Pitomba - Eugenia luschnathiana Klotzsch & O.Berg
Pitomba fruit
Fig. 1 

Fruit, flesh and seeds
Fig. 2 magnifying glass
Fruit, flesh and seeds

Fig. 3 magnifying glass

Flower habit
Fig. 4 magnifying glass
Flower habit

Fruit forming
Fig. 5 magnifying glass
Fruit forming

Fig. 6 magnifying glass

New growth
Fig. 7 magnifying glass
New leaf growth

Pitomba bush
Fig. 8 magnifying glass
Pitomba bush

Close-up of the fruit
Fig. 9 magnifying glass

Fruit being sold on Futuro Beach, Fortaleza, Brazil
Fig. 10 magnifying glass
Fruit being sold on Futuro Beach, Fortaleza, Brazil

Scientific name
Eugenia luschnathiana Klotzsch & O.Berg
Common names
In Brazil: uvalha do campo, ubaid do campo, or uvalheira
Eugenia duckeana Mattos; E. lucescens Nied.; Phyllocalyx luschnathianus O.Berg
Cherry of the Rio Grande, Eugenia aggregata; grumichama, E. brasiliensis; Surinam cherry, E. uniflora.
Bahia, Brazil
Fruit; specimen or screening hedges
Up to 25 ft (7.6 m)
Densely foliated; medium texture
Plant habit
Large shrub or small tree; evergreen; upright and compact habit
Growth rate
Short, single trunk, flaking grey bark 3
Evergreen; opposite, lanceolate, 2-3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) long, dark and glossy
White, 4 petals; prominent tuft of white stamens; Apr. to June
Yellow, obovate, 1.5' diameter; smooth, thin, glossy skin
July, August;  light fall crop
Light requirement
Full sun; tolerates part shade
Soil tolerances
It will grow on most soils
PH preference
Aerosol salt tolerance
Soil salt tolerance
Excellent salt tolerance if in good condition nutritionally 4
Wind tolerance
Cold tolerance
27 °F (°C)
Shallow root systme
Pest/disease resistance
Susceptible to the Caribbean fruit fly
Known hazard

Reading Material

The Pitomba from W. Popenoe's book Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits

Pitomba from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates

Selected Eugenia Species Archived Publication from the University of Florida pdf 4 pages

The Pitomba from the University of Florida Palm Beach County Extension
Pitomba from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia


The species is native to Brazil. It has been grown in south Florida since about 1914. 3

The pitomba is an attractive, small tree that produces and abundance of yellow, aromatic, cherrylike fruit. However, it is rarely seen outside of collections. While the pitomba is not likely to achieve commercial status in Florida, it makes an excellent dooryard crop and is worth planting on a broader scale. The treee is easy to care for and is relatively free of problems. However, the fruit is subject ot attack by the Caribbean fruit fly. 3

Snowy white yellow flowers up to an inch and a half across are borne during the spring months and the fruit ripens about a month to six weeks later. Flower season is usually April through June. 4

The fruit is broadly obovoid, about an inch long, with the apex crowned by 4 or 5 green sepals, about 1/2 inch long. The thin skin is a bright orange yellow. The soft, melting, juicy flesh is orange in color and aromatic, sweet to subacid in flavor. The fruit contains 1 to several seeds attached to one side of the seed cavity. The fruit matures from May to June and sometimes there is a light crop in the fall. The pitomba usually begins fruiting in about the fourth year after planting. 6

Pitombas are easily propagated by seeds, but superior varieties that have larger or better quality fruit can be veneer-grafted. There are no named varieties of pitomba available currently, but people do select from larger or more heavier bearing varieties and propagate those by grafting. Seeds are used by most nurserymen for propagation and seedlings take two or more years to begin fruiting. 4

Trees grow readily over a wide variety of soils, but have less micronutrient problems under acidic conditions. If grown close to the coast usually they have excellent salt tolerance if in good condition nutritionally. Trees prefer sun for optimum fruiting, but will tolerate partial shade. 4

It requires irrigation during establishment and during periods of drought. 3

The tree, like its cousin the cherry of the Rio Grande, may suffer from an unexplained dieback. This is rarely fatal. Maggots of the Caribbean fruit fly sometimes ruin the fruit. 3

Caribbean Fruit Fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew)
from the University of Florida pdf 8 pages

No serious disease problems.

Food Uses
The fruits are there used mainly for jelly, preserves, and carbonated beverages. 2

Other Uses
Because of its slow growth habit, it makes an excellent container plant.

Further Reading
Eugenias, South American Berries from the Sub-Tropical Fruit Club of Qld Inc
Pitomba from the Florida Gulfcoast University pdf

List of Growers and Vendors

1 "Eugenia luschnathiana." wikipedia.org. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

2 Morton, J. "Pitomba". hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates, p. 392. 1987. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

3 Boning, Charles. Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 104. 2006. Print.

4 Joyner, Gene. "The Pitomba." ifas.ufl.edu. Palm Beach County Extension Service. N.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2015.
5 "Eugenia luschnathiana synonyms." theplantlist.org. The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Web. 26 Dec. 2017.
6 Phillips, Richard L. "Selected Eugenia Species." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS41, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultura Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date Apr. 1994. Reviewed Nov. 2005. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.


Fig. 1 Sergio, Antonio. UBAIA- Eugenia luschnathiana, Myrtaceae. 2006. flickr.com. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 2,4,5,7 Eugenia luschnathiana, Phyllocalyx luschnathianus. N.d. toptropical.com. Web 6 Mar. 2015.

Fig. 3,6,8 I likE plants! Bronson, Eric. Eugenia luschnathiana. 2009. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US). Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

Fig. 9 Dieu, Barbara. Pitomba. 2009. flickr.com. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.

Fig. 10 Andrade, Jorge. Fruit being sold on Futuro Beach, Fortaleza, Brazil. flickr.com. Under  (CC BY 2.0). Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published 2 Mar. 2015 LR. Last update 26 Feb. 2017 LR
© 2013 - growables.org
about credits disclaimer sitemap updates