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I originally wrote this over on Tropical Fruit Forum.  However, I got to thinking, given the sizeable gardening community we have here, it might be appreciated here as well.

So I'm sure you've heard the term "crazy cat lady" before, right?  Well, I'm sort of a "crazy tropical plant lady".  When I moved to Iceland, I came with three oversized bags full to the brim with live tropical plants, and my collection has only grown since then, nurtured by a combination of the 24-7 summer sun and, more often than not, geothermal-powered grow lights   ;)  I buy and trade for seeds from all over the globe (my last four shipments were Ecuador, Hawaii, India, and Puerto Rico, respectively), some so rare that they don't have common names, but nearly all with one trait in common: they're tropical plants which produce edible fruit.

So without further ado... my little eden.  :)

So I recently moved from Hafnarfjörður to the 112 district of Reykjavík, where I'm renting converted (well, 80%-finished-being-converted) industrial space as an apartment.  I chose the place because it's cheap, concrete floors, and ridiculously high ceilings for my plants.  Tonight I finished moving my plants into their home.  So, let's begin the tour!  Note: most plants I show I have multiple of, but I'm not going to bother taking a pic of every last one, lol  ;)

First, the grow area (I could expand it threefold if necessary without impinging on my living area, and I'm only using about  70% of the area I've cordoned off):

To give a sense of its height:

A couple glances around:



... and up:



Now, on to the species.

Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruvianis; Icelandic: blæjuber ("breezeberry")).  Basically a weed that makes pretty little golden berries inside paper husks.  Was my first plant to have fruit reach maturity in Iceland, although my passionfruit and mango tried but failed earlier; I've gotten a few dozen off of them.  Stems break easily and it litters leaves, but everything it loses grows back twofold.  Never had a single pest on them, even spider mites.


Jamaican dwarf red banana (Musa acuminita.  Icelandic: banani).  All bananas seem to grows great indoors - just give them rich soil and tons of water.  The red has especially beautiful coloration.  Indoor bananas occasionally gets spider mites, but rarely a threat to the tree's life even if they go undetected for a while.  It has my largest pot, a converted rain barrel big enough to bathe in.  That should be large enough to allow it to give a full yield (given its size, it should probably start flowing in a couple months)





Tamarind (Tamarindus indica.  Icelandic: none).  Pretty much minds its own business and grows at a moderate pace, I've never had problems with it.  Tamarind yields pods with a sweet-sour flavor; I first had it in a coconut-tamarind dessert in central america and picked up some as soon as I got back  ;)

Acerola / barbados cherry (Malpighia emarginata.  Icelandic: none).  While this shot is a bit close in, the tree is huge - the main branch kinda droops, but if I keep it upright, the tree is about 3 meters tall.  It's fruited for me.  You can see it flowering here.  Low maintenance, fast growing, well suited for indoor gardening.  Acerola fruit has the second-highest reported vitamin C concentrations per gram in the plant world - a single blueberry-sized fruit has the vitamin C of a couple oranges.

Dwarf cavendish banana (same species as the Jamaican Red): I actually picked this one up in Iceland, lol - the only fruiting tropical I've managed to find here.  People have indeed fruited bananas here - although contrary to widely reported myth, we're not "the largest banana grower in Europe" (that'd be Spain; bananas here have only been grown on an experimental basis, not commercially).

Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis; Icelandic: ástaraldin (lit: "lovefruit")): I forget which variety, and I don't remember the color of the flower, sadly!    I'll pay more attention the next time around  :)  Grows quite well - the only pest problem I've ever had was a small amount of scale at one point, but the scale didn't really seem to thrive on it.  I wonder if it's aided by the sticky droplets it exudes at the base of each leaf?

Coffee (Coffea arabica.  Icelandic: kaffi).  Moderate-speed grower, generally pest free, likes moist soil but will tolerate dry, likes light but will tolerate shade... quite the little trooper  ;)  I had one actually get to flowering back when I lived in Iowa, but it was obviously too large to take with, I had to give it away.  But I think some of mine here are nearing flowering size, so I've got my fingers crossed.  :)


Pitaya / Dragonfruit (Hylocereus sp.; Icelandic: drekaávöxtur): Iceland has a region called the Dragon Zone (Drekasvæðið), where lots of oil has been found offshore.  Now I have my own "Dragon Zone"  in my grow area. :)  Dragonfruit, a fruiting cactus, grows well indoors, although not always super-fast.  Its tiny roots mean not much of a potting requirement.  Sometimes pieces break off, but that simply means you get more dragonfruit plants - they're trivial to root, you pretty much just have to drop them on some moist soil and leave them alone for a couple weeks.  And they're generally pretty carefree.


