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©Sue Eland 2008 

Page 1 of 2 

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Eugenia uniflora 

[Synonyms : Eugenia arechavaletaeEugenia brasilianaEugenia costataEugenia dasyblasta



Eugenia deciduaEugenia indicaEugenia lacustrisEugenia micheliiEugenia 

microphyllaEugenia myrtifoliaEugenia oblongifoliaEugenia parkerianaEugenia 

strigosaEugenia uniflora var. atropurpureaEugenia zeylanicaLuma arechavaletae

Luma costataLuma dasyblastaLuma strigosaMyrtus brasilianaMyrtus brasiliana 

var. diversifoliaMyrtus brasiliana var. lanceolataMyrtus brasiliana var. lucidaMyrtus 



willdenowiiMyrtus willdenowii var. portoriccensisPlinia pedunculata, Plinia rubra

Plinia tetrapetalaStenocalyx affinisStenocalyx brunneusStenocalyx costatus

Stenocalyx dasyblastusStenocalyx glaberStenocalyx impunctatusStenocalyx lucidus, 

Stenocalyx micheliiStenocalyx michelii var. membranaceaStenocalyx michelii var. 

rigidaStenocalyx nhampiriStenocalyx oblongifoliusStenocalyx rhampiriStenocalyx 

ruberStenocalyx strigosusStenocalyx uniflorusSyzygium michelii

FLORIDA CHERRY

 

is a shrub or tree. Native to tropical South America (especially Brazil) it 

has fragrant creamy-white flowers with tufts of prominent, pale yellow-tipped, white 

stamens. 

It is also known as Bärmyrten (Swedish), Brazil cherry, Brazilian cherry, Cayenne cherry, 

Cayennekirsche (German), Cayennekirsebær (Danish), Cereza de Cayena (Spanish), 

Cereza quadrada (Colombian, Spanish), Cerezo de Cayena (Spanish), Cerezo de 

Surinam (Spanish), Cerise à côtes (French), Cerise carrée (French), Cerise de Cayenne 

(French), Cerisier de Cayenne (French), Cěrmai bělanda (Malay), Ciliegio di Cayenna 

(Italian), Einblutige Kirschmyrte (German), Eugenie (Danish), Eŭgenio unuflora 

(Esperanto), Fan ying tao (Chinese), Goraka-jambu (Singhalese), Guinda (Salvadoran), 



Hong guo zi (Chinese), Hong zi guo (Chinese), Kirschmyrte (German), Leng guo pu tao 

(Chinese), Ma-yom-farang (Thai), Myrten (Swedish), Nagapiry (Spanish), Ñanga-piré 

(Argentinian, Uruguayan), Pendanga (Venezuelan), Pitanga (Brazilian, English, 

Portuguese, Spanish), Pitanga cherry, Pitanga da praia (Portuguese), Pitanga du Brésil 

(French), Pitangueira (Portuguese), Red Brazil cherrySurinaamsche kersh 

(Surinamese), Surinaamse kers (Dutch), Surinam cherry, Surinaminkirsikka (Finnish), 

and Surinamkirsche (German). 

Uniflora is derived from Latin uni- (one) and -flora (flowered) components meaning ‘one-

flowered or with solitary flowers’. 

Authorities believe that it was the Portuguese traders who introduced Florida cherry from 

Brazil to India. But it was a specimen in Italy (in a garden in Pisa) that was first described 

botanically – and this plant was believed to have come from India, more precisely Goa on 

the western coast. It was introduced to Singapore in about 1900 and from there it spread 

to Malaysia. 

The small shiny ripe fruit (that have matured from green through orange to red to black and are 

sweetly aromatic-tasting) are eaten raw and made into puddings, pies, sherbets, syrup, 

jams and compôtes (especially in Brazil) – and the unripe fruit are used to make chutney. 

In Brazil the juice is fermented for vinegar as well. These fruit have also been used to 

make wine, alcohol and liqueur, and the young leaves can be prepared as a tea. Perhaps it 

should be mentioned however that in Florida where it is still a familiar sight as hedging it 


©Sue Eland 2008 

Page 2 of 2 

is contended that the raw fruit are only eaten by children now although they used to be 

viewed there as a culinary asset. 

Locally the pungent crushed leaves have been scattered on barn floors as an insect repellent. 

They used also to be strewn in Brazilian homes to repel flies as they were trodden under 

foot. 

In Brazil too the bark has been used for tanning. 



This plant can often be found cultivated as hedging not least in the southern United States. 

The Uruguayan National Administration of Posts issued a series of stamps which bore 

indigenous flowers. Florida cherry was one of them. 

Medicinally, local Brazilian herbalists have recommended a leaf infusion for easing stomach 

upsets and treating worms, while in Surinam a leaf decoction has been taken as a cold 

cure and it has also been used as an ingredient for treating fever. 



 



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