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This small multi-branching tree or shrub grows about 10-20 ft tall. Leaves are 2-3" long, glossy, waxy, dark green, and somewhat folded down the center. As the tree gets older the bark peels off, resulting in a smooth and very attractive trunk. In the spring the Cherry of the Rio Grande is one of our early flowering tropical fruits and often blossoms in the first part of March. The flowers are white and quite showy. Blooming and fruiting season continues for several months into Summer. The delicious cherry is one inch oblong fruit, beautiful dark red to purple, and is produced soon after flowering. When ripe the the fruit can turn almost black and have a full cherry-like flavor. The fruit are highly prized fresh and as jellies, jams or juices. They freeze quite well, so they can be picked at maturity and frozen for later use.
A slow grower, Cherry of the Rio Grande grows 2 to 3 feet per year and makes a very attractive large shrub or small tree, depending on how it's trained. It is ideal for limited space landscapes since it can be kept as a bush or even as a container specimen and still produce adequate quantities of fruit. Propagated by seed, although seedlings may take up to 4-5 years to fruit.
The plant is fairly drought tolerant, but needs regular watering when flowering and fruiting, but avoid over-irrigation as it may create problems with the root system. The plant is tolerant of a variety of soils, it grows best in partly acidic soil; it does not like large amounts of salt spray. A relatively hardy plant, it can tolerate as low as low 20's F when mature, though younger plants should be protected from frosts.
This compact tree grows to about 20 feet. It has beautiful glossy green leaves up to 3-4 inches long and one to two inches wide, with leathery texture, and the new growth is a wine reddish color before it matures. During the early spring, one white one-inch flowers are produced in large masses. Fruits follow quickly in about four weeks after flowering. They are about one inch or larger, purplish black in color with large seeds and excellent melting flesh that has almost the flavor of a northern cherry. Eaten fresh and used in jelly.
Trees grow well in most soil types, but prefer acid conditions for best growth. They are cold hardy down to upper 20's F, and will take some salt spray.
Trees are easily propagated by seed; seedlings take about two and a half years to start flowering. Growth rates are usually about two feet a year once the plants are well established. The Grumichama makes an excellent container plant and will fruit quite nicely in a five to ten gallon-size container.
One of the rarest, it tends toward columnar growth. Fragrant flowers, red berries.
The foliage, especially when crushed, emits a mild skunk-like odor. Small, fourpetaled, white flowers are grouped in fewflowered, axillary racemes.
Spanish Stopper are relatively slow growing and not aggressive invaders.
Although small, the fruits are edible to humans. The fruit was used as a treatment for diarrhea, that is why it is called a stopper.
They are a great berry to attract fruit-eating birds.
Pitomba is the most slow growing of all Eugenias, growing to 15-20 ft. It is an excellent ornamental plant as well as valuable fruit tree. Leaves are dark green above, lighter green underneath and the trunk is a beautiful light brown and tan. Snowy white yellow flowers up to an inch and a half across are borne during the spring months and the fruit ripens 4-6 weeks later. Fruiting season is May-July, sometimes there is also a light Fall crop. The apricot-color, round to pear shaped fruit has soft, melting, juicy flesh with a highly aromatic slightly acid flavor. Not only color, but also taste is comparable to an apricot. The fruit is rich in vitamin C. They are good eaten fresh or made into jelly and preserves.
Being very slow growing, the plant is suitable for container culture (fruit quite well in seven-to-ten-gallon-sized containers) or as a dwarf fruit tree specimen. Seedlings take two or more years to begin fruiting. Trees grow well over a wide variety of soils, but perform the best under acidic conditions. Healthy plants have excellent salt tolerance. Mature trees are quite cold hardy and take down to upper 20's F, young plants are more sensitive and need to be protected in case of frost.
Pitangatuba - native of Rio de Janeiro. It looks like a giant yellow cherry. The taste, however, is nothing bitter, and resembles that of Uvaia (Eugenia pyriformis). Great potential for pulp production, is much richer in vitamins and minerals than other cherries. Until recently is was almost unknown to the fruit growers. In its natural habitat, is a compact shrub, from 4 to 6 ft. Its trunk has a rough outer shell, it gives off in plates. The leaves are leathery, dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the bottom. The ribs are well printed on top. Very slow growing, but can be quick to flower. 2-3 year old plants can flower and fruit when barely a foot tall. Foliage and flowers have similarities to the Eugenia uniflora and the shrub makes an attractive ornamental.
Bright yellow fruit is oblong, 2-3" size, like a giant cherry, thick pulp, acidic and very juicy and aromatic. Flavor is pleasant, making it sweeter when grown in full sun.
Tolerant to salt wind conditions. Excellent container plant.
Uvaia - rare exotic fruit tree. The fruit is sweet, aromatic with tart taste. It is priced for its juice and is produced commerially in Brazil. Crushed leaves give spicy odor.
Native to E. Australia small shrub or tree, 10-15 ft tall. This plant can survive temperature drops to 30-32F for short periods of time. Small red fruits have very pleasant flavor. Is worth growing for its fruits which are deliciously sweet and have soft pulp are preceded by small and attractive white flowers with a mass of stamens typical of lilly pillies.
Eugenia rhombea, commonly known in Florida as "Red Stopper", is one of four species of Eugenia native to North America. It is a beautiful small tree, bearing small shiny deep green leaves which are pinkish-orange-red when young, giving them the appearance of a flowering tree at a distance when flushing out new growth a number of times a year.
Its native range includes Florida, Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola and part of Eastern Central America. However, here in Florida, it is federally listed as an endangered species, only known from the lowermost Everglades and Keys, where even there it is rare.
These elegant little trees grow to perhaps 12 or so feet tall, developing an elegant, umbrella shaped canopy. At a distance, they rather resemble Ficus benjamina, yet with a more orderly and refined appearance. In addition, they develop fluffy white flowers with a delightful fragrance, followed by holly-like long lasting red berries which are relished by wonderful song birds.
Although appearing delicate, this tropical species is surprisingly hardy, and would likely even make striking, a one-of-a-kind houseplant in the North.