The small-leaved shrub with the smooth tan bark beneath the Mango tree is a Jaboticaba bush. The fruit—a dark purple, round, shiny berry about an inch in diameter—grows directly from the larger stems and the trunk of a large shrub. The creamy-white flowers almost completely cover the “barky” portions of the plant when it blooms (which may happen a couple of times a year), only to be followed in about 3 weeks by an almost complete covering of ¾ to 1 inch diameter grape-like dark purple fruit. This is one of the fastest maturing woody plant type fruits in the world—from flower to ripe fruit in less than a month. The purple “skin” of the fruit is about 1/8 inch thick and has a distinctive spicy taste, a bit like orange peel.
Most people “pop” the berry inside their mouth and suck out the sweet, juicy pulp and spit out the skin and the one to a couple of seeds. Some people make a nice purple jelly from the fruit.
The plants tolerate flooding well, because they originate in the Amazon River flood plain, and are periodically inundated for several weeks during the rainy season. They are typically grown from seed, and, when grown in the ground, can take a decade or longer to reach blooming size. Plants should be grown in full sun to maximize fruit production and quality.
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Hakalau, Hawaii 96710 Have you Visited us in the Past?
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