Longan (Dimocarpus longan; Icelandic: none): New seedlings, so I'm still learning.  :)

Spítalinn ("The Hospital"): High-light area for sick plants in need of extra nourishment.  There's a couple caryodendron sp. lurking in the back that are not at all sick, just freeloaders.

Cocona (Solanum sessiliflorum; Icelandic: none): Thusfar I've mostly had good things to say about plants indoors.  Cocona... not so much.  It's nearly died on me several times.  It'd be a great indoor plant except it's highly susceptible to spider mites.  I've taken to power washing the leaves every time I water and treating the leaves it as though it's a given that there's spider mites there.  And what do you know, at long last, flower buds!  :)  Thanks cocona!  (If you're a Survivorman fan, you may remember the cocona as the fruit he found in the Amazon, describing it as a flavor explosion cross between a pineapple and a tomato)


Let's move onto the shelves, where the smaller plants are.  But before we get there, where do they come from?  Well, this box:

And sometimes these trays as well:


Except the shelf on the far right, that's Sóttkví (quarantine)  ;)  The lemon verbena on the left had scale and the moringa on the right had a nearly-lethal spider mite infestation (it's another highly vulnerable species).

But anyway, new seedlings come to the bottom shelf until they've got leaves out:

Dwarf inchi (Caryodendron sp.; Icelandic: none).  You saw some of its fully-germinated siblings in the hospital view.  Inchi produces an edible nut, reportedly quite tasty.  The tree is rare in cultivation so it's hard to find information about!

Guanabana (Annona muricata; Icelandic: none, but I've seen people sharing "graviola" links on Facebook about its reported cancer-fighting properties so it'll probably end up as "gravíóla").  I first encountered it as a drink in Costa Rica, it's delicious.  In order, shelf 1, 2, 4



Rollinia / biriba (Rollinia deliciosa; Icelandic: none).  Oh, I can sooo not wait for fruit - it's soft and sweet inside like an apple custard  ;)  In order, shelf 1, 2, 2, 4




A couple rollinia, a couple Red Strawberry Guava (Psidium littorale; Icelandic: gúava), and a OH MY GOD WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?  Lol, I have no clue - sadly, I can't read my handwriting on the label on this one.  Well, time will tell if this strange creature survives.  ;)  

Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus: Icelandic: none).  Don't know much about raising them, but they germinate well!  :)  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of my larger jacks - oh well!  For those who've never had jackfruit, try it several times in a row.  My first impression was mango crossed with stir-fry crossed with bubble gum.  Very weird!  But after a while, it's simply like a fruit candy.  :)

Pentagonia (Pentagonia grandifolia; Icelandic: none): Oh, I really hope at least one of these makes it.  They produce a fascinating-looking flower/fruit structure, but I've lost more of then than I care to admit to damping off.  :Þ

Second shelf: seedlings with newly opened true leaves and otherwise small seedlings.

Bael (Aegle marmelos: Icelandic: none, but I have to keep resist spelling it Bæl with an "æ"  ;)  ): Good germination rate even though the seeds weren't super-fresh.  Some people say the fruit is a seedy mess.  Some say it's wonderful, like a rich marmelade that smells like flowers.  I guess I'll find out!

Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum; Icelandic: risafura (lit: "giant pine")): Okay, not a tropical, although it does have limited cold tolerance!  Biggest tree in the world, in baby pictures.  I hope to end up with 30 of them and I'm hoping at least one or two will survive the climate here.  

Western Redcedar (Thuja plicatia; Icelandic: rísalífviður (lit: "giant life wood")): Okay, even less of a tropical, but... basically, a fallback plan.  Gets to about 2/3rds the height and 2/3rds the width of a sequoia, but still a massive tree, and more importantly, adapted to cold climates.  But man, these seedlings are delicate.

And this one is... is... dang, I don't know, because the builder moved these seedlings when they were on the ground and didn't move their label with them!  :þ  If anyone has a guess, let me know!  

Blackberry Jam Fruit (Randia formosa; Icelandic: none).  Has little, neat-looking seeds.  Supposedly the inside has a look, texture, and taste just like blackberry jam.  We'll find out!

