INDIAN CHERRY (Malphigia punicifolia)
Indian cherry, also known as Barbados cherry is the
richest source of vitamin C. It is a medium sized shrub,
which thrives well in tropical climate. It is best suited
as a homestead fruit crop and prefers a rich well drained
West Indian cherry is usually raised from seedlings.
Seeds are sown in well-prepared beds and when the seedlings
are about 2-4 months old, they are ready for planting.
Vegetative propagation by means of hardwood cuttings
along with leaves is feasible, though the percentage
of rooting is very low. Air layering is highly successful
when treated with IBA. Layers strike roots within 3-4
weeks. When the roots peep out though the ball of moss
or coir pith, the stem may be severed in stages. The
rooted shoot is potted after removing the polythene
film and kept in shade till new flushes appear. Plants
may be hardened in full sunlight prior to transplanting.
Chip budding, shield budding, side grafting and veneer
grafting are also successful to a limited extent.
distinct types are seen.
Flowers are pink and are born in clusters in leaf axils.
Fruits are large in size (about 6 g).
Flowers are white and are born in clusters in leaf axils.
Fruits are small (about 1 g) and orange coloured when
For planting, pits of size 1 x 1 x 1 m are made, 6
m apart. Fill the pit with topsoil and 10 kg cowdung.
After planting, mulching may be done with dry leaves
to conserve moisture. July to December is considered
to be the best time for planting. Irrigation once
in four days during early stages of growth up to one
year of planting and later on, once in 7-10 days is
Pruning is done once in a year to maintain regular
shape. Pruning consists of removal of dried and diseased
wood and also the drooping branches.
A fully-grown, bearing plant should be top dressed with
fertilizers @ 100 g N, 160 g P2O5 and 260 g K2O. These
may be applied in two splits, in June-July and again
in January, when there is sufficient moisture in the
fruiting and harvesting
The seedling plants come to flowering within two years
of planting while rooted cuttings flower in six months.
Flowering commences in the middle of May and extends
up to August. The harvest of fruits commences from August
and continues up to November. Rarely, flowering is noticed
in March and the crop comes to harvest in April / May.
fruits may be consumed fresh or its pulp can be used
for preparation of juice, jam, jelly, preserve, syrup
etc. The juice or pulp may also be used to fortify ascorbic
acid contents of various other products. Its juice can
be used to blend with other fruit juice to give delicious
mixed fruit cocktails and also to improve their nutritive
value. As the richest natural source of vitamin C, the
fruits have considerable scope to be developed on a
commercial basis, for the production of vitamin C.
average yield during fourth year of the plant is 2 kg