The Jabuticaba: when tropical fruit grows on the tree trunk

The jabuticaba is not only valued for its delicious fruits but also for its ornamental qualities

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By Leu

Jabuticaba

The jabuticaba (Plinia cauliflora) is a unique tropical fruit tree native to Brazil. What makes it particularly interesting is that its fruits grow directly on the trunk of the tree and its larger branches, rather than on the tips of the branches like most other fruit-bearing trees.

After flowering, the trunks of jabuticaba trees become adorned with lots of small brown balls, giving the trees a unique appearance. The fruits look like large grains of red grapes with a diameter of 3 to 4 cm. Their skin is brown and rather thick. The flesh is transparent and whitish.

A jabuticaba tree
The particularity of this plant is that its fruits grow directly on the trunk and not only at the end of the branches.

The jabuticaba bear fruit twice a year, but in optical conditions, ie with regular supply of rainfall like in the tropics, they can bloom and bear fruit almost all year round. Their fruits are eaten fresh or as juice.

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As they can be preserved only for a short time (after 3 or 4 days they be

Jabuticaba fruit
Jabuticaba fruit.

gin to ferment), they are also eaten cooked, for example, in pies, jams or made into wine or liquor.

Due to their short shelf life they are virtually unknown outside Brazil. However, in the country they are very popular, so much so that the city of Contagem devotes an annual festival, called “Jabuticaba Festival” to them.

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