Sunday, February 24, 2013

Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth - Eicchornia crassipes
The Water Hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, is definitely one of the easiest plant you can have in your pond. Not only does the water hyacinth have beautiful purple flowers, but  it also has a high capacity to remove pollutants such as cyanide, arsenic and heavy metals from water.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Egg fruit / Lekima - Pouteria

The fruits are yellowish to orange with somewhat meaty pulp resembling a cooked egg yolk .

Egg fruit (Pautaria campechiana), belonging to the family sapotaceae, is a large, symmetrical, bushy, much branched, evergreen tree.

The tree reaches a height of 20-30 feet. The leaves are compound, large, leathery, 10-15 inches long and 3 inches broad. The flowers are medium sized borne on terminal and auxiliary inflorescence.

The fruits are yellowish to orange with somewhat meaty pulp similar in appearance and texture to a cooked egg yolk embedded often with a single large seed. At maturity, the strong odour of the pulp is musky and the skin colour turns from glossy to dull.

The taste of the fruit is unique, rich, sweet and highly nutritive with about 2000 IU/100g of carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.

It is also a good source of protein and vitamin C with 2.5 per cent and 43 mg/100 g respectively. Egg fruit thrives well in tropical and subtropical climates.

Moderate rainfall, frost free and dry climate are ideal for its cultivation. It has a wide adaptability to various soil conditions and grows in soils ranging from loose sandy to heavy clay.
The trees are generally propagated by seeds. Since the seeds have poor visibility they should be sown immediately.

It is also propagated vegetatively by approach grafting. Since no named varieties are available, planting materials should be collected from good bearers.
No serious pest and disease affects this crop. The fruits can be eaten fresh either without removing the skin or after peeling and slicing.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Red carrot

The pink-red Indian carrot.

Carrots are a power food that gives us a wealthy of healthy benefits. Three of their major components are vitamin A, alpha carotene, and phytochemicals. Those 3 elements aid us by boosting our immunity, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack, fighting infections and even reducing acne and easing the alcohol withdrawal symptoms!

Additional nutrient in carrot, which deserves mention, is Vitamin E, the muscle vitamin. It promotes the efficiency of the entire muscular system by the effective utilization of oxygen

They are packed full of good things for our bodies. They weren't originally orange, though! Carrots originally were purple or red, but they changed over time due to temperature changes, the time of year they are grown, and the amount of water and sunlight the carrot is exposed to.

In health food stores and non-orange ones are packed with even more nutrients than the orange ones. They do taste the same as the orange ones, though.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chinese Leek Blooming

Chinese leek, Allium tuberosum, also known as garlic chives,
Oriental garlic or Chinese chives in bloom:

Chinese Leek bloom


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