Barbados Cherry is now available in commercial garden centers. The Barbados cherry is a small, round to oblate fruit, averaging about 1 inch in diameter. Adequate water maximizes fruit yield and promotes good growth, especially when the Barbados cherry tree develops blooms or is fruiting. To protect the integrity of the fruit and to avoid killing butterfly larvae, it is important to purchase from a center that can guarantee the plant has not been treated with systemic pesticide. The name Malpighia is used to honor Marcello Malpighia (1628-1693). The main fruiting species is Malpighia emarginata, and it produces prolific harvests of sweet acerola fruit. However, stings from fruit fly and other insects can affect the fruit development and make them grow poorly. The latter is an acid selection with much larger fruit. The red fruit is a drupe the size of a cherry. Barbados cherry is not deer resistant. He was a distinguished naturalist in Bologna, Italy. Evergreen, the Barbados cherry produces lovely, lush green foliage. Read on for more Barbados cherry information, and learn how to grow Barbados cherry in your garden. Season Source: Starr. It is known to be the larval host for four species of native butterflies. News: The Internet's Finest Tropical Fruit Discussion Forum! There’s three different botanical names associated with them. Here's a great cherry substitute for warmer climates called the Barbados cherry or Acerola or West Indian cherry. A number of improved selections have been developed. Although not compulsory, the use of mulch is desirable because it retains soil moisture, keeps roots cool, prevents weeds and controls pests. Cherry Trees That Do Not Bear Fruit. The tart to sweet-tart flesh surrounds a number of seeds. Barbados cherry seedlings are quite variable and fruit quality is usually not as good as desired. The small pink flowers, which bloom in spurts from April through October, look very similar to the flowers of crape myrtle. Some of the bright red to deep crimson colored fruit are said to resemble small apples. It is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b through 11. The Flowering Dwarf Barbados Cherry is native to St. Croix, Trinidad and Curacao. They attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Barbados cherry produces a lovely bright red fruit that is edible and high in vitamin C, but quite tart. I have seen the Barbados cherry fruit stung by fruit fly but rarely does the larva develop in the fruit itself. Acerola cherry, also called barbados cherry, are a bit confusing to look for at first. They have a thin, glossy skin that covers yellow-orange, soft, juicy pulp. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Melissa Petruzzello, Assistant Editor. Acerola, or Barbados Cherry, is the second highest known natural source of Vitamin ‘C’ or ascorbic acid, exceeded only by Rose Hips. Life is said to be like a bowl of cherries, but having a cherry tree that fails to fruit is the pits. Another species commonly called Barbados cherry is the wild Malpighia glabra, which has been the subject of some taxonomic confusion with the cultivated species. Birds are not usually a problem; however, I have seen the odd cherry swiped by birds so netting may be required in other areas. About the Acerola Tree. Homeowners should look for improved clones such as `Florida Sweet' and `B-17'. Barbados cherry is native to the West Indies, but has naturalized as far as southern Texas. An ornamental shrub growing to around 3 metres, Acerola puts on a fine show of colour through summer as the fruits mature from green through pink to red and finally a scarlet, almost black red colour ..\. "All discussion content within the forum reflects the views of individual participants only and do not necessarily represent the views held by the Tropical Fruit Forum as an organization."