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The Western Ghats region comprising the forests of Kerala has been recognised as one of the bio-diversity centres in India. The estimated number of flowering plants in Kerala constitutes nearly one-fourth of the total 17,000 flowering plants of India. Among the flowering plants of Kerala, 20 per cent are trees and 30 per cent of them are Western Ghats endemics.
By growing your own fruit tree, you can enjoy easy access to fresh produce, save money, add beauty to your yard, and develop eco-friendly gardening habits. Any of the varieties in our selection will produce a convenient supply of delicious fruit — nutritious, healthy snacks available just outside your door!
Seethappazham (Annona squamosa) is found in all parts of Kerala, in family properties. Sugar-apple or sweetsop (sweet sop) is the English names of the fruit. The muntiri pazham is another name for the fruit. The same name refers to grape fruits as well.
Favorite eatery for children, sugar apple is rarely cultivated in Kerala. People would plant a seedling or two in their property and that is all to talk about cultivation of sugar apple in Kerala.
Sugar apple is imported to India from the Americas. The plant looks like a large shrub, irregular branches. Leaves are deciduous. Flowers are borne towards the tip of a branch. The three fleshy sepals fall off after a few days of partly opened state. There are also three tiny scale-like petals.
The compound fruits are ovoid to conical with a number of segments, each representing a fruit inside. Ripe fruits can be easily separated with hands. Inside, each fruit bears a 1-2cm shiny black seed, which turns brown when kept in sunlight for an hour or two. The white to creamy edible part is sweet, juicy and delicious. The fruit is opened with hands and broken into a few pieces before the fleshy part and the seeds within are separated with special teeth-lip-tongue movement, inside the mouth.
Use of seethappazham in other culinary preparations is almost totally absent. In Ayurveda, the leaves of the plant are used in the treatment of hysteria, fainting, ulcers, wounds, dysentery etc.
Jack fruit tree is a large evergreen spreading tree known for the largest tree borne fruit in the world. Jack fruit tree is mostly seen in the tropical lowlands. This fruits is large and fleshy and are covered with thorny tubercles. Unripe fruits can be cooked. The seeds may be boiled or baked. Amongst a number of varieties of jackfruits, the honey-jack (muttan varikka or thaen varikka) is considered the sweetest and the best. The flesh is starchy and fibrous and provides energy. Jack fruit tree is used in the treatment of various diseases such as vitiated vata, pitta, diarrhea, skin disease, urinary retention and general weakness. The timber of the tree is used for making furniture as it is termite-proof. The core of the aged and seasoned jackfruit tree (Varikka plavu) is used to make the two feet body of the chenda. Ammachi plave, the name given to an old jackfruit tree in the Sree Krishna Swamy Temple at Neyyattinkara near Thiruvananthapuram, is legendarily connected with the time of Marthanda Varma, the founder of Modern Travancore. It is believed that the King escaped from his enemies by hiding in the huge hollow of the Ammachi Plavu.
Mango, the king of fruits, is one of the most popular of the tropical fruit varieties. Mango has undergone considerable varietal differentiation. In India alone, over 100 named varieties are known. Apart from these, millions of seedling trees grow throughout the country, each of which has its own distinctive characteristics. A major portion of mango trees in Kerala are of seedling origin. Tender and mature but unripe mangoes are extensively used for making pickles and chutney. Ripe fruits are eaten as such. A variety of products are made out of this. They are canned mango slices, mango pulp, jam, juice, custard powder, ready to serve mango beverages, toffees etc.
About 50-60 tonns of bananas is exported from Kerala every day. Though nenthran comprises the lion’s share, a lot of varieties are available in the market with different colours, sizes and taste. The popular varieties include palayankodan, sahasrapadali, ayiram poovan, poovan, nenthran, kumpillaannan, malayannan, thottannan, kadali, rasakadali (njaalipoovan), chenkadali (kappa), kaliyethan, chengali, aattunenthran, pachakkappa, robesta, matti, padatti, peyan, monthan, annan etc. Bananas have a variety of sizes and colours when ripe. The colours are yellow, purple and red. Ripe bananas are very sweet and they can be eaten raw whereas unripe can cooked and eaten.
Belonging from “Myrtaceae” family, Guava is a small fruit plant and type of shrub. A guava is green color and in ripens condition it is yellow in color; this plant is one of the high vitamin fruit.
Guava plant is an easy growing and maintaining plant. It loves temperate region and warm weather. It can tolerate drought, but it needs moderate maintenance for its well growing. This plant needs free place and full sun for its growth. It tolerates dry soil, but moist soil is helpful to grow and watering like twice or trice in a week must be need after planting. But after one or two month it needs watering once or twice in a week and soil must be well drained. Regular fertilizing is good for this plant growth but verfertilizing can be spoil it growth.
Lemon plant is an evergreen fruit plant and also a flowering houseplant, which belongs from family of “Rutaceae” and scientific name of this plant, is “Citrus Limon”. There have many varieties of lemon trees and color of this fruit is green or yellow. It is a sour juicy fruit and its juice is quite acidic. Leaves of this plant green in color and it blooms white flower. Lemon is used for fruit and for drink like juice. In Summer Season, it grows well because of frost-free.
Lemon plant needs well-drained clay soil for its fast growth and this plant loves water so it prefers regular watering. This plant loves sunlight, so it needs full of sunlight for its easy growing. It needs 20°C temperature in daytime and 10°C temperature in nighttime, but below 10°C temperature can be damaged this plant growth. Also frost can damage this plant growth, so for its fast growth it must be protect from frost in Winter season. Lemon tree loves nitrogen, so it needs fertilizers regularly. Reduce fertilizer is cause of yellowish colored and falling leaves.
Pomegranate plant is a fruit, ornamental plant and type of shrub, which belongs from family of “Lythraceae”. Pomegranate is red in color and it is a less sweet, delicious fruit. This plant produces white flowers and after few months it produces fruits. It is a high vitamin, juicy fruit and it has so many seeds, seeds are red or white in color. For low pressuring patient, pomegranate is good for their health.
Pomegranate plant needs quite caring or maintenance. It needs well-drained soil; it can be acidic or alkaline soil. It grows in different type of soil and it must be no drainage problem either this plant will be die. This plant loves warm weather; below -8°C temperature can’t be tolerable for this plant. Temperature “between 5°C to 30°C” is preferable for this plant well growth and low temperature can cause of falling leaves. After planted it needs regular watering for its well growth and after few time it needs watering once in a week not in dry weather either it needs twice or trice watering in a week. This plant is weak, and for this reason it needs regular organic fertilizing once or twice in week is essential for this plant growth.