I have in my orchard two "Jaboticabeiras", (Jaboticaba tree), a small evergreen tropical tree native to Brazil. They usually reach only to 10-25ft high, though sometimes up 40ft.
A slow growing tree, it may take 8 or more years before it bears fruit. After flowering, the fruit develops quickly, sometimes in as few as 3 weeks. In this season (October), all the branches of the tree are fruitful.
Then …it’s a delicious feast!
The jabotica averages size is one inch in diameter but can run from 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches, depending on species and variety.
The jaboticaba fruits look like purple grapes and it has a very sweet, slightly aromatic, translucent pulp with a pleasant grape flavour. The whole fruit is consumed fresh. The fruits are often used for making jelly.
Jaboticaba "is a member of the Myrtaceae (Myrtle) family and is known botanically as Eugenia cauliflora. ("Cauliflora" means that it flowers and bears fruit on the trunk, mature branches and exposed roots.). It is a relative of the guava and true myrtle. The word "jaboticaba" is said to have been derived from the Tupi term, jabotim, for turtle, and means "like turtle fat", presumably referring to the fruit pulp. Little known outside their natural range, these members of the myrtle family, are perhaps the most popular native fruit-bearers of Brazil". Generally identified as Myrciaria cauliflora Berg. , the names jaboticaba,
jabuticaba or yabuticaba (for the fruit; jaboticabeira for the tree) actually embrace 4 species of very similar trees and fruits.
Jaboticaba trees grow best on deep, rich and well-drained soil. If the trees are heavily irrigated in the dry season, they may bear several crops a year.
Propagation: By seed, which develop relatively true to their parent but grow slowly, taking up to 8-15 years to fruit. Grafting is also successfull, and can produce fruit in 3 years.
In my next post, I will introduce my beautiful Pitangueira, (Pitanga tree), also
called "Surinam cherry."
Photos by Sonia de Amorim Mascaro