Grown for attractive foliage, white flowers, edible cherries. Perform best in a moist atmosphere, with rich, well-drained soil and a sheltered location.
E. aggregata. CHERRY OF THE RIO GRANDE. Zones TS; USDA 10-11. Native to Brazil. To 15 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide, with bark peeling in thin layers. Narrow, elliptical, glossy, dark green leaves to 3 in. long. Showy flowers to about 1 in. across. Oval fruit to 1 in. long ripens from orange-red to deep purplish red, is said to taste like cherries. Eat fresh or use for jams, jellies.
E. myrtifolia. AUSTRALIAN BUSH CHERRY. Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11. Although known to grow into a 15-ft.-tall, multitrunked shrub, it is often used as a privacy screen or a topiary plant, trimmed into playful spirals and pompons. New growth emerges bronze and remains showy against the older green foliage. Flowers are creamy white puff balls in spring, and they are followed by red berries.
E. uniflora. SURINAM CHERRY, PITANGA. Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11. From the tropical Americas. Very slow, open growth to about 1525 ft. tall and 1015 ft. wide, though it's commonly seen at 68 ft. tall with equal spread. Glossy, copper-tinged green leaves reach 2 in. long, deepen in color to purplish or red in cold weather. Fragrant, showy, 12-in.-wide flowers with prominent stamens. Roundish, inch-wide fruit ripens from yellow to orange to deep red; it is edible when fully ripe. Fruit of seedlings ranges from quite sweet and cherrylike to very sour. 'Lolita' has sweet, black fruit that is far superior in flavor to that of seedlings; it's good for jams, jellies. Grafted selections are sometimes available. Good screen. Can be sheared into a hedge, but by doing so you'll sacrifice fruit.