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pitanga, surinam cherry

Habit Shrubs or trees, to 10 m, glabrous except for few simple coppery hairs on buds, bracts, and bracteoles.

slender, compressed distally;

bark reddish, shredding, glandular.


drying glossy pale green abaxially, darker adaxially;

petiole channeled, 1–3 mm;

blade ovate, 3–6 × 1.5–3 cm, papery, base rounded, margins merging abruptly into edge of petiole, apex acute to acuminate, surfaces with numerous, small, raised glands, becoming punctate adaxially on older leaves.


(1 or) 2–6-flowered, short racemes, often appearing fasciculate, flowers rarely solitary;

axis 1–2 mm;

bud obovoid, 3–5 mm;

bracteoles caducous, oblong-lanceolate, 1 × 0.5 mm, base distinct, margins ciliate, apex acute.


gracile, 15–25 mm.


hypanthium campanulate, 8–ribbed, 1–1.5 mm;

calyx lobes oblong, subequal, 2.5–4 × 1.5–2 mm, margins ciliate, apex rounded or acute;

petals obovate, 4–6 × 2.5–4 mm, margins ciliate, apex rounded;

disc 2–2.5 mm diam.;

stamens 40–70, 4–6 mm;

style 4–7 mm.


deep bright red, globose, 12–15 mm diam., 8-costate;

calyx persistent, erect.

Eugenia uniflora

Phenology Flowering and fruiting year-round.
Habitat Hammocks, distrubed areas.
Elevation 0–20 m. (0–100 ft.)
from FNA
FL; South America [Introduced in North America]
[BONAP county map]

Eugenia uniflora has escaped from cultivation in the flora area and is known from the central and southern parts of the peninsula.

Eugenia uniflora has been widely cultivated since pre-Columbian times. Its native range is unknown, but it is generally assumed to have originated in Brazil or, possibly, northern South America; R. McVaugh (1969) thought that southern Brazil was most likely. The species is prized for its fruit and is also grown as a specimen tree or trained as a formal hedge.

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council has listed Eugenia uniflora as a Class 1 invasive, a taxon that displaces native species or disrupts native habitats.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 10.
Parent taxa Myrtaceae > Eugenia
Sibling taxa
E. axillaris, E. confusa, E. foetida, E. rhombea
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 470. (1753)
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