Barbados Cherry (Malpighia emarginata)

Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
11 Reviews
Regular price $19.95
Shipping calculated at checkout.
73 in stock

Pot Size

Barbados Cherry (Malpighia emarginata), also known as Acerola, is an excellent choice for gardeners and food foresters. This tropical fruit-bearing shrub is not only a prolific producer of nutrient-rich cherries, high in Vitamin C (~134% daily value!), but also serves as an attractive and functional component in a permaculture landscape. It flourishes in USDA zones 9-11 and prefers a warm, sunny setting with well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

In a food forest setting, the Barbados Cherry can play multiple roles. As a small tree or shrub, typically reaching up to 20 feet, it can form part of the canopy layer or serve as an understory plant in larger systems. Its glossy, evergreen leaves and bushy form add to the forest's biodiversity, while its small, pinkish-white flowers not only enhance the visual appeal but also attract beneficial pollinators.

The bright red cherries are not just a delicious and nutritious treat but also can be a source of food for local wildlife, fostering a healthy ecosystem. Each fruit, packed with a sweet yet tart flavor, contains two to three small seeds.

Barbados Cherry is relatively low-maintenance. It requires regular watering, particularly in dry spells, but avoid waterlogging. Light pruning can help maintain its shape and promote more fruitful yields. Supplementing with a balanced fertilizer occasionally can support its growth. Additionally, this plant can be propagated easily, making it a sustainable choice for expanding your food forest.

In summary, the Barbados Cherry is a valuable addition to food forests, offering both environmental benefits and a source of delicious, vitamin-packed fruits. Its adaptability and low maintenance requirements make it an ideal choice for gardeners at any level of experience.

How to Grow Barbados Cherry

Plant Type
Subtropical / Tropical Evergreen Fruit Tree

Harvest Season
Spring, Summer

Mature Size
8-12 ft tall and wide

Soil & Moisture
Prefers deep, fertile, slightly acidic and well-draining sandy soil. Barbados Cherry is drought tolerant but also enjoys moisture. 

Light Requirements
Full Sun, Part Shade


Growth Rate
Fast, Medium

Zone Hardiness
Outdoors 9-11 with frost protection until established; Patio/Greenhouse 4+

Our Barbados Cherry trees are either grown from cutting or tissue culture and will produce fruit within 1 or 2 years. The X-Large size is considerably more established with more branches however both sizes will fruit around the same time.

Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
Based on 11 reviews
Total 5 star reviews: 10 Total 4 star reviews: 0 Total 3 star reviews: 0 Total 2 star reviews: 1 Total 1 star reviews: 0
91%would recommend this product
11 reviews
  • MM
    Milton M.
    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product
    Years Gardening 10+
    Grown This Variety Before? Yes
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    5 months ago
    Pretty plant

    Beautiful, robust plants can't wait to get them in the ground. Made even better by their fantastic BOGO deal!!!

  • J
    I recommend this product
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    5 months ago
    5 Stars

    Arrived in great shape and still warm. We acclimated it to our climate slowly and then put her in the ground in AZ 2 weeks later. She is doing well and has put out new growth all over.

  • J
    I recommend this product
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    11 months ago
    5 Stars

    Sow Exotic did an excellent job in packaging. They arrived intact and on time. It’s my second order from them and can’t wait to order more.

  • M
    I recommend this product
    Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    1 year ago
    5 Stars

    This plant was amazing very generous and Sowexotic packaging and instructions makes me have a green thumb,, I’m well on my way to a food Forrest,,SOWEXCITED 😊

  • R
    I do not recommend this product
    Rated 2 out of 5 stars
    1 year ago
    2 Stars

    Small plant, yellowing, not very healthy.

Reviews LoadedReviews Added

Plants Shipped
in Plantable Pots

Learn More about sizes & biodegradable materials