Papayuelo (Carica goudotiana): Has neater-looking seeds.  Seriously, the seeds are like tiny kiwano melons  ;)  While the plant is related to papaya, I really hope it tastes better than papaya!  ;)

Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum; Icelandic: none): Supposedly tastes a bit like avocado, but you have to soak it first.  I'm definitely curious.  :)

Third shelf: power converter, gardening supplies, seedlings in oversized pots, and salak.

Red Salak (Salacca affinis; Icelandic: none): Salak (aka, snakefruit because it looks like the skin of a snake) is a really alien-looking plant at all stages of life, but especially when young.  Even when they germinate, - they stick a perfectly cylindrical "plug" out of the seed, like removing a cork, and then it grows thin, spindly roots at randomly-changing angles.  Then it pushes a column up, then the column puts out a tall spine... eventually it'll become leaves, supposedly  ;)  And in the long run, if I'm lucky, a visciously-spined alien palm that yields a tasty, bizarre fruit.

Bali Salak (Salacca zalacca var bali; Icelandic: none): I really hope that the "spine" here is supposed to be brown and woody for bali salak, because it's green and lifelike for all my S. affinis, but brown and woody for all my S. zalacca.

Fourth shelf: moderate-sized young seedlings

"SL sapote" (Matisia sp.: Icelandic: none).  Supposedly fruits like jaboticaba (which I have also) - along the trunk, all the way to the ground, rather than on branches.  

This carnivorous plant was another store purchase.  Sadly, they didn't list the species.  :Þ

Pomegranate (Punica granatum; Icelandic: granatepli): I treat them so badly but they keep trying  ;)

Marang (Artocarpus odoratissimus; Icelandic: none): Oh I so can't wait to try this fruit... same genus as jackfruit, but said to be even better.

Herrania (Herrania sp.; Icelandic: none): A relative of chocolate.  Fruits in a similar manner.  Another fruit I really look forward to trying.  :)

Yoco (Paulinia yoco; Icelandic: none): Both the plants in the foreground and background are yoco - young leaves are reddish.  A relative of guarana, with very high caffeine content.  Vining, so that'll work out nice for me, it's easy to find space for vines and they're good at intercepting "lost light".

And now, for the top shelf:

Pineapple (Ananas comosus; Icelandic: annanas): Just a rooted supermarket pineapple.  But hey, it's a start  :)

Guava (like above): I've got an older guava here as well.  Started growing slow but has really picked up the pace as of late.  Minor to moderate mite susceptibility.  I gave it a nice place by an LED light because I'd really like to get it to fruiting to find out just what variety of guava it is!


Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia; Icelandic: vanilla): My prior experience with them says they're quite susceptible to root rot and grow slowly while young.  I've got three this time around, hopefully at least one will make it  :)

Santol (Sandoricum koetjape; Icelandic: none): First pick is my biggest but weird-looking santol.  The next pic is a smller but regular one.  And the third is what they look like when germinating - kind of weird, the seed comes up, then stops, then the plant comes out the side. Santol is a southeast asian fruit that looks kind of like a peach, with a widely varied flavor depending on the tree's genetics.



And of course, I've got probably about 10 species which have germinated but not yet come out of the ground (jaboticaba, a couple really lucky miracle fruit, cabelluda, jamun, a number of eugenia and garcinia sp., etc) and another 10 or so which haven't yet germinated (as far as I know) - macadamia, cola, nutmeg, etc.

Finally, just a couple random pics to wrap up  :)

1) A view down a banana leaf:

2) My supplies.  Though I still need to fetch my container (~10kg) of micro and macronutrients.  :)

3) Icelandic hose fixtures are totally incompatible with US ones.  It's nice having a spigot in my plant room!  :)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for sharing. I have a black thumb, can't (8+ / 0-)

    keep a cactus alive. Your plants are beautiful, and I love the idea of tropical plants in Iceland.

  •  high latitude bananas (5+ / 0-)

    love the banana tree shots!

    I live in Vermont, and i've been nurturing a banana for almost twenty years now (the tree itself was originally smuggled onto the US mainland from PR by my parents almost exactly 40 years ago.) Every winter it sits in the dining room near the pellet stove, and ever summer out in the yard.
    Never any bananas though, since the poor thing can never find a date. No pest problems, either.
    do yours propagate by sending out new shoots? Each of mine does that every year or two. the older plant dies back, and the new ones take over. i have been doling them out to friends, and my master plan is to take over Vermont with banana trees ...

