Barbados cherry – thick decorative evergreen shrub or small tree up to 3 m tall, with slender branches covered with shiny leathery oval leaves 2-7 cm in size. The small attractive pale pink flowers bloom from spring to fall. Flowers and fruits grow on one, or in groups of 2-3. Fruits look like cherries, hence its name. They are red, very juicy, covered with a thin skin, the size of a cherry to a small plum. Yellow-orange pulp contains a record amount of vitamin C – 1000-2000 mg per 100 g of fruit. One cherry provides the minimum daily requirement for vitamin C. The sour fruit – the more vitamin C in it from flowering to full ripening takes 3-4 weeks.
The fruit is collected in process of maturing, without letting them become overripe on the branches, otherwise they fall and quickly deteriorate. To transport or store the fruits are harvested when they turn red, but has not yet matured. In this form, they can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.
Fresh fruits of the Barbados cherry need to eat immediately after collection or frozen for later use. They are very perishable and lose vitamin C. The fruit can be eaten straight from the bush. Barbados cherries are eaten fresh and used for the production of juices, jams, purees. Fruits addition to the record amount of vitamin C are also rich in vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. In folk medicine, fruits are used to treat the common cold.
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