It is no true cherry. It´s native to Brazil
and grows quite well at the Canary Islands and in south Florida.
It is a very beautiful small evergreen tree, 20-25 feet
in height, with dark green, glossy, waxy leaves. As the tree
gets older the bark peels off resulting in a smooth and very
In the spring, the cherry of the Rio Grande is one of our early
flowering tropical fruits and often blossoms in the first part
of March. The flowering season extends over several months,
and in some years flowers are still being produced in the early
part of May. The flowers are white and quite showy. The
1-inch oblong fruit is a beautiful dark red to purple
even black when ripe and is produced soon after flowering. The
fruit season usually is April through June, and the fruit
are highly prized fresh and as jellies, jams or juices. The fruits
also freeze quite well, so they can be picked at maturity and
frozen for later use.
For persons with limited room in the landscape cherry
of the Rio Grande is ideal because it can be grown as a large
bush or even as a large container specimen and still produce
adequate quantities of fruit.
Cherry of the Rio Grande is usually propagated by seed, though
seedlings may take up to 4 to 5 years to begin producing fruit.
Although there is a lot of variation with the Cherry of the Rio
Grande as to the size of the fruit, there is not a lot of variation
in quality, at least in my experience. Superior varieties, especially
large fruited forms, can be veneer grafted onto seedling rootstocks.
Considered a slow grower, cherry of the Rio Grande still will
grow at the rate of 2 to 3 feet per year and makes a very attractive
large shrub or mall tree, depending on how it's trained.
Most cherry of the Rio Grande grow on a wide variety
of soil types; however, they prefer a slightly acid soil
and on alkaline soils may develop some micronutrients deficiencies.
Most of the time there is little problem in cooler
areas from cold, since cherry of the Rio Grande can tolerate
temperatures down to 20°F without being killed. It does
not like large amounts of salt spray, and if grown right on the
ocean may suffer some burned foliage. Trees should be fertilized
with a fruit tree type fertilizer at least 3 times a year for
good growth and fruiting and during periods of dry weather, they
would benefit from once a week irrigation. Avoid over-irrigation,
since this often will create problems with the root system.
The only major problem associated with cherry of the
Rio Grande in Florida is a die-back problem which can occur any
time but often shows up when plants are approaching maturity.
There's no known reason for the die-back at the present; how
ever, usually only smaller branches are affected and these can
be pruned out and the plant will go on growing normally.
Although suspected to be a disease, applications of
fungicide have so far proved ineffective in stopping this die-back.
As with most fruits in south Florida, the fruit is attractive
to the Caribbean fruit fly and in some years, fruit may be lost.
Birds also find the fruit attractive and the upper parts of trees
are often picked clean before the fruit even fully matures.
Obwohl cherry auf Englisch Kirsche bedeutet,
ist Cherry of the Rio Grande nicht mit unseren Kirschen verwandt.
Farbe und Form ähneln nur.
Die Heimat ist Brasilien und sie wächst in tropischen
und subtropischen Gebieten sofern in letzteren die Temperatur
nicht unter -6 Grad Celsius sinkt.
Der langsam wachsende immergrüne Buschbaum wird
bis zu 7 m hoch. Die Rinde blättert wie bei Guaven leicht
ab und erzeugt einen schönes Stammbild.
Die kleinen weissen Blüten erscheinen bei uns
ab März bis April. Die Früchte sind schon nach etwa
5 Wochen reif. Erntezeit ist also April bis Mai.
Der Boden sollte leicht sauer sein. Ansonsten sind
die Bäumchen anspruchslos. Mehrmaliges Düngen ist angebracht.
Details siehe englischer Text. Dortige Informationen
gelten für Florida wie auch die Kanaren.