Is that an anthocarp on your inflorescence or are you just pleased to see me? Mae West's opinion of obscure root crops is, as far as I know, unrecorded, but I like to think she would have taken full advantage of the innuendos that lurk in the seedy, fecund alleyways of horticulture. Pricking out, for example, could hardly have escaped her attention. That, in conjunction with hardening off, would surely have led to the genesis of some memorable one-liners, all delivered in Mae's signature drawl.
In any case, it seems as though my patented mauka floral induction protocol has yielded the desired results, or soon will, all being well. There are several significant swellings appearing on both Blanca and Roja plants where the flowers used to be. I don't know whether my casual floral fiddling has anything to do with it, but they seem to have been pollinated somehow, by something. Yes, Mae, those really are anthocarps on their inflorescences and I'm certainly pleased to see them.
I decided to break with tradition and follow my own advice for once - I brought the burgeoning blossom bearers indoors as temperatures dropped. They have been sitting on a windowsill for several weeks now and have thus avoided the cold snap that hammered their outdoor compatriots.
Image courtesy of Frank van Keirsbilck
Coincidentally, Frank van Keirsbilck recently sent me news of his own mauka crop. An image will spare you the necessity of extraneous descriptive prolixity on my part, so I'll say no more than this: 3 kilos.
I'm a botanist and horticulturist with a longstanding interest in edible and useful plants. I founded an alternative seed company called Future Foods and I also worked in the Heritage Seed Library at Ryton Gardens, HDRA, growing heirloom vegetables for distribution to the members. I'm the only person I know who has tried to grow Japanese knotweed and failed.
Other interests include walking, cycling, music and natural history.