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December 2016

Did you know that The leaves of Eugenia uniflora are spread on house floors in Brazil, so that when crushed underfoot, they exude a smell which repels flies?

Suriname cherry (Eugenia uniflora). Flowers and fruits.

Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora

Eugenia uniflora, with common names Pitanga, Suriname cherry, Brazilian cherry, Cayenne cherry, or Cerisier Carre is a plant in the family Myrtaceae, native to tropical South America’s east coast, ranging from Suriname, French Guiana to southern Brazil, as well as parts of Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay. Known as pitanga throughout Brazil and Uruguay, or nangapiri in surrounding countries, the plant is relatively pest resistant, easy to grow and high in antioxidants. The tree is also grown in the West Indies, specifically in Haiti, where it is known as Cerisier Carre, as is in French Guiana. The Suriname cherry is often used in gardens as a hedge or screen. The tree was introduced to Bermuda for ornamental purposes but is now out of control and listed as an invasive species. In Suriname this cherry is known as Monkimonki Kersie, also Montjimontji Kersie.

Eugenia uniflora is a large shrub or small tree with a conical form, growing slowly to 8 meters in height. The leaves  are opposite, ovate-lanceolate up to 4 cm long. New leaves are bronze, copper or coppery-pinkish in color, maturing to a deep glossy green. During winter the leaves turn red. The leaves contain aromatic oils of citronella, cineole, terpenine, sesquiterpenes and others.

The Surinam cherry flowering may occur several times a year, with a single moderate sized tree having thousands of flowers.  The flowers have long stalk and appear single or in groups of four together in the leaf axils. The flower has delicate white petals, 50 to 60 white stamens and pale-yellow anthers.

Flowers develop into ribbed fruits 2 to 4 cm in diameter  The fruit is a berry with 7 to 8 ribs, green-orange in the beginning, turning bright-red or deep scarlet with maturity and becoming almost black when fully ripe. The flesh is orange-red, very juicy and a sweet-acid taste. The fruit contains one large round seed or sometime 2 or 3 small light brown seeds. Fruiting is generally profuse with hundreds or thousands of fruits per cycle and trees sometimes fruiting 2-3 times a year. There are some named varieties with most bearing red fruits. There are also lesser known, black ripening types.

The Surinam cherry  is adapted to both subtropical and tropical climates and is hardy to 22F when full grown. Plants like full sun and are drought tolerant, needing only moderate rainfall. Fruits develop and ripen in just 3-4 weeks from flowering. In subtropical and tropical climates the tree needs little care and seems to grow in most soil types. Irrigation is necessary in areas with minimal or seasonal rainfall. Propagation álmost always by seed, little attention is given to selection of superior varieties. Red type and black type forms usually come true to seed.

The edible fruit is a botanical berry. The taste ranges from sweet to sour, depending on the cultivar and level of ripeness (the darker red to black range is quite sweet, while the green to orange range is strikingly tart). Its predominant food use is as a flavoring and base for jams and jellies. Children enjoy eating the ripe fruits out-of-hand. They are also sprinkled with sugar to release the juice and they are used in shortcake, fruit cups, salads, custard pudding and ice cream. Often, they are made into jam, jelly or relish. In Brazil, the juice is fermented into vinegar or wine, and sometimes prepare as liquor. The fruit is high in vitamin C and a source of vitamin A. Because of their resinous content, the seeds should not be eaten. Dogs fed on fruits with seeds have developed diarrhea. 

Eugenia uniflora has several significant pharmacological properties. Its essential oil is antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antitumor and analgesic, and it has shown antiviral and antifungal activity. It has performed against microorganisms such as Trichomonas gallinae (in vitro), Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania amazonensis. It also shows significant anti-inflammatory properties, and is used extensively as a folk remedy in South America against stomach diseases. In Brazil the leaf infusion is taken as a febrifuge and astringent and for stomach problems. In Surinam, the leaf decoction is drunk as a cold remedy and, in combination with lemongrass, as a febrifuge.

When bruised, crushed or cut, the leaves and branches of Eugenia uniflora have a spicy resinous fragrance, which can cause respiratory discomfort in susceptible individuals. In Brazil, the leaves are spread over and when walked upon, they release their pungent oil which repels flies. The bark contains tannin and is used for treating leather. Surinam Cherry is also used for bonsai and in landscaping as hedges.


Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenia_uniflora
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/surinam-cherry.htm
http://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=5067

 

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Salak - Salacca zalacca
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Duranta - Duranta erecta
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Manuka - New Zealand Tea Tree - Leptospermum scoparium
Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora
Australian Finger Lime - Citrus australasica
Sacred Flower of the Incas - Cantua buxifolia
Job's tears - Coix Lacryma-jobi
Velvet Bean - Mucuna pruriens
Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
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Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
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Mullein -Verbascum thapsus
Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
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Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
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Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
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Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
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Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
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Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
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Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
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Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
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Reseda - Mignonette
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Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
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Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
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Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
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Astilbe - False Goats Beard
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Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
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Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
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Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
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Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
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Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
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Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
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Gloriosa
Bamboo
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Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
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Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
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Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
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Snowdrop - Galanthus
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Dionaea muscipula
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Amorrhophallus titanum
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