Cherry of the Rio Grande - Eugenia aggregata
Cherry of the Rio Grande


Selected Eugenia Species from the University of Florida (Archived) pdf

The Cherry of the Rio Grande from University of Florida Palm Beach County


Fig. 1


Other Information

Leaves: opposite, dark green and glossy

Fruit: Dark red, to 1", oblong. Thin skin, pulp juicy, usually one seed.

Drought Tolerance It is drought tolerant but needs water when flowering and fruiting

Salt Tolerance It does not like large amounts of salt spray

Height: small evergreen tree rarely exceed 15 feet in Florida

Season: Flowers March to May; fruits April-June

Damage temp. 20F

PH preference: 5.5-6.5

Full sun

USDA Zones 9-11

Fair salt tolerance


The Cherry of the Rio Grande, Eugenia aggregata, is native to Brazil and grows quite well in south Florida. It is a very beautiful small evergreen tree, 20 - 25 feet in height, with dark green, glossy, waxy leaves. As the tree gets older the bark peels off, resulting in a smooth and very attractive trunk. 1


Flower of the Cherry of the Rio Grande Inflorescense and fruit buds Fruit habit Fruit
Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5


Small evergreen tree or large shrub which commonly grows to about 15 feet. However, it may grow as high as 30 feet under favorable conditions. It has an upright, compact habit of growth and is very attractive, especially when in bloom. The smooth, glossy, dark green leaves are narrow elliptic, 2½ to 3 inches long and are borne on short, grooved petioles. The white flowers are solitary and are borne in the axils of opposite bracts from March to May. The fruit is oblong to obovate, ¾ to 1 inch long, with a persistent calyx at the apex. The skin is thin and dark red or purple in color. The juicy flesh has a good, sub-acid flavor. It contains none or 1 to 2 white, rounded seeds, about ¼ inch in diameter. The fruit matures in April to June, about 3 weeks after the flowers open. Fruiting may occur in the third year after planting under favorable conditions but it often takes longer. 2

In the spring the cherry of the Rio Grande is one of our early flowering tropical fruits and often blossoms in the first part of March. The flowering season extends over several months, and in some years flowers are still being produced in the early part of May. The flowers are white and quite showy. 1

Propagation has to be by seed due to the hard wood which is difficult to graft or air layer. Tree raised from seed will take about 10 years to bear fruit.

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1 Joyner, Gene. "The Cherry of the Rio Grande." Palm Beach Extension Service. N.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

2 Phillips, Richard L. "Selected Eugenia Species." This document is HS41, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date Apr. 1994. Reviewed Nov. 2005. Archived Publication. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.


Fig. 1 La Brum, Eric. Cherry of the Rio Grande, Cere Jodo Rio Grande. N.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 2,3 Cherry of the Rio Grande, Cere Jodo Rio Grande. N.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 1,4 Manners, Malcolm. Cherry of the Rio Grande, Eugenia aggregata, family Myrtaceae. 2011. Web. 17 Jan. 2015.

Fig. 2,3 Cherry of the Rio Grande, Cere Jodo Rio Grande. N.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

Published 2 Dec. 2014 LR. Updated 17 Jan. 2015 LR

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