1/28/12

My New Mauritius Lychee Tree

For Christmas, my brother got me a Lychee tree. We finally planted it (in a not-so optimal location). We have very limited room in the yard for trees.

Since this is our first lychee tree, I had to do some research. I started by figuring out where it should be planted based upon its expected height, sun, and water requirements. Then I looked up some info about the different types of lychee tree. I guess there are two main varities here in South Florida. Since Joey got mine from a local grower called Lychee Farms, I figured this was perfect for our area.

  • The second most common commercially produced lychee in South Florida is the Mauritius variety. The first is Brewster and the third is Hak ip Lychee.
  • Mauritius fruit typically ripens several weeks earlier than the Brewster and is easily distinguished from it's counterpart by the pinkish green skin coloration characteristic of ripe fruit.
  • The flavor of Mauritius fruit is distinctly different and spicier than the Brewster and is quite delicious.
  • Another favorable characteristic of the Mauritius is the higher percentage of small ("chicken tongue") seeds within a given batch of fruit, although the Mauritius lychee tends to be smaller than the Brewster.
  • The sub-acid sweet aril of ripe Mauritius fruit is slightly tart and as the fruit ages on the tree the flesh becomes firmer and less juicy.
  • Overripe Mauritius fruit develop a noticeable membrane around the flesh and the skin of the fruit frequently gets fungal discoloration.
  • Once you have developed a familiarity with lychee trees it is fairly easy to distinguish a Mauritius from a Brewster and a Ha Kip.
  • The Mauritius has a somewhat lateral habit of growth whereas the Brewster develops a hemispherical shape as it ages.
  • Wildlife is always a problem around fruit groves and lychee fruit are enjoyed by a wide variety of native animals. This wouldn't be so bad except that Mauritius trees have branches that are significantly weaker than Brewsters and an attack by foraging raccoons can leave a mass of broken branches. High winds, such as hurricanes, can inflict considerable damage on Mauritius trees.
  • The Mauritius variety of lychee was named after the African island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar, where the seedling originated.
This information comes courtesy Lycheesonline.com.



Here is the new tree after we watered it.



I'm so looking forward to a lychee martini!

1/8/12

Too much Rosemary

I have way too much rosemary and I just don't know what to do with it.


Here's the two rosemary bushes on the north side of the house. I prune them with electric sheers every other month and they just keep growing! There's a drip irrigation system on the base of the plants that's on a twice daily timer for 2 minutes.
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Mystery Plant

I've never seen a plant like this! It's a mystery and I can't figure out what this could be.

It was likely dropped here by a bird or carried by a squirrel. It's certainly awfully small to have already flowered. Usually plants have to get large and mature to flower (that means it might be a weed).

It's really cute and whatever it is, I'm letting it grow a bit more. If you have any ideas, let me know...I'm in zone 10 in S. Florida.

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1/2/12

Red Shouldered Hawk in Palm City

Yesterday, I noticed a red shouldered hawk sitting on the fence. These photos were taken through a screen porch wall, so that's why they are grainy.



He (or she) was definitely the largest rsh I've seen here in my yard. As soon as he thought I was too close, he took off.If you're interested in reacdin up about these birds, check out this link. Make sure you click on the "typical voice." If you have a dog, watch his reaction. My yorkie flipped when I hit the button. :)

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