Surinam Cherry – Eugenia uniflora – also called Pitanga is native to South America and made its way to Hawaii and is also considered an invasive plant. It grows easily and is also pest resistant. The birds like to eat them and spread the seeds by their droppings.
Surinam Cherry is a small tree that grows up to 8 meters in height. The leaves are green and glossy and have a fragrance that repels flies. I read that Brazilians used the crushed leaves to do exactly that, repel flies.
Surinam Cherry is also called Pitanga meaning red because of the fruit color when ripe. It starts from lime green color to red and then turns deep red almost black when mature. It is sweet and sour and mostly used in making jams or jellies. It is also rich in Vitamins C and A.
I like Surinam Cherries so much I did a painting of a picture of the tree in our neighbor with all the different colors of the fruits, from green to orange to red. I just love the fruits’ shape almost like a Chinese or Japanese lantern, so interesting to look at.