Jabotica is a slow growing tropical fruit tree originally from Brazil and surrounding areas. A fairly small compact tree, if you live in a warm climate then you could grow them in a back yard.
Also known as the Brazilian Grape Tree and also spelled Jabuticaba. The fruit is a deep purple that can be quite large given sufficient water and fertilizer. Eaten fresh, with ice-cream, or used to make jams, wine and preserves Jabotica is a ‘new fruit’ well worth exploring.
Some species such as Jabuticaba sabarazinha have very small leaves and are used on bonsai where the tiny fruits make it a fascinating specimen. look for plants for sale at farmers markets and rare fruit tree sales in your area.
A sunny position to part shade is best.
A humus rich deep fertile soil is essential, they can be grown in containers if moisture and fertilizer is maintained.
Pay attention to the soil Ph they prefer a soil on the acidic side pH of 5.5 – 6.5.
Although they require good moisture they also require good drainage, poorly drained clay soils are not suitable.
Best protected from frosts especially when young
These trees are originally from the Brazilian rain-forest and require moisture, but not wet conditions.
Generally pruning is not required, although is the home garden this may be need to constrain size.
Prune in spring as needed, this will not upset fruit production as this occurs on the older stems.
Looking at Fruit Trees in more detail
A number of named Jabotica cultivars are available, although sometime difficult to find
- Branca – Heavy fruiting type with large fruit
- Paulists – Large fruit, very juicy with a thicker skin than most
- Rajada – Large fruit with a thinner skin than most.
- Sabara – Small fruit reddish when young, but thin skinned and sweet. It will produce multiple crops each year. The most widely grown variety in its native Brazil.
- Ponhema – Large thick skinned fruit. Used more for fruit processing for jams, jellies and preserves.
Propagation is easy from seed, although slow.
- The fruit or Myrciaria cauliflora (Jaboticaba) forms directly onto the stems and you could start growing these trees from seed, if you were the patient type, however as they take 6-8 years to fruit we think a nice grafted tree could be the answer.
- Grown in both Florida and California, these trees will reach around 15 ft high in cultivation, although nearly twice this in more tropical areas.
- So why do we not see the fruit offered for sale ? It is difficult to store, generally lasting 2 -3 days once picked unless cold stored.
Jabotica trees are available for sale from the following specialist nurseries
GARDINO NURSERY Rare & Unusual Plants
Tropical plant nursery that specializing in a wide variety of rare and unusual plants. Shipping is available to retail and wholesale customers nationwide. Our site also contains lots of useful information on a variety of tropical plants (over 500 varieties) and a gardening guide.