Berba is also known as Lemon Drop Mangosteen.
Who is familiar with the small fruit tree called Berba? At least two Bicolanos have told me that it is a native of Bicol because there are some that are growing wild in the forest.
The experts tell us, however, that it is a native of tropical South America. So why is it found in Bicol forests? The explanation is that the friars might have brought the seeds with them when they came to the Philippines. Some were planted in Bicol and the birds and bats might have eaten the fruits and dispersed the seeds in the forests where they took root.
Anyway, the Berba is quite interesting and it will be one of the fruit trees that we will discuss on August 4 at the Agribiz Kapihan at the Harbest Events Center at the Rizal Techno Park in Taytay, Rizal. It is a small tree that produces a lot of small round fruits with smooth, shiny yellow skin when ripe. It has a few seeds coated with white flesh that is sourish-sweet, somewhat tasting like mangosteen. And that is the reson why it is also known as Lemon Drop Mangosteen.
The Berba is a small tree with a lot of branches. A tree that is about 4 to 5 feet tall will produce a lot of fruits that could fascinate both young kids and adults alike. You will learn more about its peculiar traits if you attend the Agribiz Kapihan on August 4.
An opened fruit of a Malaysian hybrid durian.
OTHER EXOTICS – One other exotic fruit that will be discussed is the durian. There are several varieties that grow well under local conditions. Not many people realize, however, that this fruit that is either loved or detested, grows well in Luzon. Yes, the durian will fruit well under Luzon conditions for as long as the trees are given the right management such as adequate fertilization, proper drainage, right pruning, pest and disease management, and other requirements which will be discussed at the Agribiz forum.
Vietnam pummelo in front of Cles Rambaud’s home.
PUMMELOS – Another group of exotic fruits is pummelo. There are many varieties, some of them with superior taste and other traits. But there are many which are inferior in terms of eating quality, productivity, resistance to pests and diseases, and other characteristics. If you attend the forum, you will learn about the recommended varieties.
LONGKONG & DUKU – Two introduced varieties of lanzones which have desirable characteristics are the Longkong and Duku. The Longkong is a variety from suthern Thailand which is superior in a number of ways. It is fruitful and the fruits are without latex so the one eating the fruit will not stain his fingers. The fruit is sweet and with few seeds, some in fact are totally seedless. The best Duku, on the other hand, comes from Terengganu, Malaysia. This produces loose clusters of fruit with very nice flavor. The fruits have thicker skin than the Longkong so that it has a longer shelf life. The two varieties grow well under Philippine conditions.
A basket of Star Ruby Makopa.
IMPORTED MAKOPA – There are several imported makopa varieties that are superior to what is known as the native variety. The imported ones include the Green, the Maroon (Apple Makopa), the red Star Ruby, the seedless Mini makopa from Indonesia, the Golden variety and some others.
Robert Sarian holding a one-kilo fruit of Peach Mango.
IMPORTED MANGO – There are also notable imported mango varieties that are growing well under local conditions. One of the most popular today is the Golden Queen which was introduced from Taiwan in 1996. Another is the Peach Mango from Australia which produces big round fruits with good eating quality. Then there is the Millennium mango from Malaysia which also produces big fruits. Varieties from Thailand include the Nam dok mai, the Eating Green, Lubdok (Many Babies), Falan, Chokanan and others.
There are several other exotic fruit trees that you will get to know if you attend the Agribiz Kapihan on August 4. This agriculture editor will share his experiences in multiplying and growing these fruit trees in his own little farm in Teresa, Rizal.