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Tree Description: Stout and shrub-like, unlike other Eugenia species, Pitangatuba is known to flower quickly once established. Pitangatuba fruit trees are very fast growing and thrive in subtropical-level humidity and full sun and light shade. Mature Size: Up to 6-12 ft tall with a canopy spread of up to 4 ft.
Scientific Name: Eugenia neonitida
Common Name: Pitangatuba, Star Cherry
Relatives: guava, allspice, and eucalyptus, suriname cherry
Distribution/History: Eugenia neonitida is an endemic Myrtaceae (with restricted area of distribution) of Rio de Janeiro sandbanks, until recently almost unknown to the fruit growers. In its natural habitat, is a compact shrub, from less than 1 m high. In growing conditions, reaches just under 2 m. Its trunk has a rough outer shell, it gives off in plates. The leaves have leather texture (leathery), are elliptical, pointed at the apex. Are dark green on the upper surface and lighter on the bottom. The ribs are well printed on top.
Importance: Native to Brazil, the rare, bright yellow Pitangatuba fruit has a very unique and extremely powerful flavor. Pitangatuba fruit tastes simultaneously sweet, and acidic, with a apricot-meets-mango-like flavor that's really unlike anything you've ever experienced.
Bright yellow Pitangatuba fruit is very soft and full of juice, with a unique tartness that's also remarkably similar to apricot. The incredibly fragrant fruit has a brief window of ripeness despite it's nearly ever bearing nature, and will likely never be found in grocery stores due to its short short shelf life.