Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Acelora...!

For almost two decades, it was just a plant with beautiful flowers. The fruits were allowed to fall all over the ground. The birds enjoyed them. My dogs...the fruits were teeny weeny balls to them. To me, this plant gave me flowers I enjoyed and showed off. I knew it was not a common plant, as I have not seen it around. Many visitors asked about the fruits on the plant and on the ground. My answer would always be the same. They are some kind of sour mini apples and I think they are poisonous! Ah well, the girl whom I bought it from told me this plant would bear me small-sized apples (no mention of mini-sized). With a price of rm 12 (or was it rm10?), I did not bother to find out more. My husband's friend visited us one day and was curious as to why I allowed the fruits to drop all over the ground. He told me that they are edible. My reply was immediate...Oh, these are mutated apples; they are very sour and mini. (I thought he made a mistake.) He looked aghast to hear my answer. No! This is an acelora plant. Apparently, he did not get it cheap and had been hunting for more plants. Acelora...huh? I have my hubby's friend to thank for this piece of valuable information. Malpighia emarginata is a tropical fruit-bearing shrub or small tree in the family Malpighiaceae. Common names include acerola, Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry and Wild Crape myrtle.The fruit is a bright red drupe. Drupes are in pairs or groups of three, and each contains three triangular seeds. The drupes are juicy and very high in vitamin C, a good source of vitamin A (beta carotene) and other nutrients. They are also good for the skin. They are divided into three obscure lobes and are usually acid to sub acid, giving them a sour taste, but may be sweet if grown well. The above picture showed the fruit placed on a teaspoon for comparison. It looked tiny. One mini apple. I told my hubby this is some kind of a pocket dynamite. It is just a small berry but packed with so many nutrients. Now that I know of the nutrients in this mini fruit, the birds are not happy. There had been none so far on the ground. I left almost no ripen ones on the tree. Some days though, I do leave a few berries on the tree for the birds. (I try to be kind.) There is one thing I need to do. I still need to read up more on gardening as the last I took a bite of the berry...it still tasted sour! :o)

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