Flowers and developing fruit of Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora)
Claudia who lives in Brazil has sent me some photos of her Jaboticaba tree which is just starting to develop fruit. It is indigenous to southern Brazil and is sometimes known as the Brazilian grape, as the rounded fruit ripen to a glossy black colour. Flowers and fruit develop on the tree trunk and branches, a habit which some of our own native rainforest Myrtaceae family species follow. The bark of the tree also peels off in much the same way as Eucalyptus do.
Jaboticaba is reasonably well known in Australia but as far as I know it is not grown commercially. It will grow anywhere from the tropics to Melbourne but will only tolerate light frost. The fruits which taste a little like a combination of grape, litchi and blackcurrant can be eaten fresh or made into tangy relish to accompany duck or chicken. I have one tree I am growing as a bonsai (pictured below) as it has a graceful shape and looks like a mature tree with delightful coloured bark and tiny leaves. I may have to wait for twenty years before miniature fruit develop on this specimen.