From the Archives
of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by W. F. Whitman
Further Information on the Jaboticaba
The jaboticaba has been grown in Florida for a long time. It is
only recently however, that the first commercial grove has been planted
out, which consists of just under five acres. While considerable
confusion exists as to which variety belongs to which botanical name,
the writer observes that probably over 95% of the jaboticabas grown in
Florida are almost identical and are probably of the 'Sabara' variety.
is a strong likelihood of the same being true in other regions where
this Brazilian fruit is grown. Other varieties such as the 'Paulista',
'Branca' (white), etc. may have larger size fruit but are usually of
inferior flavor or shy bearing. It therefore appears that the
prevailing jaboticaba type seen so commonly everywhere is superior to
others and not grown so extensively as it is because the other strains
were not introduced.
The Miami-based R. F. C. I.'s Yearbook lists seven different fruits under Myrciaria. Of these, the jaboticaba (M. cauliflora) is the most common. Several others are grown in South Florida. The M. glomerata can fruit as a small low bush producing inch-diam. (25mm), pleasant-tasting, orange-colored fruit. The M. paraensis,
or Camu camu, grows wild on the banks of the Amazon River and its
tributaries. In Florida, it makes a shrub or small tree with inch-diam.
(25mm), very sour, dark-purple fruit used for beverages, jams, jellies
and vitamin pills. An extract taken from the pulp of the vitamin C-rich
camu camu is used in the manufacture of these tablets. The product sold
under the brand name "Camu Plus" is available in U.S.A. health food
M. vexator is
about the same in appearance as the jaboticaba, except that its leaves
are larger and the tree is not cauliflorous. The 1½"-diameter
(38mm) fruit is dark purple when ripe, has a somewhat tough skin and a
very pleasing flavor.