Afraegle gabonensis (Swingle) Engl.
Gabon powder-flask fruit
Photos by David Karp and Toni Siebert, 12/1/2008, CVC. Photo rights.
Source: Received as seed from Malaysia, 1992.
Parentage/origins: Parents unknown.
Rootstocks of accession: Own root.
Season of ripeness at Riverside: Has not been observed.
Description from The Citrus Industry Vol. 1 (1967):
"Swingle's original description of this species reads as follows (in translation): "Balsamocitrus with simple or 3-foliolate leaves, lateral leaflets much shorter than the terminal one (never half as long), lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, more or less acute at the apex, acute at the deltoid base, margin almost entire or slightly crenate, densely glandular-punctate; petioles winged, 0.5-3.5 cm long in 3-foliolate leaves, much longer than in 1-foliolate ones, very glabrous, flattened above, spines slender; sharp, solitary or in pairs in the axils of the leaves, scarcely as long as the petioles, 1-2 cm long or very slightly recurved. Flowers unknown. Fruits subpyriform, size of a large orange, cortex hard, 3 mm thick; seeds numerous, glabrous, oval or cuneiform, more or less angled, 1 1/2-1 3/4 cm long. 3/4-1 cm wide. Spiny tree, young twigs virgate green."
Fresh flowers from a tree grown in the former Bureau of Plant Industry greenhouse at Washington, D.C. (tree grown from seed sent by R. Père Klaine [No. 2008] in 1892 from Gabon to Paris, brought to the United States in 1912 by Swingle [l.c.]), were examined. The inflorescences are short, axillary racemes or corymbs, pedicels glabrous, 5-7 mm long, 1 mm diam. at base, 2 mm diam. at junction with the calyx; calyx 3-4 mm diam., thick, flat, plate-shaped with lobes very faintly or not at all marked, but with a thin, hyaline, ciliate membrane around the margin (the interruptions in this membrane probably delimit the poorly defined sepals); bud broadly conical, 4-5 mm wide and 7-8 mm long, vivid green; petals 3-5, green without, greenish-white or cream-white where thickest, 9-11 mm long, 3-5 mm wide, ovate-rounded at the tip and slightly acute, curved, strongly incurved near the apex, soon falling, each carrying 2 stamens attached at the base; stamens apparently 3 times as many as the petals (9-15), 4-6 mm long, glabrous, subulate, 1 mm diam. at the base, 0.5 mm at attachment to anthers, which are linear, arising at the base of a very long lobed disk and curving upward along the furrows in it; disk 5-6 mm diam., 2-3 mm high, forming a shallow cup in which the ovary fits loosely; ovary ovate, about 3 mm high, 2 1/2-3 mm wide, with 8 locules; ovules in each locule numerous, in 2 rows; style very short, thick, 1 3/4 mm wide, 1 mm long, ending in an ovoid glutinous stigma, 2 mm long and 1 1/2 mm wide.
Afraegle gabonensis, like Aeglopsis eggelingii, has three times as many stamens as petals, 30 not twice as many or four (or more) times as many as do the other species of the subfamily. This species grows vigorously and fruits sparingly in the Fairchild Gardens, Coconut Grove, Florida. "
Availability: Not commercially available in California.
USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network page for Afraegle gabonensis
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