The 'cotton candy berry' tree (muntingia calabura), as I like to call it, is probably one of my favorite tropical fruiting trees here in South Florida...I know, I know how many favorite fruiting trees can one person have? Well it's alot, hee hee. This beautiful small tree is hails from South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Here it grows to about 15 ft high x 15 ft wide but in its native lands it can be almost double that size. It's a lover of warm tropical climate, is fairly salt tolerant, can handle high winds like a champ and acclimates very quickly. Is a medium to fast growing upright tree with branches that reach out like arms. Grows in a variety of soils, full sun and very drought tolerant. Though word to the wise, it will sucker new shoots from the older roots in the ground so it has a potential to be invasive in small areas. If you have a small yard, I suggest keeping in a pot. The leaves and branches have a soft stickiness to them and an unusual but sweet smell when disturbed.
The tree produces delicious bright red fruit almost all year round here in South Florida. Luckily the trees produce a mind boggling amount of fruit because birds and other critters like them too. The smooth round fruit can range in size from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter. They are delicious with a cotton candy and/or kettle corn taste to them, like sweet and something roasted together. You can eat the whole fruit or do like I do, pop them in your mouth, suck out the sweet insides and spit out the skins...I know, not very lady like but its not that kinda spitting lol. I'm not a fan of the skin which can be a tad bit chewy. The fruit can be eaten straight off the tree or cooked into jams, jellies and baking pasteries. Once picked from the tree, the fruit has a very short counter life so it should be eaten or cooked in a day or two before they get soft. All of our neighbors love it when our trees fruit, people can't get enough of them. I wonder if you could ferment them to make a kombucha or sweet wine with them!?! Oooooo cotton candy berry reisling, yum!
Our cotton candy berry trees are sold in a 3-gallon because it's less expensive to ship for you. The 3-gallon plants are usually around 3-4 ft high depending on the time of year and are usually fruiting at this size. Though we do have them in a 7-gallon as well so please contact us if you are interested in a larger plant. Because it is a living plant we expedite shipping to make sure the plant arrives healthy and alive. Please read the section about our plants on our FAQs page for more information.