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PlantFiles: Jamaican Cherry
Muntingia calabura

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Family: Elaeocarpaceae
Genus: Muntingia (mun-TING-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: calabura

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Trees
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:
Unknown - Tell us

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year

Foliage:
Evergreen
Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Chamma
Thumbnail #1 of Muntingia calabura by Chamma

By Chamma
Thumbnail #2 of Muntingia calabura by Chamma

By Chamma
Thumbnail #3 of Muntingia calabura by Chamma

By teddyJ
Thumbnail #4 of Muntingia calabura by teddyJ

By teddyJ
Thumbnail #5 of Muntingia calabura by teddyJ

By IslandJim
Thumbnail #6 of Muntingia calabura by IslandJim

By IslandJim
Thumbnail #7 of Muntingia calabura by IslandJim

There are a total of 16 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

8 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive andrewshim On Sep 15, 2013, andrewshim from Klang
Malaysia wrote:

I first landed on this page trying to find information about planting the cherry tree. While everything I read said that this is a hardy tree, I got the impression that it would be easy to plant/transplant as well. My wife and I decided on planting a cherry tree outside our front gate to provide shade for my little second car. I must say first of all that we are not even close to being amateur gardeners!

Anyway... I probably planted 100 seeds over a course of 2-3 months. Nothing. In the sun, nothing. In the shade, nothing. In all types of soil, nothing. We tried transplanting. Nothing. About 10 transplants from 12" to 6' all died. We dug around the root with as much of the soil intact as we could. All died within 2 weeks. We noticed that all these transplants had one major root (probably leading to the mother tree) that we had no choice but to cut. None of them looked like they had enough root system of their own. They were "child" plants from a main "mother" tree.

So... after 3 months of nothing, we finally chanced upon 3 seedlings growing in the cracks between the wall and floor of a Tesco hypermarket of all places. It was raining and the soil was wet. We pulled the seedlings out (one was 8" high, the other 2 were 3"). Took them home and transplanted them. The big fella went into a pot. The other small fellas, outside. Regular soil (what type I don't know - I'm not a gardener I said earlier). Two weeks later, the plants seem to have survived the transplanting and look to be sprouting new shoots. I figure the reason they survived was :

- the soil was soft and wet when we took them out from the crack
- most importantly, we think they've survived the transplanting is that they were NOT "child" plants, connected to a "mother" tree. They were probably planted from passing through a bird's dropping at the side of the building, in other words, they were "mother" trees.

Anyway... sorry for the long rambling ameteurish post. I figure there are going to be folks out there who want a muntingia, but are having a heck of a time growing one like we did. We're hoping these 3 seedling don't die. Otherwise, we're planting a mango tree!!!

Neutral Muscat29 On Aug 14, 2012, Muscat29 from Gozo
Malta wrote:

Does anyone tried to grow this plant from seeds, I bought some Jamaican cherry tree seeds and need some suggestions on how to germinate them

Thanks

Neutral amygirl On Jun 22, 2012, amygirl from Miami, FL wrote:

I think the fruits have the flavor of cotton candy. I enjoy looking for the ripe ones every afternoon. I am going to try to root some cuttings.

Positive Lonne99 On Dec 12, 2009, Lonne99 from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

HELP!

We planted two Jamaican cherry trees in our front yard to replace two crabapple trees we lost during Hurricane Ike. We absolutely love these trees. They are fast growing, and looking for the delicious fruit is a daily hobby of ours :) The trees have been doing well.

However, we actually had snow in Houston recently (a rare occurrence), and the leaves seem extremely wilted (we know they normally seem wilted in the evening). Does anyone know if this is indicative of major damage or if the trees may spring back? They are both abot 20' tall now, and I would hate to lose them.

Positive BroncoBob27 On Oct 9, 2009, BroncoBob27 from Lake Worth, FL wrote:

My tree is still young, only about 8' tall and gives me about a handful of berries a day. Would like to find a recipe for making jam. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Positive astcgirl On Jun 24, 2008, astcgirl from Brandon, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Love this plant, especially my kids, they enjoy going out in the morning and looking to see what berries will be ripe by that afternoon. Haven't had any bugs other than a light spider mite problem for about 2 weeks while we had a 2 month dry period. I have the tree in a pot and it is full of berries.

April 2010 - We had a bad winter this year in Florida and quite a few nights below freezing, sadly my tree died, it was in a pot so maybe if it was in the ground it would've pulled through.

Neutral CHudnall On Oct 10, 2007, CHudnall from Sebring, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is also called Strawberry-Tree, in Florida, because the blooms are similar to the strawberry bloom.

Ripe fruit is bright red, smooth, very sweet, juicy and has edible seeds. Fruits mostly between April - October.

It is a moderate to fast grower.

Positive stressbaby On Jun 3, 2007, stressbaby from Fulton, MO wrote:

Fruits early and in container, making it a nice tropical fruit for northern greenhouse gardeners.

Positive Phytodealer On Feb 19, 2005, Phytodealer from Brasília
Brazil wrote:

I donīt actually grow this plant but i can tell it is a very short lasting tree, so it won't live very long. Anyways it is very fast growing with delicious sweet fruit which will attract many birds, specially parakeets. Itīs worth trying!

Positive IslandJim On Sep 26, 2004, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

At this moment, my 9-month-old Jamaican cherry is being buffeted by 65 MPH gusts from hurricane Jeanne. And while the branches look thin and fragile, they are surprisingly indestrictable. I don't think any have been broken.

September 15, 2005--Added two new images. I put an electronic caliper on the ripe fruit in the photos. It was 0.52 inch in diameter. Everything about this tree is fast--one can pick a handful of ripe fruit in mid-morning and another handful in mid-afternoon, day in, day out.

Positive teddyJ On Jun 8, 2003, teddyJ from Rockhampton
Australia wrote:

This is the fastest growing tree I have ever come across. From a 3' high seedling in a 4" pot to a 20'tree in 9 months. Just add water and watch it grow. Won't tollerate salt. Starts producing 1.5cm - 2cm fruit in the first year and continues bearing while the weather remains above 10C. Eating a fruit is almost like eating a sugar cube, both in sweetness and texture.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,
Boca Raton, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida (2 reports)
Miami, Florida (2 reports)
Ocala, Florida
Palm Beach, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Venice, Florida
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas
Needville, Texas



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