University of Florida

Plant Identification Learning Module:
Fruits & Nuts

Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra)

The Barbados cherry is a large, densely-branched shrub. It can be pruned to form a single trunked small tree. The growth habit may be low and spreading, or upright and open. Leaves are glossy, 1 to 3 inches long, opposite to subopposite, and more or less egg-shaped. Flowers are small cymes, pink to red, with fringed petals. The small, juicy, thin-skinned fruit are roundish, about one inch in diameter and deep crimson. The fruit are borne in leaf axils, singularly, or in clusters of two or three. The flesh is yellow and has varying levels of acidity, depending on the cultivar. Barbados cherry grows in south Florida and in the warmer regions of central Florida.