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Rosaceae Hybrids - Mostly With Medlar (Plans / Ideas)

Posts: 216
Location: Mississippi Zone 8b
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I've noticed that there isn't much talk about Medlars here.

For people unfamiliar with them - they're somewhat similar to Amelanchier species in their usage.

Mespilus germanica,  is considered to be the only living species. Some authorities consider it to be a Crataegus species.

It's thought the be native to the southeastern Balkans,  Crimea, Iran and other areas.

Mespilus canescens, is a second species. It's considered endangered.

Well, it was. Now it's seen as a hybrid between Mespilus germanica and a native Crataegus species.

Crataegus brachyacantha, is thought to be its parent. The issue with that, is that these hybrids appear to have red fruits. Crataegus brachyacantha, has blue or "black" fruits. And the ones nearest to the hybrids are in a different county.

Crataegus species, can have a tendency to readily hybridize.

So, who knows what happened there.

Either way, that's an interspecific hybrid.

I would like to revitalize the species. Or something like that.

Crataegus opaca, Crataegus aestivalis and Crataegus rufula are known as Mayhaws. The last one is potentially a hybrid between the other two.

Crataegus mexicana - tejocote, manzanita, tejocotera and Mexican hawthorn. Native to mountains in Mexico and parts of Guatemala, introduced to the Andes.

These are all made into candies, canned and made into jellies or drinks.

Eriobotrya japonica - the loquat, Chaenomeles japonica - Dwarf Quince, Cydonia oblonga - Quince and Pseudocydonia sinensis - Perfume Quince.

These are some distant relatives of Medlar.

I'd like to grow Crataegus douglasii,  and some other blue fruited species as well. Maybe some Amelanchiers.

I'd also like some Sorbus and Aronias, maybe some Pyrus species here too. These have been known to form hybrids together.

I would like to see how well Mespilus germanica does in Mississippi, Zone 8b. I don't know if I'd be able to blett them here.

I'd like to see if The Experimental Farm Network will sell "Giving Persimmoms" again, as Persimmons seem to be semi popular in parts of the south. They also need to blett or are better that way. Quince and some other species also generally need bletting.

I'd assume that others may me interested in a project like this.

Medlar seems like a great choice for homesteads and permaculture, due to its pectin content and availability towards the end of the year or over the winter.

Attempting to see if it will hybridize with Mayhaws or other Crataegus species, like Crataegus mexicana sounds like it would be of interest to many people.

Plus, crossing over blue species, which may have anthocyanin. That just sounds like fun to me.

Also. Many species are fire blight hosts, fire blight usually requires the destruction of trees or entire orchards.

There's also other annoying diseases and things.

Fire blight is spreading, somewhat quickly.

While fruit trees take some time to grow, I feel like growing clones or orchards of a few different clones, is one of the largest issues.

Many apples and pears, can be landraced or grown from seed in successions.

I'd recommend growing Asian and other pears together to start.

I'm unsure if anyone is interested in trying that out.

I'm planning on planting / growing some Crataegus and Mespilus species, along with Loquat and Quince and things at some point.

Some of those may be less related to Medlar than I'd like. But, the Perfume Quince happens to be the only species in its genus. Others are also pretty neat.

I'd like a lineage of plants which are more disease resistant than modern varieties and things.

I'm also looking into Gymnocladus and Gleditsia species from different continents. Gymnocladus and Gleditsia are actually sister genera. Kentucky Coffee Tree and Honey Locust. Both species relatives from other continents. All of Kentucky Coffee Trees relatives seem to produce soap. Gleditsia's relatives aren't very edible.

Pawpaws have also peaked my interest. I have some Asimina triloba "Tammy" seedlings growing, and some Asimina obovata seedlings are starting to come to the surface with their stems. I'm waiting on Asimina parviflora to germinate.

I'd like to try making hybrids with Pawpaws, but I'd like to retain the beetle pollinated flowers and colors. Having beetles as a pollinator, means that if bees ever have a downfall or bad year - beetles may still give me some fruit. I plan on growing some Asarum species with similar flowers underneath the Pawpaw Grove that I'm possibly making.

