the Organic Light Garden - © Lloyd Godman

St Andrews Garden, Victoria Australia

JABOTICABA, Myrciaria cauliflora - (also called Brazilian Grape Tree)



The jaboticaba's habit of producing the fruit directly on the trunk makes this a striking tree. The black fruit has an edible thin, but tough skin. The texture is similar to a grape with a sweet and aromatic flavor. Cropping can begin at 5 years with several crops maturing from spring to autumn. A versatile small tree with decorative coppery foliage that makes for an ornamental specimen tree or superb hedge. Classified as a large shrub or small multibranched evergreen tree, the jaboticaba has dense foliage and is quite ornamental although slow growing. Up to four times a year (often after heavy rain) small yellow-white flowers followed by the fruit dramatically emerge directly from the trunks, limbs and large branches. It is this quality which makes the jaboticaba very useful as an exotic edible hedge in small yards - as it can be pruned to shape with no loss of fruit. Jaboticabas may begin to bear fruit anytime from 4 to 10 years old.

This was planted in the winter of 2006 - It has been difficult establishing the tree, however with the integration of a swale in front of the tree and back filling with rich organic top soil and also the use of shade cloth during the hot days over 36 despite the heat of 2008-9 the tree has become much better established - On several days of the summer of 2009 the temperature reached over 45 degrees.


there is one jaboticaba in the St Andrews Orchard - Planted in the winter of 2005




March 2010

Establishing the tree is one thing, protecting it against wildlife is quite another - the tree is surrounded by wire netting supported by star pickets to stop attack from wallabies who eat the leaves. The netting runs to the ground to stop rabbits who might ring bark the tree.


When in fruit it is also covered with netting to prevent opossums and parrots who eat the fruit. The Star pickets also prevent large Kangaroos who frequent the orchard from bashing into the tree and breaking it down.

This tree was completely eaten down by Wombats in Feb 2005


I never had to worry about any of this lot in the New Zealand garden -