Croatian Flora 2010 – Fruits
Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L., Family Vitaceae) English: Grapevine German: Winerebe French: Vigne Italian: Vite Grapevine, together with wheat and olive, is among the oldest cultivated plants of the ancient world and still the most spread fruit on our planet. The wild subspecies of grapevine (subsp. sylvestris) is a creeping plant that can reach up to 15 m height, coils around its supporting rod thanks to its long and short offshoots with tendrils. The leaves are on long stems and lobate in shape. Tiny flowers are divided in male and female blossoms, gathered in peak clusters. The domesticated subspecies of grapevine (subsp. vinifera or sativa) has hermaphrodite flowers, whereof the female ones give fruit – soft berries with several seeds each. There are almost 20.000 described sorts of grapevine, which differ in their ripening time, resistance to climate factors, diseases and parasites, but first of all in their fruits that can be used in wine production and that are of different colour, size, shape, taste and smell of their clusters. The sorts of grape vine can be divided by the colour of their berries in white and red, and further in rose and black, i.e. red, and according to its smell to aromatic and non-aromatic. Depending on the sort, the grapes ripen from July to October, and sometimes the harvest is postponed till the icy grape-harvest at the beginning of the year. The grapevine has been cultivated in the Mediterranean since ancient times and the oldest wine cellar, built 7000 years ago, was also found there. Croatia has exceptionally favourite climate conditions for raising various sorts of grapes (Croatia comprises all five zones of grapevine cultivation); the grapevine is also depicted on Croatian two-lipa coin. The first grapevine trees in today’s continental Croatia were planted by Romans (in Srijem area), and at the coast (on islands) by Greeks. From about 130 sorts of autochtonous grapevines cultivars in Croatia, the best known is the Vitis Vinifera L. (plavac mali crni) - a crossbreed of "dobričić” from the Island of Šolta and „crljenak” or zinfandel from Kaštela, which is used in production of excellent wines (Dingač and Postup) from protected geographical regions (protected denomination of origin) – like e.g. areas on the peninsula of Pelješac. Apart from the production of wine, the grapevine has also other culinary uses (raisins, vinegar, stuffed grapevine leaves), and uses as medication.
Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L., Family Grossulariaceae) English: Gooseberry German: Stachelbeere French:. Groseillier a maquereaux Italian: Uva spina Gooseberry (syn. R. grossularia) is 1 - 3 m high, broad bush belonging to the genus of Ribes. Some botanists are of the opinion that the gooseberries significantly differ from ribes (currant) and that they belong to separate genus, Grossularia, after which - earlier in history, the entire plant family has been named. Thin, hairy gooseberry offsets are spirally overgrown by sharp, greyish spines, which are not present in ribes, while the hairy leaves are small and lobate. The bell-shaped greenish flowers, are hanging singly, in pairs or by three. The fruit is more or less hairy berry of a diameter 1 - 3 cm, white, red, green or yellow in colour, depending on the sort (at least 200). The yellow berries are considered to be the most tasteful as food, and the wine made from them has the taste similar to champagne. The red berries are as a rule the sourest but also the richest in vitamin C. Gooseberry is native to Europe and West Asia. In South Europe gooseberry grows in moist and cold habitats in schrubberies and woods at the foot of hills; it is relatively unknown sort, rare in cultivation. Gooseberry is also a pretty demanding plant to cultivate, since it can not stand strong sun and summer lack of moisture, too high or too low temperatures, and is subject to a series of parasites and diseases. Thus, also in Croatia it is cultivated individually and primarily as a decoration in home gardens or in hedges around vegetable gardens, together with raspberries and currants. However, in Middle and especially in North Europe and Russia (where it was grown as early as in the 11th century), gooseberry was highly appreciated fruit, cultivated en masse. It is mostly used in culinary, for preparation of various desserts, especially cakes, and gelatine food (containing high percentage of pectin) and sauces. The gooseberry fruits - because of their high percentage of water, are subject to quick spoilage, and cannot be stored fresh for a long period of time: therefore they are most often processed into marmalades, jams, juices or wine. In cosmetic industry gooseberry is added to face masks, and is considered also to be a curing plant - in the form of refreshing tonic for the “spring body cleaning”. Sanja Kovačić
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca L., Family Rosaceae) English: Woodland Strawberry German:. Wald-Erdbeere French:. Fraisier des bois Italian: Fragola di bosco Woodland strawberry is s low perennial herb growing in temperate zones of north hemisphere. From the underground root there grow flowering stems, runners (stolons) and toothed trifoliate leaves. Flowers on long pedicles have 5 white petals with numerous pistils and stamens. Apart from a real calyx with five sepals, the flower of woodland strawberry has also an outer calyx with five smal leaves, that protrude on the fruit or are turned backwards. The fruit of woodland strawberry, with an exceptionelly characteristic smell and taste, is often wrongly considered broad bean. Actually, the strawberry is a typical example of aggregate fruit, with the structure built of fleshy receptacle with numerous separate fruits – small nuts. The scientific term for the strawberry genus is derived from latin fragare = to smell, as the strawberry fruit was called in ancient times (fragum). Woodland strawberries were cultivated in Persian gardens already at the beginning of the 15th century, and traded along the Silk Route; nowadays these small fruits are mostly being collected in nature. The archeological findings confirm that people used woodland strawberries as food and medication already in early Stone Age, and today they are being used also in homeopathic medicine, cosmetic industry and horticulture. The woodland strawberry has completely been suppressed from cultivation by the Garden Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa), raised in France in the middle of the 18th century, by interbreeding of the North American Virginia Strawberry (F. virginiana) and South American Chilean Strawberry (F. chiloensis). Today about 400 sorts of garden stroberries are known, that differ in size, smell and taste of their fruits, and some even in colour (white, orange and yellow sorts). Nevertheless, woodland strawberries are still appreciated as more tasteful, better smelling and more nutritious than garden strawberries. Various strawberry processing procedures have turned strawberries into one of the most favourite fruits in the world: let us only mention cakes and compotes, icecreams, marmelades and jams, fruit juices, cyrups and wine! It is far less known that the strawberry leaves are very rich in vitamin C and are a good substitute for black tea to which fragrant, dried fruits can be added. Artificially produced strawberry aroma is used for colouring food and various cosmetic products.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 16.03.2010
Designer: Sabina Rešić, painter and designer, Zagreb
Printer: Zrinski - Čakovec
Process: Multicoloured Offsetprint + Embossed Print
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 42,60 x 35,50
Values: 0.14, 0.55, 0.55