I'm quite interested in playing around with some underutilized / uncommon species.

Pawpaw, Chaenomeles and some things, can be grown in full shade or partial shade.

The Experimental Farm Network, also released Badgersett Chestnut seeds (interspecific hybrids), which would also fit into a forest planting.

Forest plantings, and nearby open areas with fruit trees. Along with with trees for squirrels, things for birds and pollinators.

That sounds ideal to me. Plus, this would all give me a breeding area.

I'm also fairly sure that people would eventually catch onto "new" crops. Especially if bletted fruit is a thing here.

Gleditsia and Gymnocladus - the North American species likely won't do well too far into the south. So. Mixing in some soapy genes may be the plan. Even if people after me are working on them.

Some of that, is off topic.

But, I think that I will start topics on those eventually if all goes well. And, I'm not a fan of orchards in the common sense. I think that different species and things should be intermixed - and that trees should be landraces just like other healthy crops are.
Garrett Schantz
Posts: 216
Location: Mississippi Zone 8b
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Another reasoning for mentioning some of these other species?

Many of these species lack a lot of usages.

Gleditsia triacanthos, has a similar quality to Kentucky Coffee Tree, in that its pods can be ground up as a Coffee substitute or made into a flour.

But, it also produces an edible gel or goo.

There's Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis, which I've read has been considered a subspecies or a full on
species in its own right.

There are populations and stands of these, which are found in different areas than the typical type.

Their pods, reportedly don't always have as much edible pulp / lack better flavors.

Thorns and things, likely kept things other than ground sloths from eating the pods - smaller things probably didn't disperse the seeds efficiently.

I don't know if smaller animals began dispersing seeds or if some mutant without thorns popped up and somehow became more widespread and lacked tastier pods just somehow managed to pop up or what.

Either way, those seem to exist.

There's a variety or selection called "Big Fatty."

It's thornless and produces pods annually - most types are biannual. And it's highly productive.

There's also a bunch of other improved types out there.

There isn't much gel / goo.

Decaisnea fargesii, is of interest to me for the same reasons.

There are wild types or other selections from Nepal or wherever. Far Reaches Farm, was selling their own selection from a higher mountain area, with much larger fruit than usual.

Akebia and some other species also have similar sorts of gel / goo. Boquila trifoliolata is very interesting and it's another relative of theirs.

The goo of Gleditsia triacanthos, can be dried. Mixing it with Decaisnea fargesii goo, could make for a dried pulp, with interesting usages.

I've been seeing old traditional usages of certain species, which stopped being used in those ways after Europeans came over.

It's not just Europeans. Genghis Khan, took over areas and forced new territories to use crops from his own lands, and to stop growing what they used to - even if the new crops don't grow well there.

You can find mention of "Pickling Plume Lettuce", which is like Celtuce is, to Salad Lettuce or heading Lettuce. The type also almost went extinct. The stems are pickled and used like Asparagus.

Some types of Squash, were cut and dried outside - and used as food in the winter.

It's occurred to me, that Europeans don't have the greatest cropping systems or other systems to ever exist.

Mayans had cities, which used excess water overflow from cities, flowing into areas where crops were grown - and other systems.

There's also a known Chia seed drink, which is used for to give a boost of energy. Honey Locust goo has also been used in drinks for similar purposes.

It's less known, that Chia was also used alongside wild grains and oats - and made into things akin to granola bars.

They'd carry these around in bags of sorts - maybe even inside of gourds.

I don't know of a ton of grain snacks which use Chia.

Its usage in these bars made sense. They bind to grains and other things.

There's also dried Squash chunks, as mentioned. And dried Honey Locust goo can be used in that same way.

Dried Squash and dried goo. There's canned squash, pureed squash, fresh eating squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin squash.

Dried squash. Isn't really a known thing. Or it's unpopular.

