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Lost Crops of Africa: Fruits, Volume III
D.zeyheri(wild apricot, red milkwood) Fruit an ovoid berry turning orange to red when ripe. The flesh is sour and strongly flavored. The tree reaches 10 m the leaves are long and lanceolate, the flowers white and delicate. The fruits are described as astringent when raw but good for jam.
Interspecific Hybrids Two hybrids between Dovyalis species are known. One appeared at USDA-Miami in 1951 when a female plant of D. abyssinica was pollinated by a nearby male D. hebecarpa. The progeny (sometimes called Florida gooseberry) are more vigorous, productive, and cold tolerant than either parent. The plants form massive mounds of vegetation (up to 4.5 m high), with all the branches weighted down with excessive crops of the brown fruits. One practical disadvantage is that when the fruit is picked its calyx remains on the plant. This leaves a cavity in the base of the fruit, making it unmarketable as a fresh fruit. However, it can be used to make syrup, jam, or other preserves.
This natural hybrid has been distributed by the USDA as seedlings of P.I. 112086, Dovyalis abyssinica. The seedlings show considerable vigor, with many producing heavy yields of large-size fruits. The plants either produce perfect flowers or male and female flowers on the same plant. The fruit is yellowish brown in color and less acid than the kitembilla. Selections have been made and are being propagated by layering or grafting on seedlings of Dovyalis hebecarpa. The fruit is used like other Dovyalis species.