Saturday, November 14, 2015
Acerola Cherry - 'Malpighia emarginata' - fam: Malpighiaceae
Malpighia emarginata, is a tropical fruit-bearing shrub, or small tree, in the family Malpighiaceae. Common names include Acerola, Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry, and Wild Crepe Myrtle. Acerola is native to South America, southern Mexico, and Central America, but is now also being grown as far north as Texas, and in subtropical areas of Asia, such as India. 1
It is known for being extremely rich in vitamin C, almost as much as Camu camu, although it also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3, as well as carotenoids, and bioflavonoids, which provide important nutritive value and have antioxidant uses.
This bright red cherry-like fruit, has varying tastes during different stages in maturity. When fully ripe the fruit is juicy and aromatic, with its acid content giving it a sweet acid apple-like flavour. The tree can produce a number or crops each year, making for quite a long harvest season.
One variety grown is called the Acerola Florida Sweet Cherry, and is a pleasant eating variety that is not too sour. The acerola is well suited to pot culture where it can be kept to a smaller size, it could also be grown this way in cooler climates, where it can be moved to a warmer position in the winter.
A word of warning the foliage of the plant is covered in minute, irritating stinging hairs that can produce an allergic reaction, so when pruning your trees wear a long sleeved shirt and a pair of gloves. 2
REFERENCES: 1 - Wikipedia - Malpighia emarginata
2 - Daley's Fruit - Acerola.