Cambucazeiro (Plinia edulis)

New growth emerging :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Richard,
Thank you for posting the images of Cambucá. I would like to find out how it has done for you. I have a teaching farm on the Big Island, and have been interested in growing it. I saw that Trade Winds carries seeds of this occasionally, but I would like to find out if you have had any fruiting as of yet, and/or viable seeds from this. I would be interested in doing trades, and comparing notes for your cimate versus my 1000’ altitude, I believe, with the exception of our rain/humidity differences, we may have similar temperatures, since we do on occasion drop into the low 50’s during January/February, and rarely we get above 88.
I would love to hear and compare stories of your experiences with this and others in similar genera, including Jaboticaba, various Syzygium and Jambolan, which apparently is a close relation.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Kaleo ::smiley:

Hi there!

The 1000’ elevation on the islands appears to be a wonderful temperate zone for fruiting plants. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for asking about the Cambuca. The seedlings I obtained are about 2 ft tall and doing well. I’m planning on moving them under our banana plants on the south side of the house for the winter. I obtained them from the eBay seller 7_heads on Oahu. Highly recommended!

Hi Kaleo,

I am in the process of moving to Hilo. In preparation I have been sending seeds to a friend in Puna who grows out plants for me. We have many 1 year old Cambuca plants and I’d be happy to share with you. I’ll be on the island in January.


Here’s threads on my other two fruiting Myrteae:

I moved the Cambuca pots today. The minimum winter temperatures there are about 5F warmer than the prior location.

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Today I piped automated irrigation to the Cambuca pots plus a potted SH-3640 banana pup in the same planter bed.

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How easy or difficult would be to grow Cambuca in a pot, outside in a summer, inside at winter in zone 7 (USA)?
What kind of conditions does it like? I suppose - high humidity? What kind of soil? How much water?
Does it prone to diseases?
How likely would be to get fruits?
How compact could it be?

It is native to areas around São Paulo and southward into Uruguay, but widely propagated north of there into mid-coastal Brazil. Native plants are unaccustomed to temperatures below 50F. I’m pushing it in zone 10b.

It is a shrub – and of course quite large in the tropics but I’m expecting 10-16 feet here untrimmed. Plants grown from seed are not expected to fruit in 10-12 years, those grafted by approach-graft in 1-2 years.

As many tropical dicots, it grows as an understory plant in its early life and then gains access to direct sun. Whether it has special cultural needs or sensitivity to disease I don’t know – I’m hoping it to be similar to its forest neighbors in the genus Eugenia.

Here’s our Cambucas doin’ the daily near-tropic shuffle with a newly acquired Ficus palmata. In a few days I’ll start giving them a little direct sun. :sun_with_face:


Today I transplanted one from its two gallon pot to a new home in the ground with a shade enclosure. I’ll keep it under the cloth until it’s strong enough for full afternoon sunshine.



Why the shade structure? Cambuca is a full sun loving plant. Was it getting burned or something?

It’s west-facing and I wanted to give the young plant a chance to acclimatize.

Here’s the Cambuca under shade on the right, its forest buddy Jaboticaba on the left, an evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) in the center, a recently pruned rose bush bottom right, and an Arabian Jasmine peeking in on the far right :slightly_smiling_face:. This side of the house faces west.


Today. Top left: J. cauliflora, left: Peruvian sage, right: rose Easy Going.


It really enjoyed our summer weather.


8/19/2023. New round of summer foliage.

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Thanks for posting these Richard – I expect I’m not alone in this forum in enjoying the ability to live vicariously through your updates on plants I could never hope to grow in my climate (5a).