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:27:44 AM PDT

    •  Hmm.. bit confused here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep, Linda1961

      The banana lifecycle is to grow, flower, fruit, and then die, generally in one season, being replaced by its pups which are part of the same root system.  It should have long ago gone through its whole cycle, regardless of pollen, and it should be pupping a lot more than once every two years (I average a pup every 3 months or so from each mature plant).  Is it dying back and having to regrow?  Is it getting sufficient light?  Is it in a large enough pot?  Measure and calculate your pots area - if its under 25 gallons it may never fruit, and even at 25 gal the yield would be limited.  My largest pot holds 70 gal.  Also, remember, bananas are not houseplants, they demand light, light, light!  :)  Even "bright" indoor room lighting us a pale mockery of full sun.  Also, bananas really enjoy fertilizer, its hard to overfeed a banana (unlike some plants), although that's secondary to space and light.

      Hope this helps!  :)

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:40:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I'm happy with it as is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, mint julep, Rei

        I usually end up with two or three decent sized trees to board for the winter, and there is precious little room left over in the dining room.
        In the forty years of this tree's life it has never flowered, and before I took it to Vermont it lived in a very large planter (maybe 60-80 gallons) and has always summered outdoors. My understanding is it needs another tree to pollinate, but that wouldn't explain the lack of  overall flowering even if true.
        I keep the tree mostly as a family heirloom, as my parents are both gone, and one of our bet times as a family was the year we lived in Puerto Rico.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 05:53:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, bananas don't need 2 to fruit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rei
          All widely cultivated bananas today descend from the two wild bananas Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. While the original wild bananas contained large seeds, diploid or polyploid cultivars (some being hybrids) with tiny seeds are preferred for human raw fruit consumption.[59] These are propagated asexually from offshoots. The plant is allowed to produce two shoots at a time; a larger one for immediate fruiting and a smaller "sucker" or "follower" to produce fruit in 6–8 months. The life of a banana plantation is 25 years or longer, during which time the individual stools or planting sites may move slightly from their original positions as lateral rhizome formation dictates.[citation needed]

          Cultivated bananas are parthenocarpic, i.e. the flesh of the fruit swells and ripens without its seeds being fertilized and developing. Lacking viable seeds, propagation typically involves farmers removing and transplanting part of the underground stem (called a corm). Usually this is done by carefully removing a sucker (a vertical shoot that develops from the base of the banana pseudostem) with some roots intact. However, small sympodial corms, representing not yet elongated suckers, are easier to transplant and can be left out of the ground for up to two weeks; they require minimal care and can be shipped in bulk.[citation needed

          Wiki

          This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

          by Karl Rover on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:25:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's also possible that they don't have an (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karl Rover, Linda1961

            eating-variety banana.  There are a number of wild banana species with different behaviors that I'm not as familiar with.  For example, the cold-hardiest banana, Musa basjoo, can survive freezing winters surprisingly well - but its fruit is inedible.

            Oh, and just to let people know... while I imagine probably 95+% of Kossacks don't use weed killers, but if you do and you own a banana: Bananas are relatives of grasses, so don't use grass killer!  Most garden plants (with the exception of grains, which at least look like grasses) are broadleaf plants, and it's common to control weeds in broadleaf fields with grasses.  But bananas, despite their appearance, are more closely related to grasses than broadleaf plants.  They're not actually trees, just huge herbaceous shoots.  :)

            Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

            by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:32:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  /pesticides! /herbicides! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Linda1961, Karl Rover

              clove oil on the little tufts of grass on the patio and that is it. Dunno about the whole no-flower thing. The tree was taken from a plot of them on the land we rented, and those trees all bore fruit. Maybe it's just mad and withholding because of the cold...

              Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

              by kamarvt on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:56:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Wait, what? (4+ / 0-)

    You tricked me by posting early.

    One of my long term goals is to get to the point where I'm growing my own vanilla.  How much electricity are you pumping into your grow chamber?  I tried one pitiful tiny light bar, and managed to germinate seedlings this winter, but they were so pitifully stunted that they didn't survive being phased outside.  I saw what looked like LED lighting, is that what you would recommend for indoor work?

