Plant ID please

sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)February 15, 2013

I thought this was a ficus hedge until I saw all of the fruits that are now ripening. Can anyone tell me what this is. I am in Pembroke Pines, south Florida.

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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

Here is another pic. Any idea? Are these edible...poisonous? The hedge is loaded!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Surinam Cherry. Not poisonous. I kind of like them from my childhood, but lots of people don't care for the taste. Good source of vitamin C. All those seeds are viable, incidentally.

EDIT Link:

Here is a link that might be useful: surinam cherry on eat the weeds

This post was edited by writersblock on Fri, Feb 15, 13 at 12:35

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:33PM
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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

Thank you for your reply writersblock and for the link too. :-)
All good to know!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:41PM
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You're welcome. I'm afraid it would be a pain to eradicate if you decide you want to get rid of it. Seedlings will pop up for a long time afterwards.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:49PM
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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

It is a very old, tall hedge that is adjoining my neighbor behind me so it will have to stay there. It is raining now and most of the ripe ones have fallen off so I may have to go out and pick them up so I can try them. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:16PM
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They are impossible to get rid of, they come back from the roots and reseed like crazy, but for that reason, they make great hedges. And wildlife love those cherries as much as I do. I think they are considered invasive, because the birds and squirrels spread the seeds. In our neighborhood, the people who have them as hedges, as opposed to the ficus hedges that got hit with a white fly, are very happy right now. You really can't kill them.
Do be careful with dogs. Our dumb Great Dane puppy started eating them and made himself really sick. I don't think they would have made him sick if he wasn't so ravenously hungry at that point. He actually ate pounds of them, pits and all, before we realized what he was doing. One or two probably wouldn't have been a problem. But he was growing 10 pounds a month at that point and was hungry every minute of every day. So he ate a lot of cherries.
The vet was a bit mystified because, in spite of the very obvious evidence that the puppy was sick - violent diarrhea for days - the puppy wasn't sick. No bacteria or infection of any sort.
Once we realized he was eating cherries, and stopped him, he got better.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:37PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

have had one of these in my shrub border for many years . While what the others have said is certainly true. They are very easy and tolerant of most everything. very amendable to any king of pruning
i think they have a very good flavor much like currant to me but rather tart when red.. They are mostly pit so would take 6 bushels to make a pielol the flavor is best when black but they fall off at the slightest touch. gathering
the fruit in a shrub border is an adventure lol

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:53AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

IMPE, the wood is very hard, so cutting them down can be tough.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:26AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Fun plant to have. We had a big one in Vero Beach. They taste like turpentine if you pick them too early. The rule of thumb I was told was to put your hand under one and lift it up. If it came off in your hand it was ripe.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:05PM
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