Now, where I'm going with this.

It's probably possible, to make a bar that's full of dried squash bits, dried bits of honey locust innards - plus other things.

Most people will stare at those things by themselves as some form of military food.

Sugary / Acorn squash derived dried squash chunks may impart some flavors.

There's also a other thing. Coffee just won't really grow anywhere in the United States.

Using the basis that it won't grow here - its also not all too healthy.

Honey Locust seeds can be used as a Coffee substitute. They also lack some if the things that make Coffee efficient.

I believe, that using the pods ground up into such a substitute along with the gel / goo inside of a grain bar or mixed in with a cereal box or something, would be wonderful.

I have relatives who are truck drivers. They known other truck drivers.

Most of them pop in 5 hour energy drinks, drink coffee before leaving, every day they work.

They usually don't stop for coffee, because most people dislike carrying urine bottles around with them.

Carrying liquids on the go, or around computers and things is also inconvenient.

Making a flour or something out of Kentucky Coffee Tree beans, could be used to make chips. Homemade chips - not the industrial slow death things.

There's Zucchini bread and banana bread.

Banana bread has some flavor to it.

I've been thinking about making chips, using Melothria scabra - The Mexican Sour Gherkin.

Mixing in other types of things - maybe even cornmeal to help make a chip, could help.

Looking into old or ancient chips, these had grains mixed into them. Chips themselves aren't new.

There are native grains in North America.

I personally detest the taste that Coffee has. I don't know if Kentucky Coffee Tree tastes similar.

A sour, healthier chip, that tastes good.

Many people try making these and create bland things that lack anything unhealthy to any extent.

It's also possible to make chips, which lack some bad preservatives. It's just not done. It's not that it isn't possible.

I see potential for fruit or vegetable infused flour used for chips. Some flavors vanish when cooked - but juicing and intermixing would allow for flavors to be retained.

When flour and things are prepared in certain ways, you can mix in other ingredients without a real risk of mold or any loss of flavor. The chips may not look like standard ones.

This is akin to imbuing some skins or goo / flesh and things into each other.

This could be done with the granola bar idea as well.

I'm half basing those, on older practices in parts of Europe and Asia, which are largely lost.

Now, I just wanted to mention my general ideas and reasons for wanting to start this project.

People are breeding crops or trying to bring back old ones. Most people fall flat on what to do with their crops.

Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes. They failed, largely because of poor marketing and a lack of many usages, plus their fuel alternative possibilities weren't as widespread of a concept.

If I'm breeding things, I need to find multiple purposes for crops.

If I'm breeding multiple things, I can think about the possibilities of using the end products together.

Some things may compliment each other.

Different grain bars could be for different parts of the year, so that people aren't eating too much of one energy booster.

Now, Medlar.

One of my favorite preserves, is blended up apples, mixed with cinnamon along with fruit chunks inside of it.

Applesauce. It's also healthy.

Babies love it.

I've never eaten a persimmon. The same goes for Pawpaws. I'm from Pennsylvania originally.

I just never saw them often in my area for sale or anything.

Medlar, isn't even a fruit that most people have even heard of in many parts of the United States.

I've heard, that it has a consistency of apple sauce when bletted.

And similar flavors, they are relatives.

The fruits are also available when many other things, aren't.

So, I'd want to see if I can't create a Medlar cross with Mayhaws, Crataegus mexicana plus Chinese species used in the same ways, to make something more efficient. Disease resistant wise.

Apples, pears and things are carrier's of fire blight and other diseases. They just have a tendency to die off more quickly than Crabapples, Hawthorns and some lesser used species.

Landraces also tend to fair better, but Apple landraces are a bit rare.

Medlar isn't widely cultivated and things probably haven't adapted to infect it.

Obviously, an anthocyanin quality to it, would be amazing.

It's probably possible to make one that's usable fresh.

Or available during different seasons.

Some crosses would require storing pollen.

Different flowering times, can give you hybrids which won't flower at the same time as other plants.

