Cherry of the Rio Grande - Eugenia involucrata DC.
Fruit
Fig. 1 
Cherry of the Rio Grande

Eugenia involucrata DC.
Fig. 2

Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae leaf new growth
Fig. 3
Eugenia involucrata DC. leaf new growth

ugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae
Fig. 4
Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae

Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae
Fig. 5
Flower buds

Flower Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae
Fig. 6
Flower and flower bud Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae

Underside of Eugenia involucrata flower
Fig. 7
Underside of Eugenia involucrata flower

Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae
Fig. 8

Eugenia involucrata DC. ripe and unripe fruit
Fig. 11
Eugenia involucrata DC. ripe and unripe fruit

Cherry of the Rio Grande. Eugenia aggregata ripe fruit
Fig. 12
Cherry of the Rio Grande. Eugenia aggregata ripe fruit

Cherry of the Rio Grande. Eugenia aggregata fruit habit
Fig. 13
Eugenia involucrata DC. fruit habit

Eugenia involucrata DC. fruit habit
Fig. 14
Eugenia involucrata DC. fruit not completely ripe

Ready to harvest fruit
Fig. 15
Ready to harvest fruit

Eugenia involucrata looking up the trunk
Fig. 19

Eugenia involucrata Tree growing in native habitat
Fig. 20

Scientific name
Eugenia involucrata DC.
Common names
Cherry of the Rio Grande; cereja-do-rio-grande; cerja-do-mato
Synonyms
Eugenia aemilii Barb. Rodr.; E. aggregata (Vell.) Kiaersk. [Illegitimate]; E. bracteata Vell. [Illegitimate]; E. involucrata var. minutifolia Mattos & D. Legrand; E. laevigata (O.Berg) D. Legrand [Illegitimate]; E. minutifolia (Mattos & D.Legrand) Mattos; E. pallescens Kiaersk.; E. paraguayensis Barb. Rodr.; E. stricta (O.Berg) Kiaersk. [Illegitimate]; E. strictissima Govaerts; Myrtus aggregata Vell.; M. aggregata Velloso; Phyllocalyx cerasiflorus O.Berg [Illegitimate]; P. involucratus (DC.) O.Berg; P. laevigatus O.Berg; P. strictus O.Berg; Stenocalyx involucratus (DC.) Kausel 3     
Relatives
Pitomba, Eugenia luschnanthiana; Surinam cherry, E. uniflora; grumichama, E. brazilensis; araca-boi, E. stipitata; cabeludinha, E. tomentosa; perado-campo, E. klotzchiana; perinha, E. lutescens; uvaia, E. pyrifori 5
Family
Myrtaceae
Origin
Brazil, specifically the state of Rio Grande do Sul 5
USDA hardiness zones
9-11
Uses
Fruit; landscape specimen; hedge; container specimen 5
Height
Small evergreen tree rarely exceed 20-25 ft (6.1-7.6 m) in Florida
Spread
10 ft (3 m)
Crown
Dense canopy 5
Plant habit
Heavily branched; compact
Growth rate
Slow to moderate 5
Trunk/bark/branches
Bark peels leaving trunk smooth
Pruning requirement
Little pruning required
Leaves
Smooth, glossy, dark green; narrow elliptic; 2 1/2-3 in. (6.3-7.6 cm); borne on short, grooved petioles 2
Flowers
White; solitary; March to May
Fruit
Dark red; 1 in. (2.5 cm); oblong; thin skin; pulp juicy; usually one seed
Season
April-June
Light requirement
Full sun
Soil tolerances
Will prosper in most soils 5
PH preference
5.5-6.5
Drought tolerance
It is drought tolerant but needs water when flowering and fruiting
Aerosol salt tolerance
It does not like large amounts of salt spray
Soil salt tolerance
Fair
Cold tolerance
Damage temp. 20°F (-6.67°C)
Invasive potential *
None reported
Pest resistance
Suscesptible to the Caribbean fruit fly
Known hazard
None



Reading Material

Selected Eugenia Species from the University of Florida (Archived) pdf
The Cherry of the Rio Grande from University of Florida Palm Beach County
Cherry of the Rio Grande, Eugenia involucrata from growingfruit.org
Eugenias, South American Berries from the Sub-tropical Fruit Club of Qld Inc



