The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
Entirely edible, pickle-able, and marmalade-able, the finger lime has seen some culinary success down under in the last decade. Each globe of the finger lime’s “caviar” is actually a vesicle filled with juice. And that sounds kind of strange up until you realize how well this would work as a topping for fruit salad, frozen yogurt, certain cocktails… Australia, how do you feel about exporting samples to a certain set of citrus-starved New Yorkers? —MN
Pandanus tectorius, a.k.a. the thatch screwpine. This is one of those economic boon plants useful for so many things. The fruit is edible raw, and the leaves can be used for flavoring, sweetening, or fashioning all sorts of stuff.
Warranted you’re on a Pacific island like those of Hawaii and Micronesia, you might even get to try out this vegetal supernova yourself! —MN
Today, while walking through the Tropical House, I found some mystery fruit. It is not uncommon to find fruit, even edible fruit, in the Tropical House; many times there will be ripe bananas or coffee beans or figs. This fruit, however, was atypical:
These phenomenal images of fruits, veggies, and flowers scanned by an MRI really drive home how physics affect the shape of things. The broccoli in particular blows my mind. Look at it. It’s like watching the universe form, or watching neural pathways in the brain, or zoning out to a fractal-based screensaver. I’m just waiting for someone to set these to music. Volunteers please! Thanks to AMNH for pointing these out on Twitter.
Update: Thanks to the Internet we now know these images were taken by Andy Ellison. You can find many more on his excellent website Inside Insides.
You could call the durian the dividing line of the fruit world. On one side, you have its proponents, die-hard devotees who can’t imagine giving up its soft, mushy flesh. On the other side, those who consider themselves casualties of this spiky wrecking ball’s unfathomable reek. Now, one creative Thai hybridizer is walking the dividing line with a durian sans stink, soon to hit shelves in southeast Asia. And aficionados are turning up their noses at Dr. Songpol Somsri’s creation.
“These durians are for people who don’t like the smell or haven’t had durian before,” he says. “This will create a new market. The old market will not go away.”
But experts see the shadow of modern agriculture’s hiccups—cardboard tomatoes among them—in Somsri’s ambitions. Click through for the full read. —MN
“Cutting into the obdurate flesh practically takes a katana,” writes Michael Tortorello, regarding a once-renowned fruit that has since slid down the slippery slope of history’s forgetfulness. Few Americans have even seen a quince, much less tasted the fruit. And with perhaps good reason: it’s not easy to eat.
But despite its curmudgeonly reputation, there are those trying to restore the classic pome to its former relevance, even right here in New York. —MN
Researchers have found that two species of wild blueberries native to the tropical regions of Central and South America—the New World tropics, or Neotropics—contain two to four times more antioxidants than the blueberries sold in U.S. markets.
This finding is the result of an analysis of the compounds contained in neotropical blueberries grown at The New York Botanical Garden.
The study was conducted by Professor Edward Kennelly, a biologist at Lehman College in the Bronx who is an expert in medicinal plants, and Paola Pedraza, Ph.D., a botanist at The New York Botanical Garden whose specialties include South American blueberry species.
It’s nearly strawberry season in the Northeast (that is if you can keep the squirrels, bunnies, and raccoons away from them). Here’s a neat way to preserve them that doesn’t require boiling vats of jelly, and tons and tons of sugar. How do you preserve spring’s bounty?
"Brooklyn gardeners, for instance, grow lots of callaloo, a Caribbean green. In the Bronx, someone was actually growing sugar cane. (“Some gardeners get away with growing warm-weather crops here because of the urban island heat effect,” Ms. Gittleman explained.) Gardeners at West 104th Street in Manhattan coordinated their peach weigh-in and recorded 135 pounds in a single day. The East End Community Garden in Brooklyn “might as well be a farm,” as Ms. Gittleman put it; a grower there recorded 51 pounds of corn in one weigh-in. In the Bronx, a beekeeper added his 362 pounds of honey to the study."
Scientists are calling the “neotropcial” blueberries extreme superfruits - and say that with up to 11 times the antioxidant oomph of ordinary blueberries, they could afford even more protection against heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.
What’s the catch? Neotropical blueberries are hard to come by in the U.S. Study co-author Dr. Paola Pedraza-Penalosa told CBS News that she was aware of only one source - a blueberry-containing Ecuadorean chocolate bar that’s sold only in specialty grocery stores.
We got a little ribbing on twitter for posting these silly little Japanese soda cap planters. Our original stance on these remains, however: they’re simple, they will help kids learn about germination, and they’re a thrifty way to recycle something mundane into something kind of cute.
But even cuter, and possibly even a little more ridiculous, are these citrus peel planters from the blog My Roman Apartment. It seems that they would only be feasible after using a fruit for juice (unless you are a really accomplished orange dismantler). What do you think? Thrifty good fun, or silly, frilly twee-diculousness?