Ube IRural /Manuals
EDITED BY L. H. BAILEY
TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS
Ube IRural Manuals
EDITED BY L. H. BAILEY
MANUAL OF GARDENING Bailey
MANUAL OF FARM ANIMALS Harper
FARM AND GARDEN RULE-BOOK Bailey
MANUAL OF FRUIT INSECTS Slingerland and Crosby
MANUAL OF WEEDS Georgia
THE PRUNING-MANUAL Bailey
MANUAL OF FRUIT DISEASES Hester and Whetzel
MANUAL OF MILK PRODUCTS Stocking
MANUAL OF VEGETABLE-GARDEN INSECTS Crosby
MANUAL OF TREE DISEASES Ranltin
MANUAL OF HOME-MAKING Van Rensselaer, Rose,
MANUAL OF AMERICAN GRAPE-GROWING Hedrick
THE NURSERY-MANUAL Bailey
MANUAL OF TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS
PLATE I. The Nimlioh avocado.
TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL
EXCLUDING THE BANANA, COCONUT,
PINEAPPLE, CITRUS FRUITS,
OLIVE, AND FIG
AGRICULTURAL EXPLORER, UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
. '*> **
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
Ml righto reserved
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped. Published July, 1920.
J. S. Gushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
MY intention in preparing the present work has been to
bring together, for the guidance of those who live in the tropical
and subtropical regions of the globe, the available information
concerning the principal fruits cultivated, or which may be
cultivated, in those regions. The banana, the coconut, the
pineapple, the citrus fruits, the olive, and the fig are not in-
cluded, however, since these have been fully treated by other
writers. Nor have I attempted to describe all of the fruit-
bearing plants of the tropics : rather has it been my aim to
concentrate on those which most seem to merit extensive
cultivation, the culture of many of which is as yet little under-
stood. No work in the English language has attempted to
cover this subject, and the few which have appeared in other
languages do not contain the data concerning propagation
and cultural practices which would make them useful to horti-
culturists. Unfortunately, as regards many of the less-known
fruits, few data are available, but concerning the more im-
portant ones the researches of such workers as E. Bonavia,
A. C. Hartless, and William Burns in India, H. A. Van Her-
mann, F. S. Earle, and C. F. Kinman in the West Indies,
George B. Cellon, Edward Simmonds, W. J. Krome, P. H.
Rolfs, and Reasoner Brothers in southern Florida, F. Franceschi
(E. O. Fenzi) and Ira J. Condit in California, J. E. Higgins
and his associates in Hawaii, P. J. Wester in the Philippines,
and L. Trabut in the Mediterranean region, have brought to
light much valuable information. The work of such men as
G. N. Collins, O. F. Cook, David Fairchild, W. E. Safford,
and Walter T. Swingle, of the Bureau of Plant Industry,
United States Department of Agriculture, has also added
materially to our knowledge of the subject.
References throughout the book indicate the extent of my
indebtedness to these and other investigators. In order that
the work may reflect as fully as possible the total knowledge
at present available on any topic, I have drawn freely from
all sources, exercising, at the same time, all possible care to
avoid perpetuating the more than numerous errors with which
the literature of tropical fruits is burdened.
For the past seven years, during a large part of which time
I have traveled as Agricultural Explorer for the United States
Department of Agriculture, I have had exceptional oppor-
tunities for gathering, at first hand, information for this work.
In the course of my journeys I have visited Hawaii, Japan, the
Philippines, the Straits Settlements, India, Arabia, North
Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, the West Indies, and Brazil.
This field work has alternated with and been supplemented
by practical experience with the cultural problems of tropical
and subtropical fruit-growing in California and Florida. To
those familiar with the thorough and exhaustive treatises
which have been published on the northern fruits, however,
the present work will no doubt appear superficial in character.
Necessarily it is so. Present knowledge of the greater number
of tropical fruits is superficial, and many years must pass be-
fore it will be possible for a thoroughly comprehensive treatise
to be offered on any one of the species here considered, except-
ing possibly the date.
I have been assisted and encouraged in the preparation of
this work by many persons. It is a particular pleasure to
acknowledge my indebtedness to Charles Fuller Baker, now
Dean of the College of Agriculture, University of the Philip-
pines, under whose guidance I first took up work in tropical
pomology, and whose boundless enthusiasm for tropical plants
has been a constant inspiration to me; to F. Franceschi,
formerly of Santa Barbara, California, who was one of the
pioneers in the introduction and cultivation of tropical fruits
in California ; and above all, to my present chief, David Fair-
child, and my colleagues in the Office of Foreign Seed and
Plant Introduction of the Bureau of Plant Industry. To Dr.
Fairchild America is indebted for many choice varieties of
the mango, the date, and other tropical fruits which are now
cultivated in the United States, and for his assistance and
encouragement in my own investigations I owe him a debt of
gratitude which I can never pay.
W. J. Krome of Homestead, Florida, has criticized the
chapters on the avocado and mango, and added many notes
of interest and value to the former. W. E. Safford of the
Bureau, of Plant Industry has revised the chapter on the an-
nonaceous fruits, and Henry Pittier of the same Bureau that
on the sapotaceous fruits. To my brother, Paul Popenoe,
I am indebted for most of the chapter on the date. H. H.
Hume of Florida has criticized the chapter on the kaki. J. N.
Rose of the United States National Museum has furnished most
of the data on the tuna and pitaya. Sidney F. Blake of the
Bureau of Plant Industry has been of much assistance on
matters of botanical nomenclature. J. Smeaton Chase of
Palm Springs, California, has rendered valuable aid in the
preparation of the manuscript. To all of these men I express
my sincere appreciation of their help.
The line drawings with which this work is illustrated have
been made by Mrs. R. E. Gamble of the Bureau of Plant In-
dustry. Nearly all of them, as well as most of the half-tone
plates, are from my own photographs ; a few are from photo-
graphs by P. H. Dorsett of the Bureau of Plant Industry.
WASHINGTON, D. C.,
October 1, 1919.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE OUTLOOK FOB TROPICAL FRUIT . . fc 1-8
THE AVOCADO 9-78
Botanical description 11-14
History and distribution 14- 20
Composition and uses of the fruit .... 20- 23
Climate and soil .23-30
Tillage, mulching and cover-crops .... 32- 33
Propagation 40- 52
Stock plants 41-43
Essential features of bud propagation . . . 43- 44
Top-working old trees 50- 52
The crop 52-54
Picking, packing, and marketing 56- 58
Pests and diseases ....... 58- 65
Races and varieties 65- 78
West Indian race 69- 71
Guatemalan race 71-76
Mexican race 76- 78
Hybrids. , ... . . . . . 78
THE MANGO 79-145
Botanical description . . .
History and distribution . . . . . . 84- 92
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Composition and uses of the fruit
Climate and soil .
The mango flower and its pollination
Pests and diseases
Races and varieties
Sandersha group .
RELATIVES OF THE MANGO
The cashew .
The red mombin .
The yellow mombin
THE ANNONACEOUS FRUITS
Pests and diseases .
The soursop .
The ilama . .
Minor annonaceous fruits
Mountain soursop .
TABLE OF CONTENTS xi
THE DATE 196-224
Cultivation . . . . 202-207
Propagation . . . ..... . . 207-211
Yield and season . . ^ . . . . 212-213
Picking and packing . . . . . . 213-216
Pests and diseases . 216-218
Varieties and classification 218-224
THE PAPAYA AND ITS RELATIVES 225-249
The papaya 225-240
Yield and market 237-238
Pests and diseases 238-239
Seedling races 239-240
The mountain papaya ....... 240-241
The purple granadilla 241-245
The sweet granadilla 245-246
The giant granadilla 247-249
THE LOQUAT AND ITS RELATIVES ..... 250-271
Yield and picking 261-262
Pests and diseases 262-264
The manzanilla 269-271
The icaco 271
FRUITS OF THE MYRTLE FAMILY . . . . . 272-311
Theguava . . , 272-279
The strawberry guava 279-283
Other guavas . . ... . . . 283-286
Costa Rican guava 283
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Para guava .
The pitanga .
The feijoa .
Other myrtaceous fruits
Rose-apple . *
Pera do campo
THE LITCHI AND ITS RELATIVES
The litchi .
Yield and season .
Pests and diseases .
The longan . . . .
The pulasan .
The akee .
THE SAPOTACEOUS FRUITS
The sapote .
The green sapote .
The canistel .
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The yellow sapote
THE KAKI AND ITS RELATIVES .
The kaki or Japanese persimmon
Propagation . . .
Picking and shipping
Pests and diseases . _ . '
Varieties . . ,
The black sapote . . .
The mabolo .
THE POMEGRANATE AND THE JUJUBE
The pomegranate . .
THE MANGOSTEEN AND ITS RELATIVES
The mangosteen . . .
Propagation . . . .
Season and enemies of the mangosteen
The mamey .
The bakuri . ...
THE BREADFRUIT AND ITS RELATIVES
The breadfruit . ' . . .,
xiv TABLE OF CONTENTS
The santol 426
The langsat . . . . . . . . . 426-428
The carambola . . . . . . . . 429-431
Thebilimbi . . . . . . . . . 431-432
The tamarind . . . . . . . . 432-436
The carissa .... /. .... 436-439
The ramontchi . . . ... . . 439-441
The umkokolo . 441-443
The ketembilla . . . ' . . . . . 443-445
The white sapote . . . . ... . 445-448
The tuna . 448-450
The pitaya 451-452
The tree-tomato 452-453
The genipa 454-455
INDEX . . 459-474
I. The Nimlioh avocado Frontispiece
II. Four or five tortillas (corn cakes) and a good-sized
avocado are considered a good meal by the Guatemala
III. Avocado-growing in the Mexican highlands ... 46
IV. Puebla avocado tree producing its first crop at two years
of age ; the Fuerte avocado ..... 68
V. Inflorescence of the Alphonse mango ; a Cuban mango-
VI. The Sandersha mango ; the ambarella . . . .110
VII. Red mombins on the tree 132
VIII. The cherimoya at its best ; the soursop and other fruits 150
IX. The home of the Fardh date; in the date gardens of
X. A date palm in full production ; the purple granadilla 190
XI. A tropical substitute for the cantaloupe, the papaya ; a
papaya in bearing 208
XII. A plate of fine loquats 230
XIII. The wild cherry of Central America (Prunus salicifolia) \
the manzanilla (Cratcegus stipulosa) .... 250
XIV. Feijoas ready for gathering 280
XV. A fruiting jaboticaba tree 292
XVI. Flowers and fruits of the rose-apple (Eugenia Jambos) 306
XVII. The litchi, favorite fruit of the Chinese . . .324
XVIII. Foliage and fruits of the akee (Blighia sapida) . . 350
XIX. The sapodilla (Achras Sapota) 370
XX. The rambutan and other fruits; a basket of green
A young kaki tree in bearing 400
A basket of pomegranates ; the black sapote . . . 420
The jackfruit (Artocarpus integrifolia) , the largest
tropical fruit 438
The mangosteen ; the durian 456
MANUAL OF TROPICAL AND
THE OUTLOOK FOR TROPICAL FRUITS
THE thickly peopled countries of the Temperate Zone
must look more and more to the tropics to supplement their
own food resources, whether by direct supplies, made possible
in increasing measure by ever-improving means of trans-
portation, or by furnishing plants which may be cultivated in
mild-wintered regions such as California and Florida. Both
forms of contribution will be largely in the item of fruits. As
examples of the first class, the banana, because of its immense
yield and quick production, has already been exploited on a
large scale, and the coconut, through its product copra, has
become an economic factor of prime importance; in the
second (or rather, in both) the avocado, still a novelty but of
very great possibilities as adaptable to growth in our own
country, is on the verge of taking a high place among the food
crops contributed by the tropics.
Many other fruits of the Torrid Zone, not all of them so
important, yet all valuable in degree in the dietary of the race,
must be grown in ever-increasing quantities, not only to supply
northern markets, but also, and even more important, -
to enable the native populations of the tropics as well as settlers
from the North to obtain abundantly and cheaply this most
wholesome source of human energy.
2 MANUAL OF TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS
For, strange as it may seem to many who have never lived
or traveled in the hot belts of the earth, those lands come far
short of conforming to that conventional idea of the tropics, as
regions where luscious fruits grow wild upon every tree and the
languorous native has only to stretch forth his hand to obtain
his dinner. It is a well-attested fact that the inhabitants of
many tropical countries suffer for want of sufficient fresh
fruit ; and it is also true that much real starvation in densely
populated hot regions, India for example, could be averted by
planting on a wholesale scale fruit-trees such as the avocado,
whose product has a relatively high food value.
The reason for this scarcity of fruits in precisely those
regions where, by climatic indications, one would expect them
to be most abundant, is not to be found in any single fact,
but is, perhaps, largely the result of three causes : first, the
enervating effect of heat, which discourages man from under-
taking work which can be avoided; second, the one-sided
exploitation of many tropical regions for the production of
materials such as rubber and cotton, without sufficient regard
to supplying wholesome foodstuffs for those who labor in
producing these articles ; and third, the long time required by
tree-fruits to yield returns, as compared with the annual crops
such as corn, beans, and squashes. This last factor is par-
ticularly disastrous where primitive races of people are con-
cerned, for such almost invariably devote their attention in the
main to crops which give quick returns, the very crops which
must depend absolutely on the season's rainfall.
It is, indeed, only as scattered, often neglected, specimens
in dooryards and around cultivated fields that many of the
tropical fruit-trees exist. Others, such as the mango and the
breadfruit, are given more attention, yet they rarely receive
more than a fraction of the solicitous care which northerners
lavish on their apples, peaches, and pears.
With the exception of a few species, such as the banana
THE OUTLOOK FOR TROPICAL FRUITS 3
and the coconut, the tropical fruits have received scientific
attention only when their culture has been brought northward
to the extreme limit of their zone, as, in the case of certain of
them, it has been in California and Florida. Even here their
study and improvement have only been undertaken in very
recent years ; many species, in fact, are still in the condition of
wild plants, so that it is no wonder their fruits are sometimes
looked on by northern horticulturists as almost without value.
The case is well put by Hartwig, who writes, in his work " The
"It may easily be imagined that the tropical sun, which
distills so many costly juices and fiery spices in indescribable
multiplicity and abundance, must also produce a variety of
fruits. But man has yet done little to improve by care and art
these gifts of Nature, and, with rare exceptions, the delicious
flavor for which our native fruits are indebted to centuries of
cultivation, is found wanting in those of the torrid zone. In
our gardens Pomona appears in the refined garb of civilization,
while in the tropics she still shows herself as a savage beauty,
requiring the aid of culture for the full development of her
The exceptions to this condition, however, are notable, and
scarcely so rare as Hartwig and others have believed. The
mango, in its finer Indian varieties, offers an example of im-
provement through selection and vegetative propagation which
equals that of the peach, if indeed the advance from wild to
cultivated forms has not been greater in the former than in the
latter fruit. Those who have tasted the luscious Pairi mango
of Bombay, or the Mulgoba as now grown in Florida, will
recognize the probable accuracy of this statement.
Many other tropical fruits might be mentioned which
compare favorably with the best products of high cultivation in
the Temperate Zone. Who, that has had the opportunity of
judging, has not felt, as he lifted the snowy segments of the
4 MANUAL OF TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS
mangosteen from their cup of royal purple, that here was a
fru t not excelled by any other in the world? The cherimoya
of tropical America leaves little to be desired, while the litchi
is preferred in China, not without reason, to the finest orange or
peach. American residents in Hawaii consider the papaya
the most delicious of breakfast-fruits, surpassing in their esti-
mation the cantaloupe or muskmelon. To the Japanese taste
there is no better fruit than the kaki, while to the Arab the date
is the quintessence of richness and flavor.
The ignorance, or tardiness of adoption, of the art of graft-
ing has, in many tropical countries, prevented the development
of superior fruits. The superb apples and pears of the Tem-
perate Zone, and the splendid mangos of India, could not be
grown without grafting, since improved varieties of nearly all
tree-fruits tend to revert to the wild type when propagated by
seed. The finest fruits are, in fact, artificial productions which
can only be maintained by artificial means; under free com-
petition of natural selection they would disappear.
Because of this rare occurrence, among tropical fruits, of
fine horticultural varieties as compared with the profusion of
semi-wild seedlings, much criticism has been ignorantly directed
at these fruits in general. C. F. Baker, who has done much
to advance the science of tropical pomology, graphically states
the case as follows :
"On hearing some aspersions cast upon the caimite (Chryso-
phyllum Cainito), a valuable and delicious fruit at its best, a
Cuban was heard to remark, 'There are caimit.es, and there are
caimites ! ' A similar remark might be made of most tropical
fruits. The methods of seed selection, of breeding, and of
vegetative propagation have rarely been brought to bear on
any of these things. As for systematic search for the better
forms now existing, and the rapid building up of really com-
prehensive experimental plantations of them in the tropical
botanic gardens and experiment stations, we have yet a field of
THE OUTLOOK FOR TROPICAL FRUITS 5
highly useful, most remunerative, and intensely interesting
work before us."
It is to this field that attention must be devoted, if the agri-
cultural development of the tropics is not to become even more
one-sided than it is to-day. British horticulturists in India and
Ceylon, French in the Oceanic colonies, and American in the
subtropical parts of California and Florida, as well as in the
West Indies, Hawaii, and the Philippines, have done notable
work during the past quarter of a century; yet when their
achievements are considered alongside the possibilities, it is
evident that hardly has a beginning been made with this
" Botanicus verus," said the great Linnaeus, " desudabit in
augendo amabikm scientiam," - "The true botanist will sweat
in advancing his beloved science." Even so must the inves-
tigator who undertakes to further the progress of tropical
pomology expect to find hard work, at times under trying
climatic conditions, to sweat indeed, unless his lot is
cast in the delightful climate of the tropical highlands, or in
subtropical regions such as California and Florida. But the
subject is one which offers such a wealth of fascinating problems
and gives promise of such valuable results, that for a long
time to come it can hardly fail to attract the needful few among
the many whose tastes incline them toward pomological pur-
It is indeed fortunate for our country that its boundaries
include areas where certain of the most valuable tropical fruits
can be cultivated. Of these areas, the warmer parts of Florida
and California seem destined, by reason of their favorable
situation with respect to the great centers of our population,
to take the lead in the production of such fruits for supplying
the northern markets. The advantageous climate of these
states as regards living and working conditions, as compared
with the tropics, makes it probable also that they will be the
6 MANUAL OF TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS
field of more activity along lines of horticultural investigation
than will the strictly tropical countries where the fruits are
native. Of course, it is not possible to cultivate within the
boundaries of the continental United States all of the fruits
discussed in this work. Many of them are uncompromisingly
tropical in character and refuse to accommodate themselves to
regions where the temperature ever falls as low as the freezing
point. It is a noteworthy and hopeful circumstance, however,
that certain of the tropical fruits attain their greatest per-
fection when grown at the extreme northern or southern limit
of their zone, when pushed, so to speak, right up against the
frost-line. For example, the citrus fruits have been brought
in California and Florida to a higher degree of excellence than
has been reached by them in strictly tropical regions.
It has been thought in the past that it might be possible, by
means of a process of acclimatization, to adapt even the more
tender species of tropical plants to conditions in California and
Florida, and ultimately to cultivate them on a commercial
scale in those states. In the light of present knowledge, how-
ever, it seems probable that ability to withstand frost is not
greatly increased by submitting a plant to lower temperatures
than those to which it has been accustomed, even when this
is carried through several consecutive generations, and the