Barbados (Acerola) Cherry Trees are self-fertile. You will get fruit with only one plant. However, adding an additional Barbados (Acerola) Cherry Tree will drastically increase the size of your crop.
Many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, but the Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra) is loaded with it. One cherry contains more vitamin C than an orange and supplies the recommended daily allowance of this essential nutrient! Also called acerola, the Barbados Cherry is a spectacular tree when it blooms in springtime, which doubles its value in the landscape.
A Tough Beauty
The dainty but profuse flowers of Barbados Cherry may give a false impression that this tree is delicate, but it is durable and adaptable to a host of environmental conditions. Across its perennial range in USDA Zones 9b through 11, it grows best in full sun and a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5. In return it offers:
- Flowers. Barbados Cherry’s blossoms are absolutely stunning. They are an unusual shade of pinkish-lavender, with flower petals that are fringed!
- Fruit. Each deep-red fruit is one-half to one inch in diameter, profusely dotting Barbados Cherry trees in summer through autumn. Other than the vitamin C punch they pack, these cherries are also rich in other vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron.
- Drought tolerance. Here’s a plus that all gardeners love ‘– a plant that can withstand short periods of dry weather. Although you’ll have to keep newly transplanted trees watered well until they begin to grow, mature trees typically depend on natural rainfall for irrigation. Only during periods of severe drought should you have to water Barbados Cherry trees.
Picture This in Your Landscape
Barbados Cherry is a tree that fits even in small landscapes because its mature height reaches only 10 feet. It’s beautiful as a single specimen tree, but it really wows when planted as a hedgerow or living fence. Your toughest choice may be deciding which look is prettier ‘– when it’s in full flower or when the tree is packed with red cherries!