Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Jaboticaba, Brazilian Grape Tree
Myrciaria cauliflora

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Myrciaria (mer-see-AIR-ree-uh) (Info)
Species: cauliflora (kaw-lih-FLOR-uh) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

37 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 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:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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By Monocromatico
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There are a total of 10 photos.
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13 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive LJGardens2 On May 18, 2014, LJGardens2 from Lake Jackson, TX wrote:

I'm giving this tree a positive at this time, since I've had it growing in local soil now for about two years, with obvious growth showing, but no fruit yet. I'm in zone 9a, south of Houston, Texas. I recently acquired fruit as well, from which I salvaged the seeds and planted. Hoping to report on any success in germinating them soon.

Neutral furrbunker On Jun 2, 2013, furrbunker from Jackson, MS wrote:

I was doing some extensive pruning yesterday in a very overgrown bed that also has a large pine tree and a sweetgum tree...I know sweetgum - but it is such a gorgeous color in the fall. The birds brought both of these plants to my yard many years ago. In trimming the low branches of the sweetgum (touching the ground) I found a "tree" that has berries on the trunk. Never seen this before. It's probably 4 feet tall. In searching for a Mexican avocado tree this morning I found a picture of my new tree. Once again, I can just thank the birds. Definitely not native here in my zone 7b yard. I'll change my experience once I see how it does. We did have snow this year and several really really cold spells.

Positive memoimyself On Dec 4, 2012, memoimyself wrote:

This is mostly in response to AlicePolarbear's questions.

We used to own a ranch in south-eastern Brazil where we had at least 20 large jabuticaba trees (about 1215 metres tall, whatever that is in feet). The plants were endemic to the region, so I can tell you what their native habitat is like and you can hopefully draw a few useful conclusions.

I should confirm right away that they are indeed very slow growing, even in their native habitat.

Here are some of the characteristics of the native habitat of jabuticabas (less often spelled 'jaboticaba' in Portuguese):
(a) average annual temperatures around 2022 C; average winter lows around 13 C, with rare extreme lows reaching about 35 C; average summer highs around 30C, with rare extreme highs reaching approx. 3539;
(b) *extremely* wet summers with torrential rains between mid-November and mid-March, and then *extremely* dry winters, often without a single drop of rain between late May and early September and relative humidity often between 10 and 20%;
(c) shallow, acidic, often gravelly and mostly infertile soils rich in iron.

Jabuticabas may bloom after a short rainy spell, but to properly set fruit they need abundant water, which means that, if left to their own devices, they will only bear fruit once a year when the summer rains have started in earnest. Some people get their trees to bear more than once, or to set fruit during an unseasonably dry spell, by watering them almost continuously (well, we're talking about a small garden hose for a fairly large tree).

If a tree blooms but then doesn't get enough water, fruit will tend to be less abundant, smaller, less sweet and have thicker skins.

Jabuticaba trees are not normally fertilized in Brazil, but then in over 30 years I never once saw a commercial jabuticaba orchard. They grow in people's backyards and farms, often spontaneously, and when they bear fruit it truly is an 'occasion' that brings families and friends together to gorge themselves on the delicious fruit.

Most Brazilians do not eat the skin, and many people just pop the fruit in their mouths while perched on a tree branch high off the ground and then spit out the skin and stone. The fruit's harmless looking whitish pulp will actually leave permanent purple stains on fabric, and I mean *permanent*.

A single mature tree provides enough for a dozen people to eat until they're blue and for 2030 jars of jelly. Trees may take 40 years or more to reach their mature size, but often start bearing when they're still fairly small (50 cm tall or so) and only about five years old.

Positive Mendopalmfarm On Nov 15, 2012, Mendopalmfarm from Willits, CA wrote:

I'm now growing one of my older specimens in my greenhouse as we get temps lower than it would enjoy around here. I also planted some at my moms house in the bay area many years ago. They occasionally load up with fruits. However cool rainy weather during bloom seems to make them set a poor crop. They do grow very slow but totally worth the wait. My oldest trees are over 20 years old. And only 7 ft tall

Positive AlicePolarbear On Feb 27, 2011, AlicePolarbear from Fresno, CA wrote:

Grew one in mid-city Los Angeles. It grows slowly and looks as if it might make a lovely topiary given its small fine-cut leaves, although I left mine to do as it pleased. It took a number of years for my Jabo to grow to about 8-10 feet, and when it finally started to flower and fruit, it really took off. I read somewhere else that skins should not be eaten due to high tannin content. I didn't know that, and just ate them skins and all. The insides, which pop out easily, remind me of lychee. I didn't usually bother spitting out the seeds although more genteel folk might wish to do so.

I just bought one via online nursery for my new home in Fresno, CA. (Central Valley, winters mild enough to grow citrus commercially, summers significantly hotter and drier than conditions on mid-city L.A. (humidity apx 10% in Fresno, with avg, July temps around 110F) I would appreciate any tips for growing in these conditions since I 'd like to get it in the ground. (add humidity somehow? Partially shade from the sun? Anything else I ought to know?)

