Florida Sweet Barbados Cherry

Acerola / Barbados Cherry 'Florida Sweet' (Malpighia emarginata)

Source tree from Shamus O'Learys Tropical Fruit Trees, March 2015

This is a great plant for AZ. Takes full sun, is very vigorous, beautiful medium green glossy leaves. The 'cherries' are somewhat cherry like. They are sweet and tart like a cherry. If you let them ripen to a deep dark red, they are really good. But (my problem at least) is that the birds love them, so it is usually hard to wait that long. But for fruit consumption, you shouldn't be growing these as cherry replacements per se, you should eat them because they are absolutely loaded with vitamin C. In fact, all the old-school vitamins used Acerola as their vitamin C source. And if you are a kid who grew up in the 80s (like me) and you remember the Shaklee vitamin craze (I know they exist as a brand still, but back then it was sold like Avon or Tupperware, my mom was part of those clubs) and you taste a Barbados Cherry, it will remind you immediately of the old Vitamin C wafers. Anyways... it is a great plant.

Acerola, wants to grow like a large bush

Flowers about 9 months out of the year

Starting to ripen

90% ripe, birds already started getting it :)

Nearly ripe on the plant and the birds haven't eaten it yet? I am shocked! :)