Pitanga facts

Surinam cherry is a shrub which has shiny, smooth and aromatic leaves which are bright red when immature. The top of the plant narrower in comparison to the bottom. The flowers are small, fragrant and white of one inch in diameter. The red berries are tasty and an excellent source of Vitamin C. It is used to produce frozen pulp, juice and tea in various countries. Traditionally, it is used to cure the inflammatory conditions in some countries.

Name Pitanga
Scientific Name Eugenia uniflora
Native Native to tropical South America (such as Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Northern Argentina). It is widely cultivated in Tropical regions.
Common/English Name Surinam Cherry, Pitanga, Brazilian Cherry, Cayenne Cherry, Florida Cherry, cerisier carré, cerisier de Cayenne, Cayennekirsche,
Surinamkirsche, Surinam-Kirschmyrte, pitanga-da-praia, pitanga-mulata, pitanga-roxa, pitanga-vermelha, cerezo de Cayena, nagapiry,
pitanga, körsbärsmyrten, Barbados cherry, French cherry, Pitanga cherry, Red Brazil cherry
Name in Other Languages Chamorro: pitanga;
Chinese: hong guo zi;
French: roussaille;
Maori (Cook Islands): menemene;
Niuean: kafika papalangi;
Portuguese: pitanga;
Samoan: vine;
Spanish: cerezo de Cayena;
Tongan: pomikanite;
Argentina: nagapiry;
Brazil: pitangueira vermelha;
Colombia: cereza quadrada;
El Salvador: guinda;
Germany: Cayennekirsche;
Guadeloupe: cerese a cotes;
Indonesia: ceremai belanda;
Netherlands: kerseboom;
Niue: kafika papalangi;
Samoa: vine;
Suriname: Surinaamsche kersh;
Sweden: korsbarsmyrten;
Thailand: mayom-farang;
Tonga: pomikanite;
Venezuela: pendanga;
Cuba: Cerezo De Cayenne;
Danish: Pitanga;
Dutch: Soete Kers;
Estonian: Vili Pitanga;
French Guiana: Cerise Caree;
Martinique: Cerises-Cotes;
Sri Lanka: Goraka Jambu;
Venezuela: Pendanga
Plant Growth Habit Evergreen, multi-branched shrub
Growing Climate Tropic, Subtropical and Mediterranean
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size Height: 10 m (30 ft.)
Lifespan Perennial
Branches Thin, wiry
Leaf Opposite, simple, pinnate, ovate or elliptic to ovate, shiny dark green, Length: 2.5-8 cm (1-3 inch)
Flowering Season September
Flower Four petals, white, thin, fugacious, obovate, fragrant; Across: 13 mm (0.5 inch)
Fruit shape & size Depressed to globose; Width: 4 cm (1.5 inch); Diameter: 1 inch
Fruit color Orange-red
Flesh color Orange to red
Fruit peel Thin
Flavor/aroma Unpleasant resinous (Fruit)
Fruit Taste Sweet to sour (Fruit)
Seed 2 or 3 seeds, small, light brown
  • Common bright red
  • Rare dark crimson-nearly black
Fruit Season October
Major Nutritions (Raw) Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 45.5 mg (50.56%)
Vitamin A, RAE 130 µg (18.57%)
Carbohydrate 12.96 g (9.97%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.069 mg (5.31%)
Magnesium, Mg 21 mg (5.00%)
Iron, Fe 0.35 mg (4.38%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.052 mg (4.33%)
Potassium, K 178 mg (3.79%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.519 mg (3.24%)
Protein 1.38 g (2.76%)
Health Benefits
  • Heart ailments
  • Treats cancer
  • Eye ailments
  • Treats common cold
  • Skin health
  • Prevent acne
  • Immune power
  • Prevent Muscular Dystrophy
  • Produces RBC
  • Regulates growth and reproduction
Calories in 1 cup (173 gm) 57 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • Astringent, stomachic, febrifuge and tonic properties
  • Aid for influenza, head colds, chest colds and fevers
  • Ease irritated skin
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Cure influenza
  • Infusion helps to treat stomach diseases, yellow fever and hypertension
  • Reduce blood cholesterol and uric acid levels
  • Bark treats hypertension, edema, gastrointestinal disorders and eye infections.
  • Respiratory discomfort
  • Seeds are not consumed
  • Allergic reactions
How to Eat
  • Consumed raw
  • Cooked as jams
  • Perfect substitute for tea
  • Make chutneys and relishes
  • Make pies, jellies, sherbets, juices etc.
  • Prepare food products
  • Added to fruit cups, custard pudding, salads and ice cream
  • Fermented into wine, vinegar and distilled liquor.


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