Positive nfla On May 27, 2010, nfla from Cape Coral, FL wrote:

After watching this tree for two years where we buy all of our fruit trees, it finally became part of our yard yesterday. It's a beautiful 14 year old 95 gallon so I don't have to wait to see this guy grow up. Thanks to the guys at the Tree House on Pine Island for taking such good care of it - I know they will miss it but they know it's come to a good home.

Positive FloridaAthenian On May 17, 2010, FloridaAthenian from Bradenton, FL wrote:

After weeks of researching I am finally the proud owner of a young Jaboticaba tree. It's a beautiful delicate plant and I can't wait to see it bloom and fruit. I know it's a slow grower that doesn't usually bear fruit until much later and I'm curious as to how I can tell how old my tree is. I bought a 15 gallon one at our local Rare Fruit Tree sale and it's about 5 feet tall.

Positive fauna4flora On Nov 24, 2008, fauna4flora from West Palm Beach, FL wrote:

Such a georgeous tree, exfoliating bark notwithstanding. And unlike most tropical "fruit" trees which are so much work for the taste, this tree is very very special and yummy. Love the fact that the fruits pop right off the side of the stem!

Positive tmccullo On Mar 22, 2008, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have been wanting one of these trees since I traveled through Brazil and spent time on a ranch in the state of Gois. They had a tree that was about 10 foot tall and was loaded with fruit. We finally found a 3 foot tree at of all places, Lowes. I have no idea how old the tree is but I can't wait for it to have fruit. I remember how popular the fruit was in Brazil having it in several different fruit drinks.

Positive jeffhagen On Mar 21, 2007, jeffhagen from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

This is one of my favorite tropical fruit trees. The fruit is delicious and the tree is quite attractive. They grow very slowly and don't give fruit until they are like 8 years old, so it's best to buy one that is already fairly old (in a 7 to 10 gallon liner). Surprisingly you can find jaboticabas here in South Florida that are several years old for a very reasonable price.

The jaboticaba is a pretty tough plant. Our 20+ year old jabo blew over with Wilma, completely tearing up 2/3 of it's root system and it really didn't seem to mind. Four months later it was covered with fruit ;-).

The one drawback to this plant is that they are not reliable fruiters. A friend of mine has one that is over 20 years old and has only fruited once. However, many will fruit up to 6 times per year.

As far as cultural requirements goes, the Jaboticaba doesn't seem to mind light shade; we have one that is 12 feet from a giant Canistel tree and it doesn't seem to car. They also appear to enjoy copius amounts of water, though they will tolerate lack of irrigation here in South Florida.

Positive Kameha On Apr 10, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love the taste of this fruit. Some compare it to muscadine grapes but I think it is much better. It makes quite an interesting specimen in the landscape due to the fact that it flowers and bears fruit directly on the trunk and branches. It takes 8 or more years for one to fruit but it's worth the wait. Jaboticaba trees have attractive foliage and nice peeling brown bark. It's moderately hardy-mature trees tolerating temperatures as low as 24-27 degrees. Very easy to germinate from seed!

Positive foodiesleuth On Apr 24, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

In Hawaii we call this tree and fruit jaboticaba. A lovely tree when all covered in the little white powder puff flowers...Nice fruit to work with. Can achieve very large yields and does not take up much room in the yard.

I've had great results with making syrups, jams and jellies. Waiting for my next harvest to experiment with other recipes.

Positive palmbob On Dec 30, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have grown this plant in So Cal... slow grow, but after 6 years finally produced a few 'grapes'. Wow, are those fruites great. Grapes, growing right off the stems of the bush. Needs more sun than I gave it here. Have seen them produce hundreds of fruits elsewhere in So Cal.

Positive Monocromatico On Dec 29, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Jabuticaba is a popular fruit in Brazil. Of the size, shape and color of a common grape, its hardly sold on markets, more commonly consumed locally.

These are small to medium sized trees, reaching from 3 to 10 meters tall. The tree is round when young, losing this shape when become old. The leaves are small, with the characteristic myrtle aroma.

The flowers show up directly on the branches, and the flowering is massive, taking over the plant with small white flowers. Most flowers will originate fruits. These fruits have a dark purple, almost black, fibrous and bitter peel (but not bad tasting, bitter like guava for example). The pulp is sweet, white and gelatinous, with only one seed. This seed is spherical and soft, and might be eaten along with the rest, it has no taste. Can be eaten pure, but Jabuticaba liquors are said to be good too.

This tree requires high to moderate temperatures, regular watering, full sun. It isnt very demanding regarding soils.


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

Lake San Marcos, California
Los Angeles, California
Port Hueneme, California
San Jose, California
Upland, California
Willits, California
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Fort Myers, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Key West, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Malabar, Florida
Miami, Florida
Naples, Florida
Riverview, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Honomu, Hawaii
Mililani, Hawaii
Charleston, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lake Jackson, Texas

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