Malpighia emarginata

Malpighia emarginata DC.

Common Names: Barbados Cherry

Family: Malpighiaceae

Habit: Malpighia emarginata grows as a small to medium shrub up to 3 m in height. The leaves are arranged oppositely, to 8 cm in length, elliptic/ovate/obovate with a retuse-rounded-acute leaf apex, and an entire leaf margin.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary cymes.  At the base of the flower are 3 bracts and 10 sepal glands in pairs.  The calyx has 5, unfused green sepals.  The corolla has 5, unfused, clawed pinkish red petals that are fringed along their outer edge.  There are 10 stamens that are fused at their base and have yellow anthers.  The 3-lobed ovary is superior with 3 locules, numerous seeds, and a curved style.  The fruit is a drupe that turns red at maturity. 

Habitat: Malpighia emarginata grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, farms).

Distribution: Malpighia emarginata is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but is grown on many of the islands.  It is native to Mexico and Central and northern South America but grows throughout the Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Malpighia emarginata is not known to be used in the Lucayan Archipelago.

The edible fruit is tasty!