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Malpighia Emarginata (Barbados cherry/acerola) is a small tree or bushy shrub, that grows to 20 or more feet and about equal spread. It has a short trunk and more or less erect, open to moderately dense crown with slender branches. Moreover, the bark is gray, with many lenticels and high in tannin. Also, the leaves are shiny, light to dark green, simple, opposite, ovate to lanceolate, 3/4 to 3 by 2/5 to 1 3/5 inches, short-stemmed, with irritating hairs on the edges. Flowers are borne in groups of 3 to 5, easy lacy bloom is deep pink to red in color, with fringed petals.
Furthermore, the fruits are red berries that resemble cherries and are 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. In addition, the fruits have a juicy pulp, and 3 rounded seeds. Propagated by seed or cuttings. Fruits are edible fresh, ando for desserts, the fruit also have medicinal uses. In cultivation, the plant does well in basic soils that are well-drained; it has a shallow root system. It benefits from pruning. Malpighia Emarginata (Barbados cherry/acerola) is grown commercially for its fruit. A major pest in Florida is fruit fly. In landscaping, it is a good choice for yards and gardens, providing a colorful specimen or accent tree/shrub and a fruit source. It can also be managed as a hedge. It is a popular bonsai plant.
Other names: Acerola