Friday, October 19, 2012

The Jaboticaba Fruit Tree

Jaboticaba is an unusual tree with the fruit produced directly upon the trunk and larger branches, singularly or in clusters. Most people consider it to be a native of Brazil, having been widely cultivated in domestic orchards of South Eastern Brazil since colonial times. The trees are slow growing; some are 4-5 foot shrubs while others can grow 15-25 feet tall, rarely more.

Jaboticaba trees are usually raised from seed. The seeds, being polyembryonic, can give rise to 3-4 seedlings.  Some varieties are propagated by air layering. 

Depending on the source, jaboticaba seedlings require anywhere from 6 to 15 years before they bear fruit. If the tree blooms during a period of drought, many flowers will desiccate causing a decrease in production. In their prime, they bear fruit profusely and repeatedly, often four to five times per year.

It has been reported that solitary jaboticaba trees bare poorly compared with those planted in groups, indicating that cross-pollination enhances productivity.