From the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Christine Gray


Seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the US, as summer is during the months of December, January and February. Autumn is March, April, May; winter is June, July, August; Spring is September, October and November.

An Update on the Posh-te

Annona scleroderma
Annonacaea


Don and I received a letter from Thea, our Editor of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia Inc. Newsletter. Thea told us in her letter that she has received a lot of requests for a follow-up article on the posh-té.

It is Sunday August 19th, 1990. We have been having a cool winter here in Julatten.

The posh-té tree has gone through the winter without showing any signs of stress. The lowest temperature was 4°C so far this winter. The posh-té tree is beautiful and dark green. The tree never seems to loose its cover of thick foliage. The application of mill mud and molasses helps to lengthen the time between watering.

I have picked a leaf. It is dark green and shiny. The underside of the leaf is without the polished shine; it is of a paler green with a touch of browny-gold. The underside veins are greeny-yellow. The leaf measures from end to end 22cm long and 7.5cm wide (8¾ inches by 3¼ inches). The leaves look like soursop leaves, but the posh-té leaves are at least twice as large. (The soursop tree has lost many leaves, baring branches this winter; the posh-té has not lost any leaves).
The flowers of the posh-té are much like a custard apple flower, but the petals are slightly brown-tinged, and seem to be longer than a custard apple flower. We do not know what pollinates the flowers. It could be beetles, flies or bees. The tree having such dense foliage must help to lengthen the time of stigma receptivity, as the humidity would be kept reasonably high. The flowers coincide with the moist months of January and February here (though we have had some dry Januaries and Februaries).

So far this season, the posh-té fruit are forming well. Some of the fruit are already 6½ cm in diameter (2½ inches). There is quite a good crop. We have noticed some fruit turning black and going hard. We can only presume that this is a natural thinning process, as the tree can only hold so many fruit.

In my previous article, we did not write what we thought of the flavour of the fruit. We always prefer people to tell us what they think the flavour is like, but after reading the article 'Cawesh' in the May Newsletter, we have to agree that the flavour is much like a monsterio.

Some of the fruit we picked last season in November, 1989, were approximately 8½ cm or 3½ inches in diameter. We did not weigh the fruit, but will take particular note when we pick its second crop in October/November, 1990.

The hard shell encasing the fruit was approximately ⅛ to ¼ inch, 2mm to 4mm thick. This also we will measure and make sure when we pick some posh-té.

We have made enquiries about where the posh-té tree came from. Don's friend who gave him the original piece of grafting wood, said the D.P.l. gave him the tree. Don phoned Alan George from the D. P. I. at Nambour and he said he thinks the seed came from a tree in southern Mexico, but he was not sure, as they give out trees all the time. Right now the posh-té tree which we first planted is close to 6m high. Don has planted out other grafted posh-té trees all from the original grafted tree. They range in all sizes and some have fruit on them also.

The rootstock is very good. It is a type of bullocks heart. We call it Mexican soncoya.

The posh-té is really something different. It has been said that one should not judge a tree by its first fruiting. WE are looking forward to tasting the posh-té's second fruiting in October/November.


Box of large Posh Te fruits Nov. 1999.
Box of large Posh Te fruits Nov. 1999.


Post Script: February 2000

The fruiting season for the Posh Te in 1999 was most successful in our orchard. The fruit were the largest we have recorded.

Most of the fruit weighed between 500g to 1 kg. The flavour was super, sweet with a sharp tang of lemon and many other fruity flavours.

I have put down the larger fruit to the following reasons: Thinning the fruit when small, early fertilizing in June with organic fertilizer, regular watering once a week a good soaking.



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Bibliography

Gray, Christine. "An Update on the Posh-te." rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Sept. 1990. Update Feb. 2000. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.

Published 9 Apr. 2015 LR. Updated 11 Feb. 2016 LR
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