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Otaheite Gooseberry

Grosella, Gooseberry tree

Euphorbiaceae Phyllanthus acidus (L.) Skeels.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This is a small tropical tree, to 20 feet, native to South Asia but now naturalized in the West Indies and South Florida. Leaves are compound with numerous pinnate leaflets. Fruits are borne in loose clusters, which hang from the tree trunk and main branches. Individual fruits are up to 0.75 inch in diameter, near globose and angled. Fruits are generally too tart for fresh eating but are esteemed for jellies, preserves and pastries. They ripen in midsummer. There are no commercial plantings; but trees are in home gardens, and fruit is harvested from naturalized trees.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch