|Number of plants found: 5|
One of the most popular native fruit of Brazil. This is a slow-growing rather bushy tree up to 15 ft tall, often multi-stemmed with opposite small leaves. The larger trunks and branches have bark which peels off in small patches which is found to be very attractive. The tree is evergreen, but once or twice during the year it will shed large numbers of leaves generally corresponding to heavy rains. Small white flowers are produced along the larger trunks and branches ("cauliflora" means "flowers growing on trunk"). Fruit development is very rapid, usually taking only 20-25 days from flower to full maturity.
The fruit forms on the trunks on short stems, with 2-3 fruits sometimes in a cluster. When trees are in heavy fruit, you cannot see the branches for all the large numbers of dark purplish-black fruits that look like large grapes. They have a white pulp with several small seeds. Skin is thick, and delicious melting pulp somewhat resembles Northern Black Currant in flavor. Jaboticaba fruits are ready to harvest when they have developed a full color and are somewhat soft like a ripe grape. The fruits can be eaten fresh, used in jellies, jams, ice creams, wines or can be frozen whole to enjoy throughout the year. Usually, Jaboticaba will bear fruit only in 6 to 10 years from seed. Once mature, the trees may produce between six to eight crops of fruit per year.
Jaboticaba is fairly wind tolerant but not salt tolerant, but it is relatively cold hardy, taking down to 23 F for short periods without serious damage. Young plants may be injured at around upper 20's F. As the root system is shallow and dries out quickly, the tree requires regular irrigation. It thrives better when planted in heavily mulched organic soils. In their native area, Jaboticabas are frequently flooded by rising rivers for weeks at a time without serious damage, so they are considered water-tolerant. The plant will do best in acid soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, somewhat like gardenias. In highly alkaline soil the plant often develops micronutrient deficiency.
Because of its slow growth, Jaboticaba is perfect for growing in containers. Mature trees in 3-5 gal pots can be many years old. Due to small leaves and dwarfish growth habit, Jaboticaba is often used as bonsai. The tree is small enough to fit into many parts of the garden landscape. Some old bonsai specimens can fruit.
Guavaberry should not be confused with Guava. These trees can be found growing wild in Central America, South America, and Caribbean. It was introduced to Florida, Hawaii, Bermuda, and the Philippines. Plants have red-brown branches and small pink and white flowers. The fruit, which are roughly half the size of cherries, are yellow-orange or dark-red and contain a small amount of translucent flesh surrounding a stone. It has excellent tangy acidic flavor and usually eaten fresh. Also used in beverages, as well as fermented and used in alcoholic drinks, and to make jams. Guavaberry liqueur, which is made from rum, is a common Christmas drink in Sint Maarten and the Virgin Islands. The plant is also used for medicinal purposes.
It grows well in dry and moist climates. Can be kept small with pruning. Hardy to short frost, to the upper 20's F.
Note: the following latin synonyms for Cabelluda - Eugenia cabelluda, Eugenia tomentosa, Myrciaria glomerata, Paramyrciaria glomerata - may be taxonomically incorrect, although in some sources excepted. Refer to pictures for better identification of this plant.
Cabelluda is a large shrub or small tree, 10-20 feet in height, with multiple thin trunks, very handsome and of value as an ornamental plant. The young stems and leaves are pubescent. Small white flowers are perfect and occur in axillary clusters. Fruits are about 1 inch in diameter, round, yellow when fully ripe, pubescent, with one or two seeds. Cabelluda fruits are delicious. They resemble large gooseberries in appearance and are sweet and aromatic, with a flavor similar to apricot. These are eaten fresh, and can also be used for juices and jams. The fruits are very nutritive and rich in vitamins. Fruiting occurs in 2-3 years, when the plant is hardly 3-4 feet tall.
Cabelluda grows best in moist, fertile soils, and fruits well in full sun as well as partial shade. As a tropical tree, it is fairly cold tolerant and can withstand temperatures as low as upper 20's for a short period. Soft young leaves and twigs may get some cold damage, however even if severely damaged, in Spring the plant readily grows back from the roots.
Cabelluda is rare in plant collections, however it is popular in cultivation around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where its fruit ripen in October-November.
This Jaboticaba relative is a slow growing, beautiful ornamental shrub that grows up to 6 ft. It bears a dark purple, almost bluish fruit with thin, sweet flesh surrounding one or two large seeds. The fruit tastes somewhat like sweet grapes. Fruits are borne in late Spring or early Fall and usually eaten fresh or used in drinks. The plant is little known in cultivation, yet the fruits are of equal or superior quality to Jaboticaba. A single bush may produce several thousand fruits. This plant can tolerate light frost when establised. Cultivation requirements are similar to those of Myrciaria cauliflora.
Cambuca is very little known fruit despite if its superior qualities. This fruit has well-balanced sweet-acid flavor, the soft texture, the medium fruit size, the high pulp content and the large fruit yield. However, it is an almost unknown fruit in the United States. Even in Brazil, there are very little people who know it. It was a very usual fruit at the Rio de Janeiro markets 60 years ago but today it disappeared due to devastation of its natural environment. Its name came from the Tupi Indian word kabuka, which means "The bud plant" (maybe due the cauliflower aspect).
Cambuca is a very slow growing, evergreen tree, reaching 15-20 ft high. The short trunk (30% of the total height), has a wide and dense crown of slender, spreading branches. As many other plants from its family, it has a smooth, thin, pale brownish-gray outer bark easily pealed off in large flakes to show the coppery layer below. Glossy, curled margin leaves, 2-4" long, 1-2" wide, dark green above and slightly downy, light green below. The white flowers, with a cluster of numerous stamens, are born agglomerated in groups (2-8 flowers) over the branches axils or distributed around the stem. The very smooth, short stalked, globular berry is larger than most Myrciaria and Eugenia. They are green at the beginning, turning yellow to bright orange-yellow when ripen, presenting many slightly raised longitudinal ridges. Some sources mention about the existence of fruits up to 4" large, but usually they are 1-2". Under the leathery, thin skin, there is a soft, grainless, juicy, orange-yellow, thick flesh, similar to Peaches in texture. It involves an incredibly delicious, translucent, melting, yellow pulp that encloses one two light purple seeds, easily separable from the pulp. Both, flesh and pulp, have a delicious, well balanced subacid to sweet flavor, resembling jaboticabas, grumichamas and pitombas, but without any trace of astringency or resinous aftertaste. Fully ripe cambucas are prized to eat out of hand. Cut around the middle of the fruit to reach its delicious, natural jelly like, internal pulp with a spoon. The external flesh may be used to make jams, marmalades and pies. Both are used to make juices and ice creams rich in flavor and color.
In its natural habitat, Cambuca grows in a very hot and rainy region. However, this plant can be very well adapted to many different climates. Well-established trees can tolerate as much as 2 months of drought without irrigation.
There is very little information about the existence of specimens growing outside Brazil. Even in subtropical areas, Cambuca showed to be cold hardy during the winter.
Cambuca prefers a deep, rich, well drained soil and full sun. It is a very slow growing plant. Trees 10 year old, are just 6-8 ft high. Young trees must be pruned to maintain the trunk cleaned up to about 2 ft.
The tree is very ornamental due to its dense canopy and the decorative effect when setting their fruits. Leaves and seed's decoction are used in homeopathic formulations against bronchitis and coughs. The astringent bark can be used in leather industry.