Dr. Roberto E. Coronel exotic fruit farm tour

RC Fruit Nursery 9945 Mt. Maikiling Street ,Los Baños Subdivision ,Los Baños Laguna -Philippines

participants buying exotic fruits and rare trees

After the tree walk, our group  went to the house of Dr. Roberto E.  Coronel for a mid- morning day treat, book signing and a hunt of rare and exotic trees and plants on sale.

Dr. Roberto E. Coronel signs an autograph

Due to the heavy monsoon rains during the past few days, the group was not able to went to the Calauan, Laguna  farm of Dr. Coronel, but instead he hosted the group in his house in Los Baños.   Majority of the prarticipants are backyard and small farm owners searching for valuable planting items .

Dr. Roberto E. Coronel author of  ” The Edible Fruits and Nuts of the RC Fruit Conservation Farm ” December 2011 and Collector’s Connection / writer Mr. Lawrence Chan in a book signing ceremonies during the tour.
Email : recoronel1939@yahoo.com
Cellphone # (0918-573-3378)
Land line: (049) 536-1919
Fruit Farm: Mabacan , Calauan, Laguna
Cellphone # (0921)966-1255

tarpaulin poster

The RC ” Fruit Conservation Farm ” is a four hectare coconut plantation located at the foothills of Mt. Mateo in Mabacan , Calauan , Laguna . When he acquired the area in 1986 , it was then called RC farm .

participants   buying tree sapling  while seeds of betel  nut palm were distributed to interested growers

At the same time that the coconut palms were being rehabilitated . Rambutan, Lanzones and other fruit bearing trees were inter-cropped with the coconut which was planted at 7 meter x 7 meter . At present , the farm grows about 200 fruits and nuts species from all over the tropical regions of the world. About 44 species are endemic/ indigenous to the Philippines . 73 species are from tropical Asia, 80 species from tropical America and 8 species are from tropical Africa .

RCF Gold Abiu

Abiu or Abio ( Pouteria caimito ) is a tropical fruit from the Amazonian area of  South America. It has a creamy and jelly-like texture and its taste is similar to the sapodilla — a sweet caramel like custard. Sometimes  people in the Philippines would call this as caimitong dilaw ( yellow caimito) .  The flesh and taste is very similar to caimito ( star fruit/ tar fruit ) which was introduced to the country during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade in the late 16th century.

Unlike the ordinary caimito , abiu , abio or abyo  is still rare in the Philippines, This fruit tree is grown  for curiosity and mostly on a backyard scale .  The price of the fruit is still higher than the caimito since there are few growers . Because of its taste, this exotic fruit from South America holds a promising market in the Philippines.

According to Dr. Coronel  , which introduced the fruit to the country in 1986 via Australia , There might be two or three types  of Abiu in the Philippines. one produces round fruits while another bears fruit with pointed tip. Usually the one with pointed tip produces bigger fruits. Some fruits may weigh 350 grams although most are smaller. On the other hand, the round fruits are generally smaller although some of the round fruits may also weight 300, grams each. the third type my have been from Colombian origin and the tree is smaller compared to the 2 other types.

rows of succulents , cacti and adenium form part of plant collections of Dr. Roberto E. Coronel

The farm also grows about 120 improved fruit cultivars  , many of which are registered with the National Seed Industry Council of the Department of Agriculture . Four of these cultivars have been selected in the farm. They are RCF Gold Abiu, RCF Morado starapple, RCF Purple Avocado and RCF Mauve ( Red ) Sugar apple.

Coco de Mer fruit

Coco de Mer  also called Double Coconut or Sea Coconut (Lodoicea maldivica), the sole member of the genus Lodoicea, is a palm endemic  to Praslin, Curieuse in the Seychelles  . It formerly also was found on St Pierre, Chauve-Souris and Ile Ronde (Round Island, an islet near Praslin) in the Seychelles group, but has become extinct on these islands. The name of the genus, Lodoicea, is derived from Lodoicus, the Latinized   form of Louis, in honour of King Louis XV of France .

Madam Charito holds the rare fruit of  Coco de Mer


Aside from being grown as a curiosity plant in the Philippines, This palm is still considered rare in the country with few specialized growers. Some of the old coco de mer palms had been introduced into the country from Maldives , Thailand , Seychelles  and Madagascar from Filipinos who were assigned  in those  countries.

The seeds of the coco-de-mer have been highly prized over the centuries; their rarity caused great interest and high prices in royal courts, and the tough outer seed coat has been used to make bowls and other instruments.

The shells of the fruit are life-sized stimulation of the female reproductive organs, which has been nicknamed the love nut, the pubic fruit, and the butt nut.


The history of exploitation continues today, and the collection of nuts has virtually stopped all natural regeneration of populations. This palm has been lost from the wild from three Seychelles islands within its former range.Habitat loss is one of the major threats to the survival of remaining populations, there have been numerous fires ( allegedly made by humans)  on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse, and only immature trees remain over large parts of these islands. It takes 6-7 years for a fruit to mature and a further two years for it to germinate into a new plant.

Sources and Bibliographies:

International Palm Society : http://www.palms.org/index.cfm

Rare Fruit Nursery : http://www.rarefruitnursery.com/index.php

Raw Food Health : http://www.raw-food-health.net/CocoDeMer.html

Edwards, Kollmann & Fleischmann’s selective review of the biology of the species (2002)

Fleischer-Dogley, F. (2006). Towards sustainable management of Lodoicea maldivica (Gmelin) Persoon, PhD thesis, University of Reading, UK.

Beaucarnea recurvata (elephant’s foot, ponytail palm) is a species of plant in the family Dracaenaceae, native to the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis de Potosí in Eastern Mexico.

Given time and the right conditions, however, these plants will grow into respectable specimen plants, up to 10  feet in height or more. They are native to arid regions in Mexico, and are among the easiest palms to grow indoors.

These plants are grown for their caudiciforms and pachycaul . The unique shaped caudex are desired by plant collectors and landscapers. This plant is more than 25 years- old.

Houseplants.about.com :


After the tour of Dr. Coronel house,  some of the participants went home to Manila , while others went straight to the next venue, while our group had a short side trip to another member of the group.

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