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fruit or seed? poison?

Posted: 13 Mar 2018, 20:53
by asecca
Hi. kiko today I found a "fruit" and he loved it, but I did not dare to a boy that I do not know is a tree.


Re: fruit or seed? poison?

Posted: 13 Mar 2018, 22:26
by Nina
Hi Asecca,

This is difficult. From the first photo I thought that maybe the fruit on the tree was a loquat (I think in Chile you might call it Nispero). I have never seen the fruit or the tree in real life, but I have looked at some photos. But the second photo -- of you holding a broken fruit in your hand -- looks different. If this is one of the fruits broken open then it can't be a loquat because they have two large seeds inside. Also, the skin of what you are holding looks bumpy, but the fruit in the photo of the tree look like they have smooth skin.

Is it possible for you to ask someone you know what the local name for that tree or the fruit is? Then I could look up the Latin name and tell you more. In general, however, Horsfield tortoises (am I right in remembering that Kiko is a Horsfield?) do not eat fruit. The reason for this is that their stomach and intestines do not cope well with the natural sugars in food. In the wild they will sometimes find fruit that has fallen on the ground and eat it (and they love it), but it is not actually very good for them (it is like giving lots of chocolate to a young baby -- they will probably love it but it is not actually good for them).
Also, of course, this fruit could be poisonous, so it is important that we know what it is. Maybe some more photos -- but we are not so familiar with the trees of Chile, so if anyone you know has a name for it, please let us know.


Re: fruit or seed? poison?

Posted: 13 Mar 2018, 23:52
by lin
Hi Asecca
You photo's show what I believe to be a Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) but I haven't had time to review it yet and it wont be until tomorrow now because it is late and I am off to bed.

Hopefully Nina will pick up on this in the morning and get back to you.


Re: fruit or seed? poison?

Posted: 14 Mar 2018, 01:34
by asecca
Thanks Lin !!! .. search and search. :D

Apparently if it is, in the garden where I live there are at least 4 bushes, I never took them into account as fruits, if not as little balls that my son took out to play. :oops:
I never would have thought to try it.
As Nina says it is fruit to which I better avoid it, but I was so curious that Kiko has insisted so much on eating it.
I read that you have tannins.
Thanks to both, now I can sleep peacefully.

Re: fruit or seed? poison?

Posted: 14 Mar 2018, 08:42
by Nina
Hi Angela,
And thanks from me too, Lin! Funnily enough the Strawberry Tree popped into my head while I was looking for what this plant might be, but I have only seen the ripe fruit, which are red, and because these were yellow I was lazy and didn't search for it.

You are right that the plant has tannins. Most of the tannins are in the bark, but they are in the leaves too. You can find our section on tannins at the bottom of this page ... roperties/. If Kiko happened to nibble on a leaf or fruit that fell to the ground it would do him no harm -- they are not poisonous -- but if he ate more than small amounts it would not be so good.

Now that you know you have a Strawberry Tree in your garden, you can make some use of it though (it has nothing to do with strawberries, by the way, it is just because the fruits are red and look a bit like strawberries that it got its name). Here is a page of information about this tree, with a recipe towards the bottom of the page for making jam from the fruit, so maybe you will get some benefit from it yourself!