Surinam cherries are tropical fruits belonging to the Myrtaceae family. The small, flattened fruits grow on evergreen shrubs or small trees, reaching between 7 to 9 meters in height, and thrive in tropical and subtropical climate. Surinam cherries are native to South America, but the fast-growing, hardy plant has been growing well in many countries as an ornamental in home garden landscapes. Despite their “cherry” moniker, Surinam cherries are not botanically a cherry and are fast-ripening fruits that mature in approximately three weeks after flowering. Surinam Cherry are known to have a good medicinal properties and high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
The Orange skinned Surinam Cherry is very sweet when fully ripe. To enjoy them is to harvest the fruit when the skin is soft to touch and wait for a day so the flavours will develop and intensify. The fruit usually becomes larger and sweeter when they are watered well.
Historically, the plants were grown as an ornamental hedge, but sometime they are use as a culinary ingredient and incorporated into baked goods, desserts, preserves, and sauces.
Surinam cherries have a sweet-tart flavor well suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The fruits should only be consumed when ripe, and once harvested, they can be sliced in half, removing the seeds, and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Allowing the fruits to sit in the cold temperature will help reduce their resinous flavor. The sliced fruits can also be sprinkled with sugar to enhance their sweetness, incorporating the fruits as a topping over fresh baked goods, ice cream, and custards.
Surinam cherries can be chopped and mixed into green salads and fruit bowls, quick-pickled, or simmered into sauces, relish, and compotes. The fruits can be used similarly to berries in baking, and when cooked with sugar, they can be infused into jellies, jams, and fillings for pastries or used to flavor syrups for cocktails. In Brazil, Surinam cherries are popularly fermented into wine and spirits, used to flavor vinegar, or boiled with water to make a juice. Surinam cherries pair well with vanilla, caramel, chocolate, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries, honey, and maple syrup. Whole, unwashed Surinam cherries will keep 2 to 5 days when stored in an open container in the refrigerator. The fruits have a delicate nature when ripe and should be handled with care as they can be easily bruised, punctured, or squished.
Surinam Cherry are cold hardy when established to -5’c. They are happily growing as an indoor plants, or turn into a bonsai. They are very easy to maintain plant and can be pruned down as low as 1m tall. The plant however will produce prolifically without pruning.
Plant is 3+ years, some plants have started flowering this year in 2022.
Grow in semi/full sun. Will grow very slowly when young. Suitable for pot growing indoors or outdoors. Partial shade is highly recommended.
Like a lot of water especially during summer. Does not like dry soil. Will loose the leaves when the soil is dry. The plant responds quickly to irrigation, the fruit rapidly becoming larger and sweeter in flavor after a good watering.
Grows in almost any type of soil–sand, sandy loam, stiff clay, soft limestone–and can even stand waterlogging for a time, but it is intolerant of salt. Preferred slightly acidic soil.
Every 2 weeks during heavy growth and every 4-5 weeks in winter.
Fairly wind tolerant. Does not like
Cold hardy to -5c once established. Protect young plant from frost.