Muntingia Species, Jamaican Cherry

Muntingia calabura

Family: Muntingiaceae
Genus: Muntingia (mun-TING-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: calabura
Synonym:Muntingia glabra
Synonym:Muntingia rosea



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Boca Raton, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Fort Myers, 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

Sumterville, Florida

Venice, Florida

Kenner, Louisiana

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas

Needville, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 31, 2015, greenman62 from Kenner, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

while the fruit are small, i love the flavor, they make me smile.
yes, kind of like cotton candy as as been said.

the tree is a VERY fast grower. it seems to like rich soil,, but will also tolerate poor soils.
the fruit ripen fast from flower (weeks?)
and it always seems to have flowers and fruit on it.
they ripen so fast, you need to check the tree daily, or fruit will fall to the ground.


On Nov 15, 2014, pigleti from cairns,
Australia wrote:

I love this tree, except for one thing! The roots spread for ever, sending up babies as they go. I am worried that they are undermining my house. Would love to hear the experience of others.


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 r... read more


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



On Jun 22, 2012, amygirl from Lafayette, IN (Zone 5a) 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.


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


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.


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?


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.


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.


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

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


On Feb 19, 2005, Phytodealer from Braslia,
Brazil wrote:

I dont 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. Its worth trying!


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.


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.