Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Acerola, Barbados Cherry, Wild Crapemyrtle
Malpighia glabra

Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Malpighia (mal-PEE-gee-uh) (Info)
Species: glabra (GLAY-bruh) (Info)

Synonym:Malpighia punicifolia

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

26 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
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:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By htop
Thumbnail #1 of Malpighia glabra by htop

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #2 of Malpighia glabra by Thaumaturgist

By IslandJim
Thumbnail #3 of Malpighia glabra by IslandJim

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #4 of Malpighia glabra by Thaumaturgist

By Thaumaturgist
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By IslandJim
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There are a total of 20 photos.
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9 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive aussiekiwigal On Apr 21, 2013, aussiekiwigal from Brisbane
Australia wrote:

amazing tree, excited when it fruited twice, now onto it's 5th fruiting this summer - wow.....what to do with all the fruit, raw/jam/jelly/cordial? Flavour is divine, depending on ripeness, can even taste like feijoa which is a real favorite but difficult to grow here in Australia, fruit fly love to bite feijoa and ruin them.

Positive nancyanne On Mar 17, 2012, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a small shrubby plant, which produces profusions of pink flowers followed by small (pea-sized) fruit.
It spreads readily to form a mound of foliage and flowers which is very attractive.
The fruits, IMO, are quite dry and tasteless and too small to bother collecting to eat or make jellies or for cooking. Still, it is a beautiful plant.
The other species, emarginata and juncifolia, make large, cherry-sized fruit that is very tasty and juicy.

Positive fla1garden On Feb 25, 2012, fla1garden from Mango, FL wrote:

Grows wellin my garden but I lost tag please post cold tolerances for it . If it dies downto ground it will come up but it will look like a vine with thorns to hold plant uo on other trees or fences. Good tasting but you will either love it or hate it. Ed

Negative awsimons On Mar 11, 2011, awsimons from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I purchased the dwarf variety of Acerola last year. It has been a disappointment because of how slowly it grows. The plant basically looks the same now as it did a year ago when i planted it. My wife's school has some that are around 15 years old that are still tiny. Maybe not right for San Antonio, TX.

Positive LindaTX8 On Sep 23, 2006, LindaTX8 from NE Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I really like this plant. When it blooms, it's just delightful. A little bit unpredictable on blooming, but that's okay. It attracts insects and buterflies. It also is a host plant for certain skippers.

Positive CarolesJungle On May 23, 2006, CarolesJungle from Naples, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I grow this tree for the wonderful pink flowers and sort of weeping limbs. Sometimes I cut a twig and add to a vase flower arrangement. I notice butterflies and birds are attracted to the flowers and fruit. Very hardy in my yard once established.

Positive IslandJim On Nov 22, 2005, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

The cherries are sweet and small, about the size of cranberries. Like it's relative, M. glabra [the Barbados cherry], each fruit has three, three-ribbed seeds. Unlike M. glabra, however, there is no tart tang to the fruit and, hence, while it is uniformly sweet, it is also somewhat bland. The bush makes a very attractive hedge for subtropical landscapes.

Positive CatskillKarma On Jun 3, 2005, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I've never grown this plant, but in my Puerto Rican neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, frozen juice/nectar is readily available and it is very delicious and a beautiful color as well.

Positive Monocromatico On Apr 7, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant can be used both as decorative, or for the fruits. The pink flowers and red fruits are ornamental. These fruits are tasty, juicy, and can be eaten in natura, or in juices. The acerola is also reputated as one of the fruits with the highest levels of vitamin C.

It lives confortably in tropical climates, and isnt very demanding on soil types, as long as its well drained. Regular watering, high temperatures and full sun are necessary.

Positive IslandJim On Aug 2, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Either a small tree or large shrub. It's native to the West Indies and Central and South America. The leaves have the color and texture of holly leaves--dark green and almost brittle. The fruit is very tasty and very high in vitamin C [up to 2,000 milligrams per 100 grams of edible flesh], maybe the highest of all fruit. Peak bloom time is April-May when it is a mass of small pink flowers.


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

Yuma, Arizona
Alva, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Davenport, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Groveland, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Naples, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Venice, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Garden, Florida
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Village Park, Hawaii
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Gonzales, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Austin, Texas (7 reports)
Cedar Park, Texas
Converse, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Crawford, Texas
Eagle Lake, Texas
Fulshear, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Helotes, Texas
La Coste, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Marion, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (3 reports)
Spring, Texas
Victoria, Texas

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