Jaboticaba: Fruit and Tree
Ever heard of the Jaboticaba fruit and tree? What about the Brazilian Grape Tree? Well, neither had I until recently. Native to South America, particularly Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, this slow-growing tree is very unique both in appearance and modus operandi.
Here’s a few facts and info regarding this peculiar plant.
Jaboticaba – Tree
Depending on the species, the Jaboticaba tree can reach up to 15 meters of height.. It has salmon-coloured leaves during its early stages of life, which then turn green as it matures.
Although this tree prefers moist and acidic soil, it is very adaptable and can easily grow in alkaline soil, just as long as it’s continuously irrigated. The better irrigated it gets, the more likely it will be to be constantly covered in flowers and its fruit. However, the tree will show flowers up to three times a year if left to its own workings.
The white-ish flowers have no shoot and they grow straight from the trunk and large branches, which can make the tree as wide as it’s tall, making them a cauliflorous.
Though not readily available everywhere in the world, you can find the plants online where you can order them and get them sent, ready to make of your backyard their new home.
Jaboticaba – Fruit
Just like the flowers, the fruits produced by this tree grow, singly or into clusters, directly on the trunk and all over the branches. The Jaboticaba is very similar in colour and texture to grapes, only it has a rather thicker purple/black skin. It’s four centimeters in diameters on average and has the seeds embedded inside the white-coloured pulp.
The tree can fruit up to five times a year, going from being covered in white fluff to being barely recognisable when encrusted with little black bubbles.
As it grows, the fruit is green in colour, slowly becoming darker until it becomes mature and gains its characteristic dark purple hue.
Evolution has allowed the Jaboticaba tree to grow the fruit on its trunk in order to allow animals unable to climb high to reach it, eat it and expel the seeds away from the parent tree, as a way to propagate the species.
Jaboticaba – Taste
Both the skin and flesh of the fruit are edible. Although its characteristics make it sound very similar to grapes, it can be better compared in general to dark-coloured maribelles and even plums.
The flesh is soft and sweet, somewhat like lychees, while the skin is acidic and sharp in taste.
Jaboticaba – Healthy Food
The dark colour of the fruit’s skin indicates a large amount of antioxidants, which gives the Jaboticaba anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging properties. Furthermore, its dried skin can be used to treat diarrhea and asthma. Thanks to its high concentration of nutrients, it can be considered as an excellent tonic, energy booster and detox food.
When ripe, this fruit can be made into jam, jellies and even wine thanks to its large amount of tannin, just like grapes.
Jaboticaba – Seed
Each Jaboticaba can grow between one and four seeds. The tree is rather low maintenance and as long as it’s in a warm environment and gets enough light, they can quickly grow and decorate your garden.
In order to grow a Jaboticaba tree, it’s necessary to grab a couple of its fruits straight from the truck when ripe and use those seeds to get the offspring plant growing. After a month of germination in a container, they will be able to be transplanted into your garden where it will continue growing for many next years to come.
If you don’t have a tree available to get the seeds from, you can easily get them online, right here.
Jaboticaba – Bonsai
Because this tree can take up to 20 years to become fully mature, it’s sometimes used as a bonsai plant in places that can provide them with a more moderate weather. Furthermore, the flowers provide it with the ability to contribute to the aesthetics of any garden given their unique features.
Published by Carla Cometto on 2 October 2017