Eugenia brasiliensis syn dombeyi.
Flowering for the first time at Wharepuke Subtropical Garden in 2007 is a very attractive compact small tree called Grumichama or Eugenia brasiliensis syn dombeyi.
This fruiting plant naturally grows in Brazil especially in the coastal areas of the states of Parana and Santa Catarina where they will tolerate some salt spray.
The new growth is very beautiful with lovely red shades which mature off to a glossy, green, leathery leaf.
The white, long stemmed flowers occur on the new growth in clusters. Within a month the set fruit have turned from green to red to dark purple or nearly black and are ready to eat. They are about 25mm across and have been described as the tropical equivalent to a cherry with a similar flavour. Flesh colour can be dark red to pink to white and there is also a yellow fruited one. They are delicious but so far few fruit have formed and one has to be there at the right time as birds love them.
Fruit are eaten fresh or made into jellies, wines, jams or pies.
They grow in full sun or light shade and will grow in most soil types though acid soils are preferred. They prefer a frost free area but can stand a light frost.
My plant was planted about 1999 and is a tight bushy plant tending to grow upwards. It was very slow growing at first but is now growing much more quickly and I believe it can grow to about eight metres high.
Plants can be used as hedges and kept trimmed if required. Propagation is by seed or by grafting but seed is the easier and they come reasonably true to type. Grafting will give you quicker fruiting. They make good tub plants.