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Jamaican Cherry - Muntingia calabura


  • Flavor of Captain Crunch cereal

  • Self fruitful

  • Rapid growth in good conditions

  • Fruits in 18-24 months


  • 20'Hx20'W

PH Range:

  • 5.5-8.5


  • 10-11 cold tolerant down to 32° degrees when young. Sensitive at 40°. Mature trees hardy to 29°degrees with some branch loss


  • Foliage - Dark Green top - light green underside 

  • Flower - white with yellow stamens


  • Partial Shade -30-50% shade cloth

  • May need extra water when temps top 100° degrees

  • Most growth will occur between 60-90°


  • Sensitive in mid 30's

  • Young trees need shade and frost protection

  • suitable for containers

  • well draining soil


  • Fertilize with compost spread from a couple inches from the trunk to the drip line of the tree once a month, especially when container growing. 

  • 8-3-9 or similar fertilizers are recommended regularly. 

General Information:

The fruit of the Jamaican Cherry is one of our personal favorites. Its like eating a big bowl of cereal minus the crap.. 

This is a very fast-growing tree of slender proportions, reaching 20 to 40 ft in height, with spreading, nearly horizontal branches. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, lanceolate or oblong, long-pointed at the apex, oblique at the base; 2 to 5 in long, dark-green and minutely hairy on the upper surface, gray- or light green-hairy on the underside; and irregularly toothed. The flowers, borne singly or in 2's or 3's in the leaf axils, are 1/2 to 3/4 in  wide with 5 green sepals and 5 white petals and many prominent yellow stamens. They last only one day, the petals falling in the afternoon.


The abundant fruits are round, 3/8 to 1/2 in. wide, with red or sometimes yellow, smooth, thin, tender skin and light-brown, soft, juicy pulp, with very sweet, musky, somewhat fig-like flavor, filled with exceedingly minute, yellowish seeds, too fine to be noticed in eating.

The Jamaica cherry is indigenous to southern Mexico, Central America, tropical South America, the Greater Antilles, St. Vincent and Trinidad. The type specimen was collected in Jamaica. It is widely cultivated in warm areas of the New World and in India, southeast Asia, Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippines, in many places so thoroughly naturalized that it is thought by the local people to be native.

The fruits are sold in Mexican markets. In Brazil, they are considered too small to be of commercial value but it is recommended that the tree be planted on river banks so that the abundance of flowers and fruits falling into the water will serve as bait, attracting fish for the benefit of fishermen. In Malaya, the tree is considered a nuisance in the home garden because fruit-bats consume the fruits and then spend the day under the eaves of houses and disfigure the porch and terrace with their pink, seedy droppings.

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Care Sheet:

Jamaican Cherry

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