Origin

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
It has been grown in Florida since prior to 1920 but has never achieved widespread
popularity. 5

Description
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

Flowers
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

Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae Eugenia involucrata flowers
Fig. 9 Fig. 10

Fruit
The fruit ripens on the bush 3 weeks after the blossom. It is red to deep purple about 1 inch diameter with a sweet cherry taste. 4
The fruit is oblong to obovate, 3/4 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, subacid flavor. It contains none or 1 to 2 white, rounded seeds, about 1/4 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

Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae Cherry of the Rio Grande. Eugenia aggregata
Fig. 16 Fig. 17 Fig. 18

Varieties
Several unnamed selections are available in Flodida. 5

Harvesting
The fruit ripens about a month after flowering. It is picked when fully colored. Storage charaacteristics are poor and the fruit begins to spoil within 2 or 3 days at room temperature. 5

Propagation
Cherry of the Rio Grande is usually propagated by seed, although seedlings may take up to 4 to 5 years to begin producing fruit. Although there is a lot of variation with the cherry of the Rio Grande as to the size of the fruit, there is not a lot of variation in quality, at least in my experience. Superior varieties, especially large-fruited forms, can be veneer-grafted onto seedling rootstocks. 1

Pruning
The cherry of the Rio Grande requires very little pruning to make an attractive tree and it is sometime pruned to make a hedge. 4  

Fertilizing
Palm fertilizer has been found to speed growth and development. 5

Irrigation
During periods of dry weather they will benefit from weekly irrigation. Avoid over-irrigation, since this often will create problems with the root system. 1

Pests
The fruit is attractive to the Caribbean fruit fly and in some years, fruit may be lost. 1

Caribbean Fruit Fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) from the University of Florida pdf 8 pages

Diseases
The only major problem associated with cherry of the Rio Grande in Florida is a die-back which can occur any time but often shows up when plants are approaching maturity. There is no known reason for this die-back at the present. 1

Food Uses
The fruit is eaten fresh and made into jellies, jams or juices. The fruits also freeze quite well, so they can be picked at maturity and frozen for later use. 1


List of Growers and Vendors


Bibliography

1 Joyner, Gene. "The Cherry of the Rio Grande." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Palm Beach Extension Service. N.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
2 Phillips, Richard L. "Selected Eugenia Species." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 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.
3 "Eugenia involucrata DC." The Plant List (2010). Version 1. theplantlist.org. Web. 27 May 2017.
4 "Eugenia involucrata." wikipedia.org. Web. 27 May 2017.
5 Boning, Charles R. Florida's Best Fruiting Plants- Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Pineapple Press, Inc. sarasota, Florida. Print.

Photographs

Fig. 1 La Brum, Eric. Cherry of the Rio Grande, Cere Jodo Rio Grande. N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.
Fig. 2 Parada, G. A. Eugenia involucrata DC.. N.d. Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden. eol.org. Under (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). Web. 27 May 2017.
Fig. 3,7 Mercadante, Mauricio. Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae. 2013. Campus da UnB, Brasília, DF, Brasil. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 6 June 2017.
Fig. 4,5,6,8,9,14,17 Mercadante, Mauricio. Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae. 2016. Campus da UnB, Brasília, DF, Brasil. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 6 June 2017.
Fig. 10,19,20 Bagatini, João Augusto. Eugenia involucrata. N.d. Flora digital do Rio Grande do Sul e de Santa Catarina. tropical.theferns.info. Under (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Web. 27 May 2017.
Fig. 11,16 Mercadante, Mauricio. Eugenia involucrata DC. Myrtaceae. 2012. Campus da UnB, Brasília, DF, Brasil. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 6 June 2017.
Fig. 12 Manners, Malcom. Cherry of the Rio Grande. Eugenia aggregata. 2010. At Florida Southern College, Lakeland. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 6 June 2017.
Fig. 13,15,18 Manners, Malcom. Cherry of the Rio Grande. Eugenia aggregata, family Myrtaceae. 2011.  At Florida Southern College, Lakeland. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 6 June 2017.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published 2 Dec. 2014 LR. Last update 7 June 2017 LR
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