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Old October 25, 2010   #1
Medbury Gardens
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Default South American Cranberry from seed

Ive tried to grow the South American Cranberry but find it doesn't like the odd heavy frost i get here,the first two plants i brought died so i brought two more,had a good crop in its first season so i tried to grow some plants from there seed with the idea to find some stronger seedlings able to handle this climate,but none came up in the autumn as well as in spring.
So ok what i'm i doing wrong,ive tried to Google the question but couldn't find any info,lots came up for the North American type though.
Anyone have any ideas or links ....please,i so want to crack this one
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Old October 25, 2010   #2
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Do the plants you purchased have a scientific classification or name?
Probably not or you wouldn't be asking here, but I have to ask.

Most of the plants I have I have a list of the scientific classification due to the fact that common names tend to get mixed up or the plant isn't even in the family it is named for.

Red yucca is a good example, it isn't a yucca it is an agave.

Like you I have looked and can find nothing on th South American cranberry thoug there are some plants in the family that do grow in other parts of the world.
If is is a member of the same family as the cranberry then it looks like scientific classification is the only way to know for sure.

I just about bet that what ever you have may be in the Ericaceae family due to the fact that these plants dont like sweet soil but acid soil. this stands to reason because a lot of south amerca that is in the region called Amizonia has very acid soil much of this area is not in the basin but in the mountainous regions as well. The cranberry and many other plants are in the Ericaceae family including but not restricted to digitalis/fox glove huckleberry and blue berries.

I'm still looking.
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Old October 25, 2010   #3
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Thanks worth for replying to my post.
Ive had another look and i ive found it, its the Chilean guava Ugni molinae/Myrtus ugni which is different to the North American cranberry.In the link below it says to soak the seed for 24 hours and sow into warm potting mix which i didn't do first time round,so i'll give it another try.
Is this variety available in N America ??


http://www.nec.org.nz/growing-fruit-...an%20Guava.pdf
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Old October 25, 2010   #4
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To answer your question yes we can get the plants here.

Also they aren't in the same family as cranberries and they dont seem to be too picky about the soil they live in.
I was way off as to the family due to the name.

Chilean guava is a member of the myrtle family which got me looking at the crape myrtle (which in my opinion) way over used here in Texas, they are everywhere.

Then I find out the crape myrtle isn't in the myrtle family. LOL

Back to the plant at hand it seems as though it can withstand temps to 18 degrees F but your problem may be young plants tender plants.
BUT all the information I have read on them my be wrong as I have found out about several plants I have here in Texas.
Your welcome for the, thank you, I enjoyed looking all this stuff up as it only educated me more on plants.
PS How did you find out what the real name was?

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Old October 25, 2010   #5
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I went looking in Google images under "South American Cranberry" till i found a photo of the bush, that lead to a UK site that were selling them.
Problem was they sell them here as New Zealand Cranberry's which is a bit miss leading really.

You say that they can withstand 18 F which is about as cold as it gets here so they should be ok,what i did with the second lot of plants was i grew them on in large pots and then kelp them in my tunnelhouse for the first winter before planting them out come spring,the winter just gone was there first outside.I covered them twice with woolen blankets when we had heavy frosts of -8C 17F even then they only just made it through.
You can see why i'm keen to grow them from seed as i want to select a more hardy a strain that can grow in this area.
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Old October 25, 2010   #6
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The spanish name for Ugni molinae is murtilla and what I found in a Chilean Agriculture site is that grows in the wild in soils of low fertility and somewhat high Al exchange near the edge of rivers with pH of 5.6 to 6.0 and good drainage. The native area where it grows is near the coast but the temperature dips below 0C.

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Old October 26, 2010   #7
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That's interesting thanks Wendy.

Ive got good drainage with an a alluvial subsoil the PH is about 6.5 so they should be ok in that department,but have a higher fertility.

How would they go where you are do you think??
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Old October 26, 2010   #8
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Here is pretty cold in the winter I am not sure if they will survive other than overwintering in a coldframe/pot indoors. I have never tasted that fruit even though I have seen it in Chile a lot. Southern in Patagonia they have another bush berry called "Calafate" (Berberis microphylla or Berberis buxifolia, common name the Magellan Barberry).They make excellent gelato and that may be better for my climate. Taste is somewhat blueberry more tart/sour.
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Old October 26, 2010   #9
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Magellan Barberryhmmm i thought about having try and get some seed of it but then saw the thorns.

http://www.chileflora.com/Florachile...ges/EH0163.htm
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Old October 26, 2010   #10
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Yes it does have thorns. If I ever get my wish to have a small farm will think about that because it makes a nice natural fence thou along with some Litchi tomato http://www.motherearthnews.com/uploa...i-tomato-1.jpg
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Old October 26, 2010   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmontanez View Post
Yes it does have thorns. If I ever get my wish to have a small farm will think about that because it makes a nice natural fence thou along with some Litchi tomato http://www.motherearthnews.com/uploa...i-tomato-1.jpg
WHAT THE!!!!!!!!Tomatoes with thorns.


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Old October 26, 2010   #12
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There has to be a magnificent story to go along with this picture....is there????
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Old October 26, 2010   #13
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Tierra del Fuego legend has it that if you eat the calafate berry while there, you return to TdF. Must have been true, as I went back for 7 years running.
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Old October 27, 2010   #14
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Oh wow so many berries,i want to grow them all ....but
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Old October 27, 2010   #15
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I didn't particularly like the calafates. They weren't bad, but I never went out of my way to find them. They probably would make a good fence row once thick enough. Or maybe as a sacrifice to keep the birds out of your other berries.
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