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The Brazilian Tree Grape (Jaboticaba)

September 8, 2016

Jaboticaba

Myrciaria spp.

 

Family: Myrtaceae

 

The Jaboticaba is an amazingly curious tree to see in person, especially during harvest season.  It’s fruitful clusters of dark purple bobbles form along the trunk & main branches of this superb tropical dooryard tree.   We always suggest Jaboticaba trees for our customers’ spaces for just about every reason.  First of all, if you don’t have access to this tree, chances are you will never be able to experience the flavor profile of the fruit.  This is not a fruit you will see in most supermarkets (although we’ve been lucky at Sanwa, an Asian mega market in Tampa.) 

 

Each fruit’s interior texture is juicy & slightly gelatinous; similar the texture of a standard “table grape” or muscadine, but the flavor is paramount to that of ANY grape.    It is said that everyday after the fruit is picked, it’s flavor changes to resemble a different fruit, from guava to passionfruit & all the way up to day 9, where it is said to have the sweetest flavor & smell.  I have personally compared the flavor to the fruit to that of a mangosteen; tropically sweet, complex & aromatic with hints of floral undertones.  The leathery skin of the Jaboticaba fruit offers protection from pests, which beautifully removes the need for chemicals.  Our family tends to eat the inside flesh & discard the skin, but if you don’t mind astringent/ resinous flavors, the skin is completely fine to eat as well, as long as you don’t eat too many (high tannin content in the skin.)

 

This tree may be slow growing, but it makes a beautiful landscape or garden addition, whether it’s growing in a pot or directly into the garden space.  We are so impressed by the appearance of this bushy tree that we think it could easily blend into the toughest of deed-restricted neighborhood rule books.  We use it as a showpiece plant to add year round curb appeal due to it’s tropical glossy evergreen leaves & an impressive trunk; a beautiful mix of smooth texture & color change from golden red to beige, as it sheds it’s outer layer with each passing phase of growth (very similar to guava bark).

 

The Jaboticaba makes for a beautiful potted tree.  We have several all throughout Sandhill Farm – some potted, some directly in the ground.  As this is a tropical/Rainforest tree, it is not recommended for climates with extended cold winters.  We are pushing the envelope here in zone 9B by planting each our Jaboticabas are under the canopy of our oaks, on the south side of our home (as to protect them from cold NW winds.   If you are in a bioregion with occasional icy conditions & do not have overhead mature trees, you can still enjoy your own Jaboticaba, as long as you keep it in a protected environment or a moveable pot.

 

We are currently offering our Jaboticaba varieties at $45 for a 3Gallon, or $75 for a 7Gal.  We have both red & purple varieties of the Myrciaria cauliflora.  If you are interested in any of our nursery stock, you can contact us by using the contact form below or by phone.  CLICK HERE to see our full nursery inventory list.

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