|Scientific Name||Plinia cauliflora|
|Other Names||Brazilian Grape Tree, Jaboticaba, Jabotica, Jabuticabeira, Guaperu, Guapuru, Hivapuru, Sabará and Ybapuru (Guarani).|
|Hardiness Zone||9 to 11|
The Jabuticaba (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒabutʃiˈkabɐ]) (Plinia cauliflora) is a fruit-bearing tree in the family Myrtaceae native to Minas Gerais and São Paulo states in southeastern Brazil. Related species in the genus Myrciaria, often referred to by the same common name, are native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The tree is grown for its purplish-black, white-pulped fruits; they can be eaten raw or be used to make jellies and drinks (plain juice or wine).
Jabuticaba has salmon-colored leaves when they are young, turning green as they mature. It is a very slow growing tree which prefers moist, lightly acidic soils for best growth. It is widely adaptable, however, and grows satisfactorily even on alkaline beach-sand type soils, so long as they are tended and irrigated.
Jabuticaba flowers are white and grow directly from its trunk in a cauliflorous habit. Naturally the tree may flower and fruit only once or twice a year, but when continuously irrigated it flowers frequently, and fresh fruit can be available year round in tropical regions.
The fruit is 3–4 cm in diameter with one to four large seeds, borne directly on the main trunks and branches of the plant, lending a distinctive appearance to the fruiting tree. It has a thick, purple, astringent skin that covers a sweet, white or rosy pink gelatinous flesh. Common in Brazilian markets, jabuticabas are largely eaten fresh; their popularity has been likened to that of grapes in the US. Fresh fruit may begin to ferment 3 to 4 days after harvest, so they are often used to make jams, tarts, strong wines, and liqueurs. Due to the extremely short shelf-life, fresh jabuticaba fruit is very rare in markets outside of areas of cultivation. Traditionally, an astringent decoction of the sun-dried skins has been used as a treatment for hemoptysis, asthma, diarrhoea, and gargled for chronic inflammation of the tonsils.
Jaboticaba seeds are polyebryonic and create 4 to 6 plants per seed. Seeds do not remain viable for long.
- Branca - needs description
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- Rujada - needs description
- Sabará - needs description
- Sao Paulo - needs description
Jaboticaba can be propagated by seed, grafting, or air layering. Propagation by seed is the easiest and fruit do come true to seed. Grafting has been successful. Research has been done in Brazil with air layering.
Jaboticaba seeds are polyembryonic and create 4 to 5 plants per seed. Fruits must be very ripe. Seeds do not remain viable and should be planted as soon as possible. Seeds should be sown at a depth of 1 inch or less in moist acidic medium with good drainage. Seed germination occurs in 20 to 40 days.
It is also possible to germinate seeds using plastic bags.
Need more information
Research in Brazil shows it is possible to propagate jaboticaba by using air layering.
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Care and Growth
The jabuticaba is a very finicky tree. Extreme care should be taking to maintain proper growing conditions.
Pest and Disease
Fruits can be eaten raw or be used to make jellies and drinks (plain juice or wine). Skins are high in tannin a should not be consumed in high quantities.
Other Possible Uses
Several potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory anti-cancer compounds have been isolated from the fruit. One that is unique to the fruit is jaboticabin. In Brazil the fruit of several related species, namely Myrciaria tenella and M. trunciflora, share the same common name. While all jabuticaba species are subtropical and can tolerate mild, brief frosts, some species may be marginally more cold-tolerant. Commercial cultivation of the fruit in the Northern Hemisphere is more restricted by extremely slow growth and the short shelf-life of fruit than by temperature requirements. Grafted plants may bear fruit in 5 years; seed grown trees may take 10 to 20 years to bear fruit, though their slow growth and small size when immature make them popular as bonsai or container ornamental plants in temperate regions. Jabuticabas are fairly adaptable to various kinds of growing conditions, tolerating sand or rich topsoil. They are intolerant of salty soils or salt spray. They are tolerant of mild drought, though fruit production may be reduced, and irrigation will be required in extended or severe droughts.
- Camu-camu (Myrciaria paraensis)
- Blue Grape (Myrciaria vexator)
- Guavaberry (Myrciaria floribunda)
- Rumberry (Myrciaria floribunda)
- Yellow Jaboticaba (Myrciaria glomerata)