Tropical Florida Gardens - What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Tropical Florida Gardens

What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Name That Plant III ANSWER: Strawberry Tree

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 28th

by Britta Soderqvist, Plant Curator

Last week we asked you to identify this plant:

Today, we have the answer for you –

Strawberry Tree or Jamaica Cherry, Muntingia calabura

This is a perfect tree for a lazy gardener!  Do you enjoy sweet, home-grown fruit like strawberries but don’t like all that bending and stooping to plant, weed and harvest?  The strawberry tree produces copious amounts of small, sweet fruits at least twice a year, all at knee level or higher.  Don’t like to spend the money and effort fertilizing and watering your garden?  This tree grows well in poor soils and is even used to help revegetate disturbed and eroded soils in some parts of the world.  Once established, the strawberry tree shouldn’t require any extra watering except in prolonged droughts.

The strawberry tree (named for the flower that resembles the strawberry plant) may grow up to 40 feet, but the fruits will easily fall to the ground when the tree is shaken.  Although not native to Florida, it is native to the tropical Americas and will do well in areas that do not freeze often (Zones 10-11).  If you live in a colder climate, plants grown in pots should still produce fruits.  Although it is reported that wildlife will eat the fruits, there are plenty of ripe fruits underneath the Edison & Ford Winter Estates trees, suggesting that our local birds don’t care for them.  The large tree at the Estates (across the paved road from our Banyan Café) was planted in 2006 and is approximately 15 feet tall now.  The Estates Garden Shoppe sells strawberry trees for $10-$15 depending on the size of the plant.

4 Responses

  1. Bert Says:

    may i ask if the the red and black fruit above is the same kind or fruit or are they different… thank you…

    Posted on August 26th, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  2. Tina Says:

    If you mouse over the photo, you’ll see the caption, which explains that the blue fruit is a blueberry (for size comparison.)

    Posted on October 12th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

  3. Madhavi Says:

    I want to know the name of this tropical flower-

    Posted on October 30th, 2015 at 4:17 am

  4. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hello and thank you for visiting. This appears to be possibly Turnera ulmifolia, sometimes known as yellow or Cuban buttercup, or yellow alder. It is fairly common in our area and a beautiful specimen.

    Posted on November 4th, 2015 at 10:56 am