Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Jabuticaba – The Tree that Fruits on its' Trunk
Today while at work, a friend sent me an email about an unusual plant. I have never heard of this plant ever and none of these pics are my own nor is the information. It is a plant oddity and I thought I'd share this little surprise with all of you. Perhaps you have heard of this plant? It's called the jabuticaba. And it's real. I thought at first that the email was a hoax, but after some research, I discovered it does indeed exist. Here is what I've has nothing to do with Tucson or my garden or my adventures and themes or really anything that is found in the gardens.....just a curiosity that made me think.  It seems this week has been full of exotic fruit reporting:) Kumquat, persimmons, and now this......however I have NO experience with this plant whatsoever but it does state that it will grow in zone 9b and it has been known to be sold at Lowe's.....hmmmmm......where could I put such a plant?:)
The email went like this.....
"No, this is not a belated April Fool’s prank. They look as if they may have been pinned there by an overenthusiastic gardener to impress the neighbors, but the fruit of the Jabuticaba really does grow off the trunk of the tree. "

"Otherwise known as the Brazilian Grape Tree, this plant is native to South America, notably Paraguay , Argentina and (obviously from its name) mostly from Brazil . The fruit, a succulent looking purple color, can be plucked and eaten straight from the tree."

"It is also a popular ingredient in jellies and is also juiced to make a refreshing summer drink.  What is more, it can be fermented and made into wine and strong liquor.  After three days off the tree the fermentation will begin, so sometimes, there is no choice; honestly"

"If you want one of these in your garden, then you have to be patient The tree takes an age to grow, but once it reaches maturity it is worth it. However, it has proven to be very adaptable and, although it prefers moist and slightly acid soils, it will even grow well in an alkaline type soil. "
"The flowers themselves appear on the tree at most twice a year – naturally. They look like some strange alien creature that has deposited itself on the trunk and branches. The habit of flowers doing this makes them cauliflorous. Instead of growing new shoots, these plants flower direct from the woody trunk or stem."
"You might ask why it is this way. The simple answer is that it has evolved in this manner so that animals that cannot climb very high can reach it, eat it and then expel the seeds away from the parent tree to further propagate the species."

"If the tree is well irrigated then it will flower and fruit all the year round.  The fruit itself is about four centimeters in diameter and has up to four large seeds.  As well as being used as food, the skins can be dried out and used to treat asthma and diarrhea. If your tonsils are swollen you can also use it to try and alleviate the inflammation. It is also hoped that the tree will be useful in the fight against cancer, as several anti-cancer compounds have been found in the fruit." End of email message from unknown person.  All I can say is that it has been on my mind for the past couple of days.......and I'm wondering, where could I put it in my garden?:)
When do they fruit?  So many questions on this alien and mysterious plant.


  1. One of my favorite trees, and one I hope to try in my zone 9a garden as well! I've seen them for sale before at botanical garden sales, but I want to wait til I'm a homeowner myself before I plant one. Imagine giving the fruit to grandchildren!

  2. I know of several species that grow fruit on the trunk but I've never seen one with such perfect little round balls. Very nice flower as well!

  3. This is a wonderful tree and it grows in my garden. It is a very hardy tree. The fruit can grow like a big cherry and it is very yummy to eat. You pop a fruit into your mouth and suck the gelatinous, sweet pulp out and spit out the skin at it is fairly hard and a bit bitter. There is a tiny stone but it goes down with the pulp! The tree fruits at least two times a year. I always look forward to it. It is also very beautiful when it is in full flower. Get one! And yes, my grandchildren love it too.

  4. I've never seen fruit grow on a tree trunk like that. It looks so interesting, I wish I had room to grow one.

  5. sooooo interesting - but if I look at those photos too long, they looks kinda gross to me - like some sort of canker. those flowers look pretty interesting right off the trunk like that. I bet you'd have to really stay on top of harvesting. Fermenting after 3 days...


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