A member of the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae), the Eugenia genus contains over 1000
species worldwide and has several edible fruit species, including Grumichama.
Form: Large shrub or small tree.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow, about one foot a year in height.
Usually 6-25' high and not as wide. It can reach 45' in its native environment.
Four white petals, many white stamens with pale-yellow anthers.
Spring. In its native region, it flowers periodically spring through fall.
Yes. It may require hand pollination if insects are not attracted to the flowers.
Years before fruiting:
4-5 from seed.
Oblate, 1/2"-1" wide, suspended on a long stalk, persistent sepals at its apex; thin skin,
colored purple or yellow, with sweet, aromatic, red or white juicy pulp. Its flavor has been
described as a cross between black cherry and Jaboticaba with a hint of resin. The grape-like
skin adds a tiny amount of bitterness and a moderate amount of astringency to the fruit when
comparing skin-on versus skin-off flavor. It contains one to three hard seeds.
Months for fruit to ripen:
3-4 weeks. The fruit is delicate and should be harvested with care. Clipping the stem will
avoid tearing the skin which causes rapid drying of the fruit.
Storage after harvest:
Refrigerate immediately after harvest up to 12 days. Stem removal should be avoided.
Glossy green, thick, leathery, and minutely pitted on both surfaces, the leaves persist for 2
years. New leaves are red.
Short-trunked, no thorns.
The flowers attract pollinating insects, the fruit attracts birds. Bird netting may be
Toxic / Danger:
Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones:
9b-11. Young plants are hardy to 30°F, older ones to 26°F. This plant has been observed
to produce fruit at 300-2000' altitude in Hawaii. It is intolerant of strong winds when young
because its roots allow it to be toppled.
Chill hours: None.
Heat tolerant: No.
Drought tolerant: No.
All day part shade to afternoon shade, especially in hot climates. Full sun is tolerated in
cool months. This is an understory tree when young.
Planting: Locate the plant where it will get part shade
most of the day and is not subjected to strong wind.
Planting on top of a mound or in a raised garden bed provides better moisture control. Dig a
garden trench 5' wide and 2' deep (or a raised bed 5' wide and 2' high), allowing 6' of
length for each plant (centered).
Well drained, moist, high organic content, pH 6.1-6.5 (slightly acidic) is best. This plant will
have iron, magnesium, and manganese deficiencies in alkaline soil. It is slightly salt tolerant.
Apply organic fertilezer monthly during growing season. Use a citrus plant micronutrient solution
three times a year in mid winter, mid spring, and mid summer. Avoid fertilizing during blooming
season because nitrogen inhibits flowering.
Water after becoming established:
Daily irrigation allows the plant to produce fruit in dry areas from spring until the last
fruit become ripe.
Use organic mulch to shield roots from high temperatures and reduce evaporation. Keep the mulch
8" away from the trunk.
First Three Years' Care:
Protect from strong winds and freezing.
This plant can be pruned to 6-8' for easier harvesting. It seldom needs pruning otherwise.
Remove all plants and grass near the root zone to avoid root competition for nutrients.
Seeds remain viable for up to 6 weeks and sprout in 30 days. Rooted cuttings are preferred
with superior cultivars. Air layering and grafting are also successful. Grumichama should
be purchased as a rooted plant, not as seed which most likely will be non-viable.
Ornamental, edible fruit, hedging.
Another name is Brazilian Cherry. It grows well in Florida and is considered productive but
invasive in parts of Hawaii. This plant is closely related to
Cherry of the Rio Grande
, and more distantly to
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