I know some of you have been waiting since last season ended. The wait is finally over. The jackfruit is back, and we have a beautiful fruit this year.
If you aren’t familiar with jackfruit, this is a tropical treasure. It has a unique flavor somewhere between banana and pineapple mixed with other tropical notes of flavor. The spiny fruits are spectacular in size and can get upwards of 70 pounds.
For a really unique experience, come by Richard Lyons Nursery in Miami today and buy some jackfruit for a taste of this Asian treasure.
A ground cover worth trying is Perennial Peanut. There are two species on the market. Arachis pintoi and Arachis glabrata. The former is a faster growing species with fleshier more tender leaves and rhizomes. This species will cover a large area in a relatively short period of time, but it is more tender and will not tolerate foot traffic. The latter species is slower growing, with smaller firmer leaves and rhizomes, which will tolerate foot traffic. They both produce yellow pea shaped flowers that are edible and have a faint taste of peanuts, thus the name perennial peanut.
A very colorful Hibiscus for a sunny planter or decorative pot for the front porch or maybe near a pool. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Red Hot’ has large bright red flowers surrounded by variegated leaves that take on different shades of red, green, and white depending on the light levels.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has this plant in stock.
Longan fruit is currently in season and available at Richard Lyons Nursery. Longan (Dimocarpus longan) is in the same family, Sapindaceae, as its better known relative, the Lychee Tree. Unlike the Lychee Tree, Longan is a more reliable fruit bearing tree as it does not require the cool night temperatures in winter as the Lychee Tree does to flower and set fruit. The Longan fruit has the same skin and texture as the lychee fruit, while slightly sweeter, if not as juicy as the lychee. They are both native to topical China and other countries of SE Asia.
A look at Dragon Fruit or Pitahaya. The fruit is produced from a tropical vining epiphytic cactus, Hylocereus undatus, or more recently, Selenicereus. The cactus is grown for its fruit throughout the tropics. It originated in the America’s like all true cacti, but its exact origin is unknown. It is typically grown on a large 6 foot post with a ‘T’ or cross on the top, so the stems can grow up the post and then hang down from the top cross. It is the stems hanging down that produce very large white flowers that open at night and close shortly after sun up. The fruits will start developing shortly after the flowers fade. The flesh of the fruit is either white or deep red depending on the cultivar.
There are many species of gingers in the nursery trade, but none more spectacular than the Torch Ginger. Botanical name, Etlingera elatior, the foliage is dark green with large wide leaves and canes that reach 6-9 feet. The flowers emerge from separate stalks and reach 3-4 feet in height and resemble a torch. Pink or pinkish red is the most common color. However, there is a pure white which is equally spectacular.