    •  I'd Love To Hear Feedback From Folks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joes Steven

      I have some expensive grow lights, well one three feet long that takes up to three lights. Maybe I used it for something illegal many years ago (no really like mid-90s). I thought of ordering new lights for it, but alas I am only half joking that I wasn't sure if I wanted the NSA knowing this :).

    •  "Lots" ;) (2+ / 0-)

      Lets see... 2x 90w LED, 6x 32w tubes, 8x CFL averaging nearly 40W, 5x mini LED, 20w each I think, and 6x 58w tubes, oh and maybe 20w for overhead lights... so, lets just say 1200w, 24/7.  And its still a fraction of the sun (but at least a large enough fraction!)

      Of course, the tradeoff for using sunlight (greenhouse) is extra energy in the form of heating.  Greenhouses arent nearly as temperature regulating as most think - I used to have one, and ultimately I switched to indoors.

      LED gives your plants the most growth per watt, no question (although not nearly the 4-5x the marketing says.  The downsides, apart from the capital costs, are its very narrow spectrum.  Some plants are fine with that, others not so much.  So I recommend using as broad of a LED spectrum as you can and/or mixing with fluorescent.

      230v LEDs are harder to get and super expensive here, and power is cheap and clean, so the balance is more in favor of fluorescent.  Also note, I have a very large grow area!  But yes, if seedlings are lanky, it means insufficient light - they're literally searching for better light, the evolutionary assumption being, "I germinated in the shade".  If your light isn't particularly hot it can even be touching them

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:15:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Peppers From The Garden This Morning (5+ / 0-)

    Peppers II (8/16/13)

    From left to right: eggplant, Jalapeno, Hot Banana, Cowgirl Cayenne, Red Cherry* (only one of these I've never cooked with/eaten), and Habanero. Most will be dried. My three huge tomato plants have not produced anything this year, but I estimate there are about 35-40 tomatoes from the size of a dime to that of a baseball, but alas they are all still green. Found myself searching for "fried green tomatoes" today :).

    *This was the last plant to start to produce, but next to the Jalapenos it appears it will produce the most. Any suggestions on usage is VERY welcome.

    •  Habanero makes excellent chemical weapons (0+ / 0-)

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:28:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Meh, if you want something pepperlike for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        that purpose, you want resin spurge  ;)  Resin spurge contains a chemical called resiniferatoxin, which activates the same receptor as the capsaicin in hot peppers, but with a thousand times the intensity.  

        The former hottest pepper in the world, the Bhut Jolokia / Ghost Pepper, has a scoville rating of 330 thousand to 1 million.  The hottest pepper in the world, the Trinidad Moruga scorpion, has a scoville rating of 1,2 million to 2 million.  Pure capsaicin has a scoville rating of 16 million.  Pure resiniferatoxin, however, has a scoville rating of 16 billion.  To put it another way, if you made ten gallons of salsa with bell peppers (zero on the scoville scale) and mixed in a single gram resiniferatoxin, it'd be hotter than pure ghost pepper salsa.

        It's so hot that 40 grams can kill you (by causing so severe of an inflammatory response that your body ends up killing itself).  Of course, given the above, I can't imagine how anyone could ever eat 40 grams of it!

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:43:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The hottest I tried (0+ / 0-)

          Was Scottish Bonnet, that is pretty painful. I have heard about Bhut Jolokia but haven't tried, but I would. I love spicy food and in our house we consume at least one jar of chill per week.

          Claypot frog with chilies and fermented black bean

          400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:07:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've heard good things about the scorpion, (0+ / 0-)

            though I've never tried it myself.  It's apparently not just hot but has a nice flavor too.  That is, until you're knocked down by the hot kick  ;)

            Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

            by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:13:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Bhut Jolokia (0+ / 0-)

            is pretty mean, as are the Naga Viper, and Butch T.

            I can taste the flavor just fine in the Habanero, but got nothing but heat from the Ghost pepper on up.

            At least a little goes a long way, so they are pretty cost effective for adding heat....but just don't use too much like I did the first time. I added only 1/8 tsp of dried naga viper to a massive batch of chili and it ended up too hot to heat after a little while ( at least for most there) leaving me to either have to eat a massive pot by myself, or dump it out.

