Click on image for full screen view.


Barbados Cherry, Mexican Myrtle, Manzanita, Cerez, Huacacote, Wild Crepe Myrtle, Manyonita, Cerezo de Jamaica, Cerezo de Castillo, Pallo de Gallina, Escobillo, Chia, Arrayncito, Xocat, Xocatatl
Malpighia glabra


Cameron and Hidalgo counties in southernmost Texas, Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies provide a home for Barbados cherry, usually found growing in brushy areas and palm groves along the roadsides and in salty clay areas. Ornamentally it is considered a very desirable small shrub for many Texas gardens south of Austin. Bearing bright green leaves, it is quite variable as to form: it may be mounding and low growing as for a woody ground cover, or diffusely branched and quite erect to 9 feet. Slightly fragrant pink flowers are fairly profuse and often appear simultaneously with its equally showy, glossy, red fruit. The edible fruit is sometimes made into preserves, and its bark, called Nancebark, is used as an astringent and to reduce fever. In South Texas this plant will make a dense groundcover when mowed to 2 feet tall. Barbados cherry has not been fully investigated with its many different growth habits, leaf sizes and variable cold hardiness, and could provide a number of cultivars for various uses and growing conditions. There are a few plants in the Dallas area that are root hardy, but very late to appear above ground (mid-June). White tail deer sometimes eat the leaves and birds, racoons and coyotes feed on the fruits.

Plant Habit or Use: perennial
small shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: pink

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: red drupe

Height: 2 to 9 feet

Width: 1 to 4 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 9

Additional Comments:

| Index of Scientific Names | Index of Common Names | Photo Gallery Index |