- The truly unique Jabuticaba constitutes a one-of-a-kind tree that also happens to inhabit a highly restricted range of the world.
- Its most obvious and immediately recognizable feature remains the utterly unparalleled manner in which its fruit appears.
- Unlike all other known trees on earth, its fruit grows directly from the trunk, and also occasionally from the numerous limbs.
- The fruit, which appears in prodigious numbers, also remains entirely edible. Locals often eat them raw or use them to prepare jams, jellies, juice, and even wine.
- Despite its limited habitat range, it does not yet appear on the IUCN Red List. It does, however, appear in the Catalogue of Life.
Jabuticaba Physical Description
The mesmerizing Jabuticaba remains a fairly slow-growing variety of tree. Yet it sometimes attains a height of as much as 147 ft (45 m) if not pruned by man.
In addition to how its fruit appears, it also displays yet another fascinating trait. Its leaves actually display a pinkish-orange color during the youth of the tree. However, as the tree ages, these change to dark green in color.
The white flowers, which develop straight from the trunk and limbs, appear in enormous numbers. In the wild, these produce fruit once or twice by year.
However, in cultivation, the species often produces fruit year-round in tropical climates.
The fruit itself develops as a large berry that typically reaches about 1.6 in (4 cm) in diameter. The outer skin appears a dark purple, resembling a large grape.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Myrtales
- Family: Myrtaceae
- Genus: Plinia
- Species: P. cauliflora
Jabuticaba Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
In the wild, it appears most commonly in moderately thick forests. However, it has proven itself to be adaptable to other habitats as well.
Additionally, the Jabuticaba also grows equally well at altitudes of as low as sea level and as high as 3,00 ft (914 m).
While all related species evolved as subtropical and can tolerate mild, brief frosts, some species may be marginally more cold-tolerant.