    •  Nice looking peppers you've got there! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda1961

      Makes me want to go pick up some pepper seeds  :)

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:33:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Intersting! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rei, Linda1961

    Iceland and tropical fruit blows my mind! More power to you for keeping them all going.
    I have Bananas and Pomegranates growing in my yard. We had a bunch of small Bananas last year. They were delicious. The Pomegranate harvest was not good last year. My fault I'm sure.
                                     

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:07:40 AM PDT

  •  I hope a SWAT team doesn't kick in your door...;) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, Linda1961

    Dudehisattva...

    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:16:36 AM PDT

    •  Won't happen. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, Linda1961, Dood Abides

      I'm in Iceland, remember  ;)  But that doesn't mean the police wouldn't come around asking questions.

      Which is the prime reason that I always make sure to offer neighbors tours of my plants when I move into a new place.  Well, that and because I love to show them off  :)

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:24:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Figs in Missouri (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda1961

    We live in west central Missouri.

    Several years ago as a lark, my spouse bought a fig plant. When that produced fruit, we bought two more. If we don't get an early frost, we should here three dozen or more figs.

    I like to think this is an upside to global warming,

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:01:13 AM PDT

    •  Hey, global warming is great for agriculture here. (5+ / 0-)

      New products being raised every year.  Last year was, for example, our first commercial sales of wheat and honey.

      Of course, the glacier visible from Reykjavík on clear days (Snæfellsjökull) will be gone in 20-30 years, and 200 years from now we won't have any glaciers left.  In ICEland.  

      We already have a new tallest waterfall - I saw it for the first time two weeks ago.  Mórdalsjökull has receeded up past a big cliff face and so now there's a series of waterfalls that run off it instead, bigger than our previous recordholder.  Crazy, isn't it?

      And of course, who knows what will happen to our fisheries...

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:22:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fisheries (0+ / 0-)

        I have read the warming has been good for squid.

        In some places lobsters are in trouble, but in others there are record harvests.

        I have seen dead armadillos in my part of Missouri.  Their range is expanding northwards.

        [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

        by MoDem on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:13:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, squid and jellies seem to be the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MoDem, 4Freedom

          oceanic species that are generally on an upswing, with bony fishes generally taking the hit from environmental and overfishing pressure.  I hope people's seafood tastes adapt!

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:16:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Try growing Dragon Bean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom

    四棱豆 or Psophocarpus tetragonolobus which would do great in your humid tropical garden.

    It's really delicious and a bit delicate so best picked fresh from the garden just before cooking.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 07:35:39 AM PDT

    •  I'm putting that on my to-buy-at-some-point list (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      Vines are easiest to find space for, it's something I can't buy locally, it sounds like it'd thrive here, and I read some taste descriptions and they match with my tastebuds  :)

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 08:18:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's very nice (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rei

        The bean pod is long with a hollow pod section and quite crisp. Picked fresh you can slice about 1-2cm wide and quickly stir fry with one spoon of water to finish, cooking just 2-3 minutes.

        A popular recipe is to combine with air dried pork, you could substitute Spanish Jamón Serrano I think easier to find in Europe.

        This bean is also common in Vietnamese food.

        400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 09:59:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  two non-trop trees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom

    For trees that may do very well in future, try Douglas Firs and Sitka Spruce. Doug Firs love moisture and temperate climates, and are much easier than Western Red Cedars to propagate. Excellent wood for lumber purposes, can grow much larger than cedars.

    Sitka Spruce, while originating in Alaska, will grow from NorCal northwards. A wonderful smell too. They would probably do very well outside in Island too.

    On the other hand, they might then become an invasive species, so perhaps never mind? :)

    I do think a Sequoia grove in the middle of Reykjavik would be kind of cool however.

    And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

    by itzadryheat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 10:27:30 AM PDT

    •  Nono, we want invasive trees! ;) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itzadryheat, 4Freedom

      Iceland used to be forested, but a combination of woodcutting, and worse, overgrazing with sheep, totalled the overwhelming majority of the forests, and thus leading to severe erosion problems.  The current attitude toward forestry is, "get something down, now, and worry later about converting our forests back to their native species; some forest controlling erosion is better than no forest!"

      I think I ordered some douglas fir and sitka spruce in a seed purchase last week.  It sounds crazy, but I actually plan to try some eucalyptus regnans, too.  While people think comparing Tasmania to Iceland is ridiculous, we're both oceanic climates, so moderated summers, mild winters, and more to the point, they grow in the mountains.  The tallest regnans ever measured by an accredited surveyor - heck, the tallest tree ever measured, period, by an accredited surveyor, even bigger than the redwoods - was on the slopes of Mt. Baw Baw, and the area's climate is surprisingly similar to ours.

