Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra)
Barbados “cheery” would be a suitable alias for this perennial shrub; its papery pink blooms, lush leaves and tart fruit sure make us happy. Known to some as “wild crapemyrtle,” Malpighia glabra has plentiful delicate blooms not unlike the popular non-native landscaping plant, crepe myrtle. A true heat-lover, Barbados cherry does well in dry soil and thrives from Texas south through Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Birds love its fruits (known as acerola cherries and high in Vitamin C), and it provides nectar for a clutch of butterflies. As an attractive choice for hedges available in tall or dwarf varieties, it certainly provides eye candy for humans, as well.