Edible portion: Fruit, Leaves - Tea
A small tree up to 5-7.5 m high. It is often a much smaller shrub. Branches often develop close to the ground. The branches are thin and wiry. It has attractive oval and pointed leaves. They are dark green and shiny. The leaves are 2.5-6 cm long by 1.5-3 cm wide. New leaves are dark purple or red. The flowers are small and white and the fruit is lobed and red. There is a single large seed inside. The fruit is about 3 cm across. The tree is used as a hedge plant. The flesh of the fruit is edible. There are several named cultivated varieties.
It is a tropical plant. It grows in the lowlands. It is native to South America. It grows in the tropical lowlands from sea level up to about 800 m or higher in Papua New Guinea. In south India it grows to 1700 m altitude. In Argentina it grows from sea level to 1,500 m above sea level. It is suited to a warm moist climate. Adequate moisture is needed during fruit development. It can be grown in the subtropics. It can stand some frost. Mature trees can withstand frosts down to -3°C. It does best with a pH of 5-7. It grows in Miombo woodland in Africa. It suits hardiness zones 10-12. In XTBG Yunnan. In Sichuan.