Botanical Name: Malpighia glabra ‘Nana’
Common Name: Dwarf Barbados Cherry
Description: Y’all, look at this adorable shrub that is native to Texas!! The flowers look just like little Crepe Myrtle flowers. I think I’m in love with this shrub.
About thirty-five species of Malpighia are native to North America and South America, including the Caribbean. The dwarf and tall Barbados Cherry are native to Texas and the Caribbean. This dwarf form is cold hardier than the larger Barbados Cherry. In south Texas this will stay evergreen, but in our area it’ll act as a perennial shrub and die to the ground. Apparently it can be slow to break dormancy in the spring, so please give it time before giving up on it.
Dwarf Barbados Cherry develops into a weeping shrub or groundcover of fairly delicate foliage. You can see in the picture that shows it in the 3-gallon container that it already has its weeping habit. It grows 4-5′ tall and wide. Small pink and white flowers bloom periodically from April to October and are followed about one month later by bright red, tart-tasting, 1-inch fruits, also called acerola cherries, that are very high in vitamin C. Birds quickly gobble up its bright, edible fruit and adult butterflies feed on the nectar. Grows in sun to part shade. Likes well-draining soil, but very adaptable to different soil conditions. Drought tolerant once established. Easy to grow and super cute little shrub. White tail deer sometimes eat the leaves and birds, racoons and coyotes feed on the fruits.
Host plant to Brown-banded Skipper (Timochares ruptifasciata), White-patched Skipper (Chiomara georgina), Florida Duskywing (Ephyriades brunnea), Cassius Blue (Leptotes cassius).
This plant in 1-gallon containers is 8-12″ tall and wide.
This plant in 3-gallon containers is 1-2′ tall x 1-2′ wide.
Fun Fact: Its bark, called Nancebark, is used as an astringent and to reduce fever.
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