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Eugenia luschnathiana, Phyllocalyx luschnathianus, Pitomba

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Eugenia luschnathiana, Phyllocalyx luschnathianus
Family: Myrtaceae
Origin: Brazil
Small tree 10-20 ftFull sunRegular waterModerate waterWhite/off-white flowersEdibleSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

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.

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