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Acerola

West Indies cherry, Barbados cherry

Malpighiaceae Malpighia glabra L.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

The plant is a large shrub or small tree, up to 15 feet. It is a tropical plant, evergreen, that will endure only light frost. The leaves are entire, elliptic and pointed, nearly glabrous. The fruit has a smooth, thin skin, and has three ribs, or sutures. It has come into prominence as having the highest known vitamin C content, up to 66-fold that in orange juice. Fruits are about an inch in diameter, with a single, rather large seed. They ripen in 3 to 4 months from bloom, but fruits in all stages of development are on the trees at the same time.


Season, bloom to harvest: About 3 months.

Production in U.S.: No data, commercial plantings in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Use: Mainly juice. Makes good jelly.

Part of fruit consumed: juice, pressed from whole fruit.


Last update February 18, 1999 by ch