Garcinia humulis

mangosteen family Garcinia humulis

Having gone to the hardware store and having seen a packet of seeds emblazoned with the name Garcinia humulis, achingly displayed next to Detroit beets and plentiful packets of Nantes Scarlet Carrots, I say to myself confidentially–why not?

Purchase in hand, I fetch the mules and ride back to the farm, place the tiny seeds in a dirt patch (tiny is a relative term–most seeds are tiny when compared to the megalomaniacal coconut), cover with volcanic ash, wait impatiently for rain, heavy dew, or tears from a grief-stricken angel, and, several headaches later, there is a tree in the mangosteen family to boast about.

Mangosteen family Garcinia humulis



  1. What a sweet project!


  2. I bolivia when you say you were seduced by a packet of seeds at the hardware store. Of course you were. And of course you are now growing the latest in a series of exotic health-nut plants….once it was acai, then goji, and now it’s achacha. I’m sticking to Maine blueberries. Shall we dance?


    • Leave it to Cynthia to fashion a pun out of Bolivia, the provenance of this delightful tree. But I love those long, suffocatingly green leaves, don’t you?.

      You forgot to mention my covetous cinnamon tree!

      The gojis have gone to goji heaven. Apparently gojis don’t appreciate back-to-back hurricanes. Go figure.

      Nothing wrong with blueberries though–they are good brain food. I surmise that the source of your mental sharpness and facility with language is the Maine blueberry. Perhaps the Bolivian mangosteen will bestow prodigious gifts upon me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, yes., those long green leaves are very graceful; but it’s still a baby, and most babies to whom I am not related look alike to me.

        You know I have great affection and apprehension when it comes to your cinnamon tree, after the emotional roller-coaster that has occurred vis à vis that plant. I still live in hope of your camels delivering quills here one day.

        I hope the Bolivian mangosteen will bring you prodigious gifts, of course, to grace your already muchness.


      • But one must always from life demand more. Muchness is barely a start. (Young Bolivian verdure puts one in an aphoristic mood.)

        The caravan comprised of various camelids and equidae is stationed in the barn, ready to undertake that perilous journey to Maine, that historic pilgrimage to the land of blueberries and chimerical calligraphy. But first, the quills must be mature. Muchness only comes to those with patience. Darn.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how I love reading your posts. I will never look on a coconut the same way again. Damn megalomaniacs.


    • I know–those coconuts are always trying to hog the spotlight–no wonder most other seeds have to spend long hours in therapy. And you never hear songs like–I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Caraway Seeds–do you? This only adds insult to injury.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have interesting conditions for germination on your lovely island, Prospero. The volcanic ash is doubtless a fertile medium, but we don’t have any around here – or grief stricken angels to weep obligingly for us. Those megalomaniacal coconuts must be avoided at all costs.


    • But grief stricken angels are everywhere. However I think your main problem with growing exotic fruit trees in Britain is not getting enough sun and warmth. Think about moving to Malta permanently. That might work for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t tempt me. When we were in Malta, I felt like staying … for the winter, at least. But then, I’d miss England’s wonderful greenery. Pity it needs so much rain to keep it that way.


  5. tu es un jardinier hors pair et chaque matin tu dois regarder ta jolie petite plante pour voir si elle va bien ! c”est ce que je fais !! tu as la “main verte” comme on dit ici ! moi je recueille des graines un peu partout, je les sème dans les bacs sur mon balcon et parfois j’ai des surprises parce que je les avais oubliées !
    je te souhaite un bel automne


    • Quel éloge éloquent au sujet du jardinage! Bon succès avec l’agencement de ton propre jardin, Marty.


  6. It looks beautiful. You have a lot of patience to grow a fruit tree from seed.


    • Well, I’m trying to be reasonable (hard to believe, I know). Fawning over a tree for fifteen years to find out that your lone social misfit of a tree belongs to a dioecious species, requiring corresponding male or female trees (flowers), is a real disappointment. Or, equally, waiting for fifteen years to find out that the fruit–should a miracle occur and the stubborn tree actually set fruit–be of inferior quality.

      So, my solution to these seemingly intractable problems is to chose monoecious plants (that have both male and female flowers) but that are also precocious, which is to say a species that fruits early. I try for trees that bear in 3 to 4 years. (Some will actually bear fruit in 1 year!)

      Unfortunately information is sketchy on many of the lesser known (read impossibly rare) fruit trees from South America and Asia.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Leave it to Cynthia to write the best comments ever! I love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Cynthia is charming and palpitatingly witty. She is, however, covetous of my cinnamon trees, and I am always cautious of her erudite comments, as they may be a ploy to somehow take control of the spice trade in Bermuda.

      Liked by 1 person

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