Medlar doesn't require chill, to blett. I've heard that it does. It just needs to rot - or turn mushy.

Mayhaws and Crataegus mexicana are also bletted to my understanding, as are Persimmoms.

So, that's cool.

Plus I mentioned other relatives which can be or need bletted.

I've mentioned old practices falling out of favor with industrialization and colonization of territories.

If you goto Walmart, there's strawberry jelly, blueberry jelly, blackberry jelly and raspberry jelly.

There's also some mixed jellies.

You can find hazelnut / peanut butter mixed spreads or mixed with pecan butter.

I knew of Amish families in Pennsylvania who canned strawberries with ground cherries but didn't sell them.

They sold more general things.

And they made pies using both of them.

In Japan, you'll see multiple vegetables canned and eaten together.

Not just shiso and radishes.

Mountain vegetables and herbs made into canned goods, altogether.

Or garden vegetables in the same way.

Very old recipes exist for making pear / applesauce mixes. Or canning apples and pears together.

I don't think I've seen a ton of slices of canned apples and things for sale in many places to begin with. Mashing them is honestly better.

Blueberry relatives also exist in Europe. They don't have a long shelf life. As with most berries.

Some very old records also show, that they were canned with strawberries into jams and jellies.

It's a waste of space to not to so if they're available at the same time.

Plus the end product tastes better.

It's probably seen as expensive or too labor intensive to make a ton of mixes.

But they're also probably healthier than by themselves.

I tend to see jelly mixes sell out faster than any other ones. Multiple flavors and things mixed into one can.


I see no reason not to bring this practice back.

I call it a practice, because you don't see any mixes of any sorts sold to general populations.

The best you'll see is horseradish mixes and some other things. Italian stuff.

With canning, you do want to have some of the same textures and points of where some things settle down or can be stored in the same temperatures.

Contrasting textures would be frowned on.

Sauces, are the most varied mixes. Ketchup, can have garlic, onions and many other things - it usually doesn't even taste like tomatoes.

I've been seeing sauces being made with the more pineapple or fruity tasting tomatoes.

Those, are pretty interesting. I don't like the taste of tomatoes - standard ones.

You can puree and mix up some vegetables and make a consistency that meshes well with some fruits and things.

Canning wise at least.

Some things just don't mesh.

Texture, flavor or shelf life wise.

Besides Medlar. What else could be canned with it.

Sometimes it's used in place of lemons, for pectin.

Texture wise, Loquats, Quince and things - they can be bletted. Otherwise they're pretty hard.

I don't know how soft they can get.

Persimmons, American Persimmoms especially. They are usually bletted and should have textures similar to medlar.

I haven't had either of them, but I believe that their flavors and textures could possibly work together pretty well.

And, they aren't closely related.

Diospyros and Mespilus / Crataegus.

Crataegus species can have some possibly valuable lumber tree potential.

Diospyros, has trees known as Ebony trees.

Eventually these things hit a point in their lives, where their production simmers down.

If we aren't spraying trees, they'd be great for lumber. Apple trees are used for apple wood in grills and for other purposes.

There's Texas Sapote and some other Black Sapote, with pudding textures, that I'd like to try crossing over to American Persimmom or hybrids which exist with related species from Asia.

It's probably possible to create pudding that still tastes pretty good, without using eggs or milk.

There's some gross alternatives for lactose intolerant people.

Mixing in other things, into the medlar goop - could also be fun to play around with.

I realized that I never said what my plans are here.

Also, with industrialization and everything else - the same foods are eaten on a regular basis, which means that some foods vanish or aren't consumed as often.

This is all just some ideas. I don't know if these will make anyone more interested in this stuff or not.

Garrett Schantz
Posts: 216
Location: Mississippi Zone 8b
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Pawpaws, are noted as having one large disadvantage.

They turn to mush, and don't store well.

These could probably be mixed into a jelly or jam, with Medlar or other things.

Just because their texture is well suited for canning.

It may be a bit chunky as a jam or jelly.

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