First Fruiting of Eugenia reinwardtiana – Florida Fruit Geek

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    Eugenia reinwardtiana, Cedar Bay Cherry – first two fruits ripening.

    This past spring, I planted a Eugenia reinwardtiana, Cedar Bay Cherry, in the ground in my greenhouse (I keep the greenhouse open to the sky most of the year, so it’s nearly outdoors). The species, also known as Eugenia carissoides, is native to Australia. I got the plant from Oliver Moore, who grows this species as a containerized specimen in his greenhouse in Gainesville, and he reports that his big Eugenia reinwardtiana (in a seven-gallon pot, I think), is nearly ever-bearing.

    My plant made slow growth over the summer, then commenced heavy flowering in the fall. The first fruits from this flowering are starting to ripen. I got to try these, just after snapping this photo, and they were quite tasty. I’m looking forward to having this one available regularly in the future, as the plant gains size.

    We don’t yet know about the cold-tolerance of this species. Many other Eugenia species can take at least some frost. My part of Florida is subject to hard freezes many winters, so to be cautious I planted this in the ground inside the greenhouse. In addition to protecting the plant from freezes, the generally warmer winter temperatures in the greenhouse might lengthen the plant’s fruiting season.

    Looks like this might be a popular one with the local wildlife — I’ve already had some ripening fruits disappear. I might have to keep a net over this one to keep from “sharing” the entire crop.

    Hi, I’m Craig Hepworth. I use this site mainly to celebrate the remarkable potential of fruit and nut trees.

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