Surinam Cherry - Pitanga
The Surinam cherry
is from Brazil where it is known as Pitanga
. The scientific name for pitanga is eugenia uniflora
. There are several different eugenia varieties from Brazil that produce tasty fruits! Another eugenia variety from Brazil with very delicious fruit is the Cherry of the Rio Grande
Pitanga plants like full sun in Southern California, and once established there it usually is fairly drought tolerant and also can withstand several degrees below freezing with little effect.
The Surinam cherry (aka: pitanga) is an evergreen shrub or small tree which commonly grows to about 15 feet in California.
It is not a true cherry. As the tree grows, the bark peels off showing the trunk underneath.
In California, the Surinam cherry is early flowering in spring with its delicious fruits typically ripening in June. Quite often, the Surinam cherry will flower and fruit again in the fall here in California. The flowers are white and quite showy. The fruit is ribbed, something like a miniature pumpkin, and can be either a bright red surinam cherry or a dark purple surinam cherry when ripe depending on the variety. The bright red pitangas are popularly known as chomba pitangas. The dark purple pitangas in general are somewhat milder and sweeter. The pitanga fruit is produced soon after flowering.
The fruit are highly prized fresh and also as jellies, jams or juices. The fruits also freeze quite well, so they can be picked at maturity and frozen for later use.
The Surinam cherry is usually propagated by seed as grafting has a low success rate, and seedlings usually take 4 to 5 years to begin producing fruit.
Growing Surinam Cherry and Pitanga in California
Pitanga plants (aka: Surinam Cherry) are easy to grow, requiring very little maintenance for the growth of healthy, productive plants. Fruit size and quality depends mostly on adequate water supply at the time of fruit development.
The plants should be watered regularly, but especially during bloom and fruit development. The Pitanga has fairly good drought tolerance. The pitanga requires very little pruning - just enough to keep an attractive shape.
Purchasing Surinam Cherry and Pitanga Plants
We offer Surinam Cherry plants (aka: Pitanga) for sale in a variety of sizes ranging from 4 to 15 years old, available in red chombas and purple pitangas.
Date Palms & Tree Ripened Fruit
We have date palms
available in all sizes, including male date palms
for pollination and for landscaping, and female medjool date palms
for date production.
We also have zahidi date palm offshoots available.
Our fresh picked medjool date program has been a huge success!
At certain times of year, we can ship orders for
organically grown freshly picked medjool dates, as well as other date varieties and
also organically grown mesquite seed pods. We also occasionally have a variety of other
rare and exotic fruits that were grown organically and
allowed to fully ripen on the tree.
Our fresh medjool dates are available in September-October each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
- SHIPPING: For small to medium size trees, we recommend that customers personally pick up their own trees and take them home in their vehicle. Local delivery of your selections to your driveway can usually be arranged (only in Southern California, minimum purchase $150) with a delivery cost from $30 to $160 depending on the round-trip mileage (200 mile maximum round-trip travel distance). Transport for large trees/palms can also be arranged. We do not offer "mail order" shipping for plants & trees.
- MEDJOOL DATE PALMS: Our Medjool date palm offshoots (and our other palm varieties) are grown near Palm Springs, in California. Medjool date palm offshoots in 15 gallon pots are available for pick-up in Rancho Cucamonga, California, by appoinment only. Delivery of Medjool date palms to homeowners in Southern California can be arranged. We do recommend homeowners hire an experienced landscaper (we are not offering landscaping services, sorry!) for planting & irrigation services.
- SUB TROPICAL FRUIT TREES: Available for pick-up in Rancho Cucamonga, California, by appoinment only, at one of our two locations. To make an appointment & get directions, please call 909 941 1060 a few days prior to your desired appointment time.
- PAYMENT: We accept Cash, Check, American Express, Visa, Mastercard & Discover. You can pay in advance or at the time of pick up.
- MAILING ADDRESS: Tropical Oasis Farms, PO Box 1011, Rancho Cucamonga, California 91729
- Grafted trees, trees grown from cuttings, off-shoots, and air layered trees are described as such. All other trees are seedlings.
- SEEDS: We do offer organically grown SEEDS year round: medjool date seeds and organically grown in California MESQUITE SEED PODS
- FRESH MEDJOOL DATES: organically grown in California, fresh picked medjool dates are available in October each year.
- GUARANTEE: We guarantee our plants and trees to be in good condition at the time of sale.
- SUITABILITY: For questions regarding the suitability of plants or trees for your climate (and how to care for them), the CRFG website has lots of great information.
- For all other questions, you may contact us at: Tropical Oasis Farms, PO Box 1011, Rancho Cucamonga, California 91729