      My data tables for "the world's most impressive trees" that I put together a few years back lists the following for the trees mentioned thusfar:

      Coast redwood: typically 90m tall, tallest 115.5m, widest 7.22m
      Giant sequoia: typically 50-85m tall, 93.6m, typically 5-7m diameter, widest 8.85m
      Eucalyptus regnans: typically 70-90m tall, tallest extant 114.3m (but nearly all the big trees have been logged), typically 2-3m diameter, widest 6.5m present (same logging constraint)
      Western redcedar: typically 50-60m tall, typically 3m wide, max diameter 6m.  Hardy down to zone 4  ;)
      Coast douglas-fir: typically 60-75m tall, max 100.3m, typically 1.5-2m diameter, up to 4.85m wide.
      Sitka spruce: typically 50-70m tall, max 96m (there's evidence they were bigger before logging), and up to 5m wide.  The second hardiest that I plan to try.

      I also ordered some sugi - it's a giant I encountered when travelling in Japan.  Max 70m tall and 4m diameter.  Maybe some day I'll get some of the other giant eucalyptus, alerce/fitzroya, sugar pine, incense cedar, etc.  :)  I want to start them now so that they're big enough to put in the ground when I finally find land to buy in the countryside (it's taking forever  :Þ).

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:12:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I never thought much about Iceland.. (0+ / 0-)

        out of curiousity (thanks) I found this article  which I highly recommend. It's about the history of deforestation and reforestation efforts.

        This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

        by Karl Rover on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 01:24:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks! Great summary about it all. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karl Rover

          And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

          by itzadryheat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 01:58:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, they're really working hard on it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Karl Rover

          And lots of people volunteer with planting trees and plant them on their own land.  The overwhelming majority of people want to see more forests - not completely forested, but more than we have now.

          That said, there already are some pretty nice ones, even here by Reykjavík.  Heck, there's even an in-city forest right near where I work, at Öskjuhlíð.  Nothing spectacularly huge, but pretty trees, nice walking paths, and lots of mushrooms in the fall  :)

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 02:14:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, sounds like you're on it! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rei

        I am originally from Washington state, and grew up in a town that was started by people making money from trees (or fish). :) Virtually of my county was logged, twice in fact, and there is little "old growth" left at all. But, now that logging is in it's twilight years there, much of the re-growth is reaching for the skies. Specifically, it's Whatcom County, anchored by Bellingham, my home town.

        For a very fast growing tree that is the first part of a recovering forest, get some red alder. It will anchor the soil, and give the slower growing seeds some cover until they squeeze out the alders in turn. It's considered a weed tree, worthless for lumber or paper, but used by the local native American tribes for many things actually.

        Alder grows in Alaska and northern Canada, so it's a very hardy species. It likes water courses, but will grow away from them if enough rain occurs.

        It can be used to 'plank' salmon, where the fish is placed on either alder boards or sticks (lashing it to the board) and set vertically near a fire, cooking slowly. YUM! The wood imparts a nice flavor to the fish too. Not quite grillling, not baking either.

        Most of Scotland's reforestation efforts used trees from the Pacific coast of North America, and they have been very successful growers in that climate.

        And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

        by itzadryheat on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 01:43:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  might want to look into DAWN redwood to see (0+ / 0-)

        if it would fit conditions. Metasequoia, sort of a cousin of the Northern California classic redwoods. They're beautiful, only discovered between the World Wars, GROW 2 FEET A YEAR! They're quite happy in England, and inland Oregon, if that helps... I have 3 in my immediate suburban neighborhood, but U of Oregon is one of the places that "discovered" the fossil form AND the surviving grove in China! (The first picture on the Wiki page above is of a specimen growing on the U of OR campus!)

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:53:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It didn't even make my impressive trees list (0+ / 0-)

          ... because its records weren't that impressive - for example, the tallest I found was only 40m.  But then again, I think it's fair that these are all going to be young trees, so maybe I should reconsider.

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:24:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  carnivorous plant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom

    The Atlanta Botanic Garden has a huge collection of Sarracenia (North American pitcher plants).  Drop them a note at their plant help line and they may be able to help name your specimen.

    http://www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org/...

    What a remarkable diary!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading and looking.

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