Eugenia uniflora (MYRTACEAE) Brazilian Cherry

Weeds to Whack

Brazilian cherry is small tropical tree, indigenous to the Amazon rainforest with pointed ovate-lanceolate leaves. Young leaves coppery-pink. Leaves contain essential oils including citronella, cineole, terpenine, sesquiterpenes and others. Eugenia named for Prince Eugene of Savoy, 18th century Austrian general. In Brazil, the juice is fermented into wine or vinegar. The fruit is very appealing to birds and spreads into native vegetation remnants, where it can continue to self seed and inhibit the growth of native flora. Should be netted during fruiting to avoid introduction into the native vegetation.

Photo: Matt Tomkins


Fruits are round, orange-red to dark red, deeply longitudinal grooved berries, very juicy with high vitamin C content, calcium and phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin. The fruits contain one or sometimes two, round light brown seeds.
Photo: B. Navez

Flower, Leaves

Wikipedia describes Eugenia as “a genus of flowering plants, belonging to the myrtle family Myrtaceae … The bulk of the approximately 1000 species occur in the New World tropics, especially in the northern Andes, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Forest (coastal forests) of eastern Brazil … Remarkably, only a single species, E. reinwardtiana, is known from Australia, which otherwise is one of the great centres of richness for the family overall … All species are woody evergreen trees and shrubs.” Common names include Monki Monki Kersi, Pitanga, Cerise de Cayenne, Cereza de Cayene, Surinam Cherry, Red Brazil Cherry. Occasionally seen in the catchment, does not seem to be forming dense infestations.
Photo: Robert Whyte