Pitomba (Eugenia luschnathiana) is a delicious sweet apricot flavored fruit similar in size and growth habit as a grumichama. This little-known species is native to the State of Bahia, Brazil.
The pitomba is an attractive, small tree that produces and abundance of yellow, aromatic, cherrylike fruit. However, it is rarely seen outside of collections. While the pitomba is not likely to achieve commercial status in Florida, it makes an excellent dooryard crop and is worth planting on a broader scale. The tree is easy to care for and is relatively free of problems. native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family, which includes other well-known plants such as guava and eucalyptus.
The tree can grow up to 10 meters tall, with a dense crown and a straight trunk. Its bark is smooth and reddish-brown in color, and its leaves are oval-shaped, glossy, and dark green. The tree produces small, white flowers with prominent yellow stamens that bloom in the spring and summer. These flowers are followed by round, red or dark purple fruits that are about 2-3 centimeters in diameter. The fruit is edible and has a sweet, juicy flavor, similar to that of a cherry. Ready to buy click here:
Pitomba is often used in landscaping for its attractive foliage, flowers, and fruit, as well as for its tolerance to a variety of soils and environmental conditions. In addition, the fruit is widely consumed fresh, used in jams and jellies, and is also an ingredient in traditional medicines.
Snowy white yellow flowers up to an inch and a half across are borne during the spring months and the fruit ripens about a month to six weeks later. Flower season is usually April through June.
The fruit is broadly obovoid, about an inch long, with the apex crowned by 4 or 5 green sepals, about 1/2 inch long. The thin skin is a bright orange yellow. The soft, melting, juicy flesh is orange in color and aromatic, sweet to subacid in flavor. The fruit contains 1 to several seeds attached to one side of the seed cavity. The fruit matures from May to June and sometimes there is a light crop in the fall. The pitomba usually begins fruiting in about the third year after planting. Ready to buy click here:
Trees grow over a wide variety of soils, but have less micronutrient problems under acidic conditions. If grown close to the coast usually they have excellent salt tolerance if in good condition nutritionally. Trees prefer sun for optimum fruiting, but will tolerate partial shade.
Your tree will require irrigation during establishment and during periods of drought.
Rate of growth on most of these is about two feet or more a year, and they make excellent hedges where sufficient plants can be bought or accumulated. For people with limited growing space, pitombas make excellent container specimens and can grown and fruit quite well in seven-to-ten-gallon-sized containers. Mature trees are quite cold hardy and survive to about 27°F without injury. Young plants will get injured at about 30°F.
Origin: South America
USDA hardiness zones: 9 b - 11
Uses: Food and medicine
Height: 15 ft (4.5 m)
Spread: 15 ft (4.5 m)
Plant habit: Low branching and bushy, with upturned limbs
Growth rate: Slow, trunk/bark/branches, small, upright tree.
Leaves: Evergreen; alternate, smooth, glossy dark green.
pH preference: 5.5-6.5
Roots: Shallow, fibrous root system; benefits from copious mulching
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