As its name suggests, the Brazil cherry is native to South America. Its fruit can be eaten raw, or made into jam or jelly. Its slow growth and low dispersal capacity means that it is rare in the wild, and therefore potentially endangered.
The genus Eugenia is named in honour of Prince Eugene of Savoy, and brasiliensis means "from Brazil".
Description and flowering period
This tree reaches 15 to 20 meters in height. Its grey bark sheds with age. Its branches are thin and break easily. Its foliage is dark green, dense and persistent. The mature leaves are spear-head shaped, tough and shiny while the young ones are red. The flowers consist of 4 green sepals followed by 4 white petals and long stamens. Its fruits are round berries crowned by the persistent sepals which give them the appearance of tiny pomegranates. Their colour varies from red to orange or purple. Their flesh is very juicy.
It requires a moist silty/sandy soil in full sun or part-shade. It is quite intolerant to temperatures below 1°C.
- Food & drink: The fruit can be eaten raw or used to make jams and preserves…
- Medicinal: The cherry stalks are famed for their diuretic, cleansing and antipyretic properties.
- Crafts: The wood is used in carpentry and cabinet-making.
Its slow growth and limited dispersion capacity makes it quite rare in nature which makes it a potentially threatened species.
Translated by: François Saint-Hillier – MNHN