Malpighia emarginata is a tropical fruit-bearing shrub or small tree
The Barbados cherry is a large, bushy shrub or small tree in the family Malpighiaceae. Common names include acerola cherry, Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry, and wild crepe myrtle
The Barbados cherry attaining up to 20 ft (6 m) in height. Its evergreen leaves are elliptic, oblong, obovate, or narrowly oblanceolate, somewhat wavy.
The Barbados cherry can be classed as tropical and subtropical, for mature trees can survive brief exposure to 28º F (-2.22º C). Young plants are killed by any drop below 30º F (-1.11º C). It is naturally adapted to both medium- and low-rainfall regions; can tolerate long periods of drought, though it may not fruit until the coming of rain.
The tree does well in a well-drained soil of various types. The Barbados cherry tree will grow and fruit fairly well with little care.
Fruiting season varies with the weather. There may be a spring crop ripening in May and then successive small crops off and on until December, but sometimes, if spring rains are lacking, there may be no fruits at all until December and then a heavy crop.
For home use, as dessert, the fruits are picked when fully ripe, when color is dark red. For processing or preserving, they can be harvested when slightly immature.
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