Jan HintzeTropical fruit and pink cassia

Isn’t this blog a great idea? Anyone who knows me knows I can rave on about plants and gardening virtually non-stop and here we have an unlimited audience. I hope you enjoy all we have to say – feedback would be great and all queries attended to.

Granadilla vine, Passiflora quadrangularis

Well – great celebration in the camp – the granadilla vine, Passiflora quadrangularis, is flowering. At last. We have had trouble growing this beautiful passionfruit – termites seem to adore it. But at last we have it thriving and, more to the point, flowering. The magnificent flowers hopefully will become delicious fruit which is about the size of a fat cucumber. The rind is thick and edible – tasting like a passionfruit-flavoured watermelon and there is pulp in the centre too. They need to be hand pollinated since we don’t seem to have enough bees around to do it for us. I will keep you all informed as to progress.

We grow a lot of fruit; I guess largely because we can’t buy fresh tropical fruit since it mostly has to be ripened on the tree, and therefore doesn’t travel well. When you live in Darwin any of the southern or overseas imported fruit is so old by the time it gets here, it really doesn’t taste right nor does it have much nutrition. So we grow durian, mangosteen, pawpaw, 2 different guavas; tangelos, limes, makrut limes, pomelos; jackfruit carambola, chempedak, soursop, rollinia, custard apple, pineapples, two different passionfruit; three different bananas and plantains. We also grow rambutans, mangoes (about six different types) and two different jambu, as well as sapodilla and cainito. We are fortunate that we have 8 hectares of land, and we use about half for our flower farm, and the rest is either bush for the wildlife, or our garden, which is a jungle. Some of the fruit we sell, some we give away, but most of it we eat, knowing it is fresh, ripe and unsprayed or dipped in chemicals.

The beautiful, spreading tropical tree, pink cassia – Cassia javanica

Gardening in the tropics is very rewarding, since everything grows at enormous speed. Here is a picture of one of our most beautiful flowering trees, Cassia javanica, or pink cassia, lots of common names, like pink shower, pink glory, etc. This tree was planted as a seedling, about half a metre tall, three years ago. It is now about 7 metres, and flowers every year at this time – the tree is deciduous and the flowers and first leaves come at the same time – isn’t it a beauty; the tropical version of apple blossom.

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Jan Hintze

About Jan Hintze

Jan is a professional flower grower, horticulturist & consultant, specialising in tropical plants including fruit and vegetable production and cut flowers. Darwin, Northern Territory

2 thoughts on “Tropical fruit and pink cassia

  1. Jan, love your blog. I too can talk and write gardening matters for hours on end. I LOVE that pink cassia tree and now know what I am planting at the front fence, replacing a scattering of quite browned and burnt bormeliads, courtesy of a shade giving tree that was removed a few months ago.

    What lucky peeps to have such growing conditions.But here near Brisbane, it should do equally well, no?

    Is it the same family as the yellow cassia? Birds seem to drop seeds for these everywhere in my garden.
    Cheers and thanks,
    Julie

  2. Sherry on said:

    Hi Jan,
    Your farm sounds just idyllic. I was led to your site by a search for Pink Shower. I am considering planting a Cassia Javanica in front of my house in Townsville to shade my lounge room from the Southern Sun in winter. Do you have any information on how invasive or how damaging the roots of this tree might be or how close I could plant it to a masonry block house on a concrete slab?