Location on Property: At the walkway to Ocean View Hale
Scientific Name: canistel Pouteria campechiana also called yellow sapote Canistel flesh is sweet, with a texture often compared to that of a hard-boiled egg yolk, hence its colloquial name “eggfruit”. It is closely related to the Mamey sapote and abiu.The second tree is at Jungle Hideaway camping.
- Region of Origin: Mexico and Central America
- Type: Useful
- General History: The plant species originated in cultivation. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory. The first known written record of the plant is found in Qimin Yaoshu, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544. The numerous Arabic and North African names for it, along with the lack of the ancient Greek and Roman names, indicate it was introduced throughout the Mediterranean area by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages. A book on agriculture by Ibn Al-Awwam in 12th century Arabic Spain described how to grow aubergines. There are records from later medieval Catalan and Spanish.
- As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to both the tomato and the potato. It was originally domesticated from the wild nightshade species, the thorn or bitter apple, S. incanum, probably with two independent domestication’s, one in the region of South Asia, and one in East Asia.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: As the related lucuma, the canistel can be eaten out of hand. The ripe fruit has been made into jam, marmalade, pancakes, and flour. The ripe flesh is blended with milk and other ingredients to make a shake and pureed it is sometimes added to custards or used in making ice cream.
- As Medicine: NA
- Other Uses: The wood of the tree is occasionally used in construction where it is available, especially as planks or rafters. In its native range, it has been a source of latex used to adulterate chicle
- Solanum melongena is included in the Tasmanian Fire Service’s list of low flammability plants, indicating that it is suitable for growing within a building protection zone.
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: In tropical and subtropical climates, eggplant can be sown directly into the garden. Spacing should be 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 in) between plants, depending on cultivar, and 60 to 90 cm (24 to 35 in) between rows, depending on the type of cultivation equipment being used. Mulching helps conserve moisture and prevent weeds and fungal diseases. The flowers are relatively unattractive to bees and the first blossoms often do not set fruit. Hand pollination improves the set of the first blossoms. Growers typically cut fruits from the vine just above the calyx owing to the somewhat woody stems. Flowers are complete, containing both female and male structures, and may be self-pollinated or cross-pollinated.
- Best time to Harvest: When the fruit is dark orange and soft to the touch. Sometimes may be hard yet orange but will ripen after picked.
- Sunlight Requirements: Full sun
- Soil Requirements: Compost with rich soil and mulched seasonally
- Propagation: Eggplant grown in temperate climates fares better when transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost is passed. Seeds are typically started eight to ten weeks prior to the anticipated frost-free date.
- Controlling Spread: NA
- Difficulties with this plant: Many of the pests and diseases that afflict other solanaceous plants, such as tomato, pepper (capsicum), and potato, are also troublesome to eggplants. For this reason, it should not be planted in areas previously occupied by its close relatives.
- History of this Plant at Hedonisia: We have two trees. When the fruits are in season it has mixed reaction. Some people love the taste and others hate it!