Southern Cherrys! (well, almost.)

drasaid(zone 8)March 22, 2005

I found out through trial and error (alas, why are the two always connected with me?) that Cedar Bay Cherry is a good fast growing Eugenia that has tasty fruit. This is for those of us who want a cherry substitute for our hot humid climate. I have also found out that Lillypilly will FRUIT IN SHADE and grow there happily (I have the standard Shaded By An Oak Tree New Orleans yard.) I got the seed from these guys; they won't have any more Cedar Bay Cherry seed until the fall.

The Eugenia reinwardtiana has some shaply thickish leaves and is a pretty little plant; so is the Lillypilly.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7


    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 10:40PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

In zone 10, I'm growing Cherry of the Rio Grande (a lovely plant) and Barbados Cherry. Both are easy to grow and do well in containers.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 6:23PM
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drasaid(zone 8)

How about yours? I have two and no fruit yet, and they are both very small. Any advice? I have Barbados Cherry too and it is blooming. it is a very pretty little plant.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 8:10PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

Of my 4 Cherry of the Rio Grande plants, one is 6' tall, the three younger ones are from 2' to 4' tall. One suffers from branch dieback, the others are thriving. My oldest one (I've had it a year) bloomed this year. I find them to be exceptionally beautiful plants.

My Barbados Cherry tree is 3' tall, new this year. It is doing well too. It has not bloomed yet. Mine is not very pretty-rather it is a gnarly looking shrubby tree, not elegant like the COTRG.

Here is a photo of the COTRG flowers.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cherry of the Rio Grande blooms

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 11:53AM
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serenoa(z8b, FL)

Cherry of the Rio Grande is a beautiful tree and it does well in Jacksonville. I got a couple of seedlings from a friend who has three in his yard that are at least twenty feet tall. A couple of weeks ago, his trees were loaded down with delicious, cherry-like fruits. I can't wait for mine to start bearing.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 7:18AM
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aakks(z9b Cent FL)

How wide do these trees get? I am considering planting some along my back wall to serve as a privacy screen but I'm having a hard time finding information on spacing to get a pretty continuous coverage across the wall.

Also, how fast are yours growing? I understand if we go this route it may take awhile as they grow slower than many other options, but it might be worth the wait. But, are we talking 5 years or 20 years for a 10 foot high border?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 4:26PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

Pine Island Nursery lists them as averaging 12' by 8' but obviously they can get much bigger. They are supposed to make a nice hedge. I love them as container plants. My oldest one grew 3-4' in a year, and went through two hurricanes. I don't consider them slow growing.

They take well to pruning. Cutting them back makes them really fill out. The peeling bark and narrow, shiny leaves look good all year.

I cannot imagine why they are not more popular!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 4:50PM
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aakks(z9b Cent FL)

Thanks Lisa! That's great to know that they grow faster than I've read. I'm really having a hard time picking my rear privacy screen. I'd prefer something like these cherries, but the lure of the growth speed of bamboo is really tempting me! Whatever I decide, I definately want one of these cherries somewhere in my yard. They sound very nice and its great to hear first hand experiences confirming it!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 7:25AM
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drasaid(zone 8)

It has a sweet but savory flavor; sort of like it would make a good relish for a burger than being a tasty cherry flavor. I was surprised by the little fruits as I did not see them until they were ripe (they fell into my hand on being touched. That is ripe!)
So, this is an interesting plant but I'm going to go to Cherry of the Rio Grande for my sweet cherry, I think.
I planted the seeds.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 7:04PM
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Do you think these would do well as far north as Charleston, SC?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 8:33AM
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