17 July 2011

Barbados Cherry "Acerola"

Dwarf Barbados Cherry
-Malpighia punicifolia
mal-PIG-ee-uh  pun-ik-ih-FOH-lee-a

Barbados Cherry- Acerola
-Malpighia emarginata   
mal-PIG-ee-uh  ee-mar-jih- NAY-tuh
-Malpighia glabra
mal-PIG-ee-uh  GLAY-bruh

arching dark brown stems
Malpighia punicifolia

A low growing plant with arching dark brown stems and green leaves and pink flowers followed by red berries throughout the year. Excellent bonsai specimen. The creeping stems and sometimes exposed roots can create really interesting shapes.

Malpighia punicifolia
small red fruit  

Use a well draining soil. Malpighia does not like wet feet. Water frequently, but allow the soil to dry slightly between watering. Do not let a malpighia completely dry-out. Over-watering and too much sun causes  leaves to yellow.

Wiring can be used but care should be taken as the growth is brittle. The "clip and grow" method is best with this plant.

Clip And Grow Pruning Technique

Malpighia punicifolia
Flowers and Fruit

If branches are allowed to get too long, they will drop leaves at the back and have leggy bare growth. If this occurs, clip back to the last 2 leaves, it will break back from this, continue to clip back as the new growth appears until the desired length is obtained. 

Only repot when night temperatures are above 60 F. Repotting can be done anytime during the summer. Tolerant of any sun position, full sun is best for small leaves, bloom and fruit however caution should be taken in the summer that the plant does not get too dry and the pot may need to be protected from full sun in the hottest months.

Malpighia emarginata  
Barbados Cherry "Acerola"

The butterflies love
the delicate pink flowers

The name honors Marcello Malpighi, a 17th century Italian physician and botanist.

Acerola is used to treat or prevent scurvy
The fruit is rich in  vitamin C
Malpighia emarginata

Wild Plants of Barbados (MacMillan Caribbean Natural History) Amazing Fruits From Amazon, Acerola Vitamin Supreme (1000 mg) Dietary Supplement, 90-Count Capsules  Exotic Foods: A Kitchen and Garden Guide

1 comment:

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