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Annual Plant Sale  
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July 2014 Newsletter -
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If you'd like to become a member you are welcome to join us. We meet the second Monday each Month at 7 PM at the Ag. Center which is located at 1303 17th St.West, Palmetto, FL 34221. We look forward to seeing new members.
Tropical Fruit Cook Book  
Welcome to MRFC  

Welcome to the Manatee County Rare Fruit Council Website

Join us as we share a passion for fruiting plants from around the globe. Our group actively works to share tropical fruit tree knowledge through a variety of mediums. Efforts from our group at Palma Sola Park in Bradenton, FL have given visitors a chance to see rare specimen trees up close and personal.

Have a question or comment about a rare fruit tree, want to share a helpful propagation technique? Please drop us an e-mail or attend one of our monthly meetings. Our annual tropical fruit tree sale is an excellent opportunity to add to your collection.

 

Whats New At MRFC  
Nothing Stays The Same

Last week's post introduced the ongoing controversy about whether the Hak-Ip and Sweetheart varieties of lychees are one and the same. Some say yes, others say no. Some say recent UF genetic research shows they are the same, others say that same research shows they are different. As we await the publication of the research to see for ourselves what it says, it's of more than just passing interest to think about what we mean by a "variety".

As those in attendance at the July MRFC meeting will recall, speaker Steve Cucura explained that grafting and airlayering need not create perfect copies. The branches of a tree can be different genetically, sometimes subtly and sometimes with quite noticeable effects. A thornless variety can throw a thorny branch, a variegated shrub can go plain. Either in grafting or airlayering, differences from branch to branch allow for genetic variation of the resulting trees.

This is good news, since it opens the possibility of improving a variety by thoughtful selection of scions. But it also creates an interesting pitfall. Lychees fruit on the end of the branch, and Steve pointed out that for a producer who sells both lychee fruit and propagated lychee trees, the natural tendency would be to take as scions the branches that are not carrying the pricey fruit. That is, to favor poorly fruiting ones for propagation! Steve takes measures to avoid this, but I wouldn't bet that every other producer in the world is quite so conscientious.

The bottom line is that even when not accidentally mis-labeled or otherwise confused, trees bearing the same cultivar name are just very close relatives, not identical copies. In the case of lychees, a genetic study of the variation was conducted some twenty years ago. I'll report on those results next week

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Nothing Stays The Same
The Great Controversy
If It Sounds Like "Kit"
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Nothing Better
Florida Pistachio?
Five Times Better
Mr. Minh Comes To Town
A Tale of Two Mangos
Indonesian White Seedless Guava
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