The pitanga is not one of our better known fruits, but it deserves to be better known. As its alternate name, Surinam cherry, implies, it comes from northern South America. The small and interesting-shaped fruits are packed with flavor–quite complex and with a sort of “wild” flavor (if it were meat, one might say “gamey”). The fruit shown above is about 1.25 inches in diameter, which is HUGE for a pitanga.
This is our tree, which has grown really well since we moved it from Carlsbad just over three years ago. It is still under six feet tall, and these trees rarely top twelve feet in this climate (though I have seen a few very old ones that were taller). They are quite attractive all year round, as well as producers of tasty exotic fruit.
At various places in the tree, you can see red dots (ripe fruit, which I picked immediately after taking the photo), orange dots (fruit that will be ripe in a few days), green dots (blending in with the leaves, fruit that will ripen in a week or two), little white blooms, and if you really look closely, flower buds. Once these trees get going, they have several cycles of fruit in a short period of time.
If you like pitanga photos, see the full set (which periodically will be expanded).