Characteristics of Barbados Cherry Tree (Malpighia emarginata) in the Wild

Malpighia emarginata
Barbados cherry (Malpighia emarginata) is a plant native to South America, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Brazil, but now also extends to Texas and Asia.

At present, the Barbados cherry tree has been cultivated throughout the tropical climate, including the Canary Islands, Ghana, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Hawaii, and Australia.

Barbados cherry is known to be very rich in vitamin C, although it also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3, as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, and the most important thing from Barbados cherry is its nutritional and antioxidant value.

This tree is valued and used as a popular bonsai subject in Asia because of its small leaves and fruit, and balanced branching.


Characteristics of Barbados Cherry Leaf

Malpighia emarginata Leaf

Barbados cherry leaves are oval-shaped, 2-8 cm long, grow on petioles, and have margins/serrations at the edges of the leaves are also downy, which can irritate the skin.


Characteristic of Barbados Cherry Flower

Malpighia emarginata Flower

The flowers are bisexual and 1-2 cm long. Barbados cherry flowers have five pink or red petals, 10 stamens, and six to 10 glands in the petals.


Characteristics of Barbados Cherry Fruit

Malpighia emarginata Fruit

As the name implies, Barbados Cherry, the fruit is in the form of cherries. Small round shape, measuring about 1-2 cm, red, and can be eaten directly.


Characteristics of Barbados Cherry Tree

Malpighia emarginata Tree

Barbados cherry trees can grow to form shrubs or small trees with many branches on the trunk. It usually reaches 2-3 meters in height, but sometimes 5-6 meters are found in the wild.

The tree is tolerant of a variety of soils but prefers dry soil and full sunlight throughout the day. It can withstand quite hot temperatures, but cannot withstand cold temperatures or waterlogged soils.


Barbados cherry fruit can be eaten directly and contain lots of vitamin C (around 1677 mg of vitamin C is in 100 g of fruit).

Barbados cherry fruit can be used to make juice and pulp, and baby food.


To propagate or cultivate Barbados cherry trees, farmers usually use seedlings, grafts, or stem cuttings. The seedling and graft method is the most common method used by farmers and is likely to grow more than cuttings.


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