The Barbados cherry is a shrub or small tree that grows up to 15 feet tall
with wide spread branches
and evergreen oval leaves. The leaves are evergreen, simple, 0.5-15 cm long,
with an entire, wavy margin. The flowers are solitary or in umbels of
two to several together, each flower 1-2 cm diameter, with five pink or
white petals. The fruit is a red, orange or purple drupe, containing
2-3 hard seeds. It is sweet and juicy, and very rich in vitamin C, up to 65
times that of an orange. Eaten fresh or as flavoring for drinks. Commonly used
in parts of South America to flavor ice creams, drinks, and cocktails.
In Suriname's traditional medicine the leaves are
used against dysentery and diarrhea.
Also used for liver ailments; fruit used against the common cold.