Friday, August 18, 2017

Casana in Wellington


Casana (Cyphomandra casana) fruiting in a Wellington gully in New Zealand, as would probably be expected. The climate is temperate, with temperatures a few degrees below zero from time to time in this spot. I found it needs a very sheltered spot, this one gets direct sun about 1/3 of the day.  Fruit ripened in mid-late August (early spring).

The fruit is like passion fruit with a hint of pineapple and also tomato... perhaps as much a vegetable as a fruit. But my ones also have a sharp bitter taste at the top of the fruit where it meets the stem. There is always still a little green at the top of these fruits, even when they've fallen off the tree.  Perhaps they are not ripening fully due to insufficient sun or heat. The slightly odd solution seems to be to eat only the lower half of the fruit if the sharp flavor is not to your liking, the unripe green fruit is also suspected of being slightly toxic (1) which is not really a plus either.   

1. Discovering Fruit & Nuts. Susan Lyle 2006

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