Barbados Cherry
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Barbados Cherry
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Barbados Cherry, Wild Crapemyrtle, Acerola
Botanical name: Malpighia glabra      Family: Malpighiaceae (Barbados cherry family)

The Barbados cherry is a shrub or small tree that grows up to 15 feet tall with wide spread branches and evergreen oval leaves. The leaves are evergreen, simple, 0.5-15 cm long, with an entire, wavy margin. The flowers are solitary or in umbels of two to several together, each flower 1-2 cm diameter, with five pink or white petals. The fruit is a red, orange or purple drupe, containing 2-3 hard seeds. It is sweet and juicy, and very rich in vitamin C, up to 65 times that of an orange. Eaten fresh or as flavoring for drinks. Commonly used in parts of South America to flavor ice creams, drinks, and cocktails.
Medicinal uses: In Suriname's traditional medicine the leaves are used against dysentery and diarrhea. Also used for liver ailments; fruit used against the common cold.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Garden of Five Senses, Delhi.

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