Cotoneaster: Towards a New Tree-borne Staple

This week, I introduce my project on domesticating Cotoneaster into a new staple. In this first post, I explain why Cotoneaster deserves this effort and also talk about a few concerns:

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oh no… Cotoneaster ain’t worth the time. I’ve read a lot of peeps say they were “Poisonous”, which it isn’t strongly so but they don’t taste like anything at all. Cotoneaster being a Pome fruits making it part of the Apple tribe you could cross with other Genera to Improve it’s flavor. However, even Pyracantha is better than this. The only real use for Cottoneaster I see is possibly grafting but any pome genus should suffice or as an Ornamental matting/low-spreading Groundcover shurb.

The Big question is why even bother when there are far more Rewarding Crops to Breed!? what about Amelanchier? it’s 10x more delicious and safer than Cotoneaster even tho both can theoretically cross.

Think about the ROI is all I’m saying, we only have so much time in the life. But if it brings you happiness, don’t let me stop you from trying!

Yeah, I understand what you’re trying to say.

In my opinion Cotoneaster is a rubbish fruit, but a great possible staple. A boiled, plain piece of cassava or potato doesn’t taste that good either, but staples serve a different purpose.

We have many many many fruits out there, so this project is about making a new type of tree staple, like nuts.

Staples are the canvas that we use to bulk out our food. They make up a big part of our calories, but are just the back drop. This is the direction I’m heading with Cotoneaster.

Na they are also way to small to be a staple crop. Crabapples serve this purpose far better since you make cider (To put thier sourness to good use) or put them into pies (to reduce their sourness).

I was thinking Aronia (Chokeberries) are much better. Aronia was originally a Wild Edible, got used by landscapers for Ornamental purposes and now is gaining popularity as a specialty crop because it was discovered to contain the most antioxidants. (Or among the fruits with the most). Maybe something like that could be discovered for cotoneaster but you have to deal with reducing/breeding out what makes it slightly poisonous when Aronia doesn’t require that at all (Except for reducing astringency and increasing fruit size, which can be doing by crossing with a different genus like Apples, Pears, Amelianchier, Sorbus, Hawthorn, Medlar etc.)

Ivan Michurin was very likely responsible for crossing sorbus x aronia to make xSorbaronia mitschurinii. If he can do it, so can we!

Cotoneaster doesn’t have that many calories (Or fills you up, nor do you want it too cuz of it being slightly poisonous) to start with. High calorie Staple plant foods will likely be Root/Tubers (Like Yams, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, etc), Nuts like (Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Hickory, Oak, even Hackberry if Improved) or huge Rich Calorie fruits like (Squash, Persimmon, Dates, Corn, etc).
There’s probably a good reason our ancestors didn’t focus on cotoneaster, they needed to survive.

Anyways what other crops do you think will be better to landrace?
I’m really leaning towards Aronia, Hackberry, Hazelnuts, Yam (Dioscorea - Watch out for Poisonous forms), Oaks (Might not even need it tho, but can’t hurt to improve nut size, reduce leaching out tannins time)

Another really interesting thing about chokeberries is that they seem to be a) drought tolerant, and b) the same flavor as blueberries. Sadly, they’re very astringent, so you can’t eat them fresh. But if you live in an arid place with alkaline soil, and you like blueberry jam . . . the answer to your blueberry woes may be chokeberries!

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wow like a minute ago, I was just typing Aronia. We legit came up with the same idea at the same time!

Hee hee! Great minds think alike! :wink:

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