Bilva is a tree sacred to Shiva and hardy to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They are calling this "bael fruit tree" but it is known in Ayurveda as bilva or bilwa and almost all parts of the tree are used medicinally. In English, the tree is sometimes called Bengal quince or stone apple. It has a beautiful fruit and is considered among the most sacred of all plants by Hindus.
Carob, open pollinated, 7 seedsCeratonia siliqua
Carob is Mediterranean plant that likes full sun and fast draining soil. It is not very frost tolerant, but does well in the right place. The seeds should be deeply scarified and dropped in boiled water and then left overnight or longer. The seed needs the water before it will germinate. Plant the seeds 1-2 inches deep. The trees take a long time to mature and one needs both male and female plants so several trees should be planted. Years from planting, the pods can be eaten raw or cooked as a chocolate substitute or as animal fodder.
Ginkgo, 20 seeds Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo trees are considered by some to be living fossils since they have apparently been on this Planet for 150 million years. This is a testament to their strength and endurance. These are fresh seeds and should be planted immediately upon receipt. The germination rate is about 40% and each tree is one sex so another tree of the opposite sex is required to produce fruit and more seeds. The trees cannot be sexed until mature so it is basically necessary to plant a number of trees if one wants seeds. Ginkgo leaves are used in medicine as an anti-radiation remedy as well as brain tonic. The fruit is delicious when roasted or used in a stir fry, but it has a rather unpleasant smell if it rots on the ground. If planting these trees, give them lots of room because they will be around for generations. Do study their needs since they do not like to be transplanted!
Sausage Tree, African, 5 seedsKigelia africana
As the name suggests, this tree is native to Africa. It grows slowly to a height of about 60 feet. The "sausages" can be three feet long and the tree has beautiful deep red flowers. It is suitable for zones 9-12 but can be grown indoors or as a bonsai. The main use in Africa is as a famine food for both people and livestock, but the traditional use is for skin conditions, everything from psoriasis to fungal infections. The leaves have antioxidant effects, but what is interesting is that the tree contains lapachol, the same chemical found in pau d"arco so its potential as a cancer herb is being researched.
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