Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Persimmons & More

I love persimmons. The first crops are coming into the specialty supermarkets. Soon, I'll be eating some from my own trees. I was fortunate enough to visit and taste some of the 81 varieties in the Wolfskill collection near Davis, CA.

The photo on the left documents that foggy, exciting day. The one on the right is just a few of the rare varieties of persimmons.

The Wolfskill collection is a fascinating occurrence between the private sector (Francis Wolfskill’s) and the public sector (the University of California at Davis.)

In 1934, when John Wolfskill’s daughter Francis died, she left approximately one hundred and seven acres of the grant to the Department of Pomology of the University of California, Davis, with the understanding that the property was to be used as an experimental horticulture station and the line of olive trees planted by Wolfskill in 1861 was to remain standing.

The collection is a virtual Noah's Ark of common and uncommon fruits and nuts such as:

As of 2009:

Actinidia (kiwi) 79

Diospyros (persimmon) 81

Eriobotrya (loquats) 36

Ficus (figs) 303

Juglans (walnuts) 552

Morus & Maclura (mulberries) 69

Olea (olives) 148

Pistacia (pistachio) 239

Prunus (all stone fruits) 1457

Wingnut (Pterocarya stenoptera, used to develop rot-resistant walnut rootstocks) 31

Punica (pomegranate) 180

Vitis (grapes) 3113

TOTAL # of varieties in the entire collection = 6309

USDA National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR),
Wolfskill Ranch,
4334 Putah Creek Rd., Winters, CA

Here’s how to get some scions for your edible landscape:

Almost all plant material from the Davis gene bank is distributed as cuttings and deadlines for orders are those appropriate for such cuttings. These cuttings must be rooted or grafted/budded to produce a plant. Material of Juglans, Pistacia, and most Prunus are very difficult to root and the recipient must obtain appropriate rootstocks prior to receipt of scion cuttings.

Domestic orders are sent Priority Overnight by Federal Express. A packing list and certificate of quarantine compliance are shipped with the plant material when required. When orders are shipped within the U.S, it is necessary for the recipient to obtain and submit a Fed Ex account number. Fed Ex account numbers may be obtained by calling 1-800-GO-FEDEX.

Please indicate dormant cuttings, budwood/scionwood, or summer cuttings or budwood. Please use accession numbers when ordering material. Orders for dormant cuttings or budwood must be received by December 1st, and are shipped in January/February. Orders for summer budwood/cuttings and open-pollinated seeds must be received by May 1st, and are shipped in June-August. Orders for pollen must be received by January 31st, and are shipped at appropriate times for each crop.

*Summer request for Punica and Morus germplasm should only be made if propagation will occur under mist.

*Due to great demand for dormant cuttings and their higher rooting success rate, we will no longer have routine distribution of Ficus summer cuttings.

Please be sure to include a phone number, email address, and Fed Ex/DHL account number.

Orders must be submitted via email to Bernie Prins (bernard.prins@ars.usda.gov)

Please post a comment - I want to know what you think.

Visit my web site to learn about my new book on drip irrigation and other gardening books.

NOTE: The comments section at the bottom of the post has disappeared. Click on the "___ Comments" button or the title under the "Blog Archives". Thanks, Robert

No comments: