15 fruits we eat but don’t know how they grow (part 2)
Melon tree, the so-called plant on which papaya fruits grow, comes from Central America and Mexico. Papaya does not tolerate sub-zero temperatures, even the lowest, therefore it grows only in the tropics. The plant is like a palm tree, but it is not. This tree is up to 15 meters high. The diameter of the hollow inside the trunk at the base is 30 cm, and the lateral branches are completely absent.
Growing papaya, or melon tree on a plantation (Carica papaya)
Papaya leaves are formed only on the top of the trunk and can grow up to 90 cm in length. Interestingly, the plant has male and female flowers. Moreover, flowers of only one gender often grow on one tree. But during high summer temperatures, the sex of the flowers can change from female to male and vice versa.
4. Brazil nut
Brazil nut is a tree that grows in the wild forests of Brazil, and also in Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela. This plant has two characteristics, which, like its fruits, deserve great attention. Firstly, Bertolite (another name for it) is one of the largest plants on our planet. In height, it reaches 30-45 meters, and the diameter of the trunk of a Brazil nut can be about two meters. Secondly, this tree is an absolute long-liver. Although it is officially believed that Bartoletia lives only for half a millennium, Brazilians claim that this tree grows and bears fruit up to 1000 years. And even such examples are shown to tourists, although, of course, it is difficult to verify the reliability of this information.
Bertolite, Brazil nut (Bertholletia)
Another feature of the Brazil nut, it bears fruit only in the wild. And the richest crops are harvested not in Brazil, as one might think, but in Bolivia. The fruit itself looks like a big box, reaching 15 cm in diameter and two kilograms of weight. And the so-called nuts are the grains of this fruit.
5. Pitahaya (dragon fruit)
Dragon fruit grows on a cactus. True, not quite ordinary. Pitahaya is a creeper creeper, successfully grown today in Central and South America, Australia and Southeast Asia. It is interesting that these cacti are very fertile – from one hectare of plantings per year, you can get about thirty tons of the crop. Pitahaya bears fruit up to six times a year!
Plantation of hilocereus, plants producing pitahaya fruits
Plantation of gilocereus, plants that produce pitahaya. © thejakartapost
Another feature of the plant, which gives us these sweet fruits with incredibly gentle creamy pulp, it blooms only at night. Large white flowers have a very pleasant persistent smell.
Wasabi paste and the root of the Japanese eutrem
A perennial herbaceous plant of Japanese eutrem, from the rhizome of which they prepare the world-famous seasoning for dishes of Japanese cuisine – wasabi, grows up to half a meter in height. It is noteworthy that the rhizome itself grows very slowly, maximum, gaining a length of 3 cm per year. The root is considered to be mature only in the 3rd – 4th year. Wasabi is popularly called Japanese horseradish, although this plant has little in common with horseradish – only belonging to the same family.
Wasabi, or Eutrema Japanese (Eutrema japonicum)
Another feature of wasabi – the rhizome in different parts has a different sharpness. But this is a feature of only real wasabi – a plant that grows exclusively in the running waters of mountain streams. A vegetable grown in the garden does not have a tenth of the useful properties that “honwasabi” (as the Japanese call it a real wasabi), however, such a garden wasabi costs significantly less.