INDIGENOUS NAME: Caritu-cuí  comes from the language of the Tupi and means "herb that gives soft fruit with color of blood" derived from words Kaá - herb and fruit, Ritu of Tikú -, soft mass of Cui and Uui - blood or reddish violet color.


Origin: The Caritu-cuí occurs in savannas and fields in the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, São Paulo and Minhas Gerais. Brazil


Characteristics: It is a shrub that grows in elliptical tufts of up to 2 m (7 feet) of height with lenticel branches (with breathing glands), striated base. The leaves are simple, oval (inverted egg shaped) texture of subcoriácea, hairless with the exception of tomentosa ribs  (covered with fuzz), measuring 4 to 7 cm in length. As the scientific name says leaves are very similar to one tree of the genus Cornus native in Europe. The flowers are waxen, externally yellowish and internally purple, arranged in stems (stem or stand) in the terminal tips of branches.    


Planted in the site of Frutas Raras: The Caritu-cuí was planted in December 2001 and bear fruit in February 2005 for the first time.


Tips for cultivation: Slow growing shrub which appreciates red sandy soils with rapid drainage of rain water, is resistant to light frosts to -3°C (27°F). The plant will only fruit in full sun and should be planted in virgin acid soil with pH 5.5.


Propagation: Seeds are dormant and take 100 days to 18 months to germinate, preferring full sun and sandy substrate. The seedlings grow slowly and can be planted in place with definitely size of 10 cm (4 inches). The fruit begins in the age of 4 to 5 anos, depending on soil and cultural treatments.


Planting: Should be planted in full sunny virgin land in spacing of 1 to 2 m (3 to 7 feet) between lines. The holes must be filled with 40% of sand and about 500 kg of organic compost well mixed, if the soil is very acid, add 100 kg  of limestone and let influence for 3 months before planting. Water with 10 l of water per week during the first 2 months.


Cultivating: The plant grows slowly and does not require special care, it should only cover the surface with mulch to close and eliminate any weed that can choke the plant. Fertilize with 1 kg organic compost made from leaves rot + 20% chicken manure mixed. Distribute the nutrients to 5 cm (2 inches) deep into the soil and 20 cm (8 inches) from the trunk.


Uses: The fruit pulp is sweet, aromatic and tasty, the pulp must be removed sucking and scraping the seeds with teeth.


Flowering time in the site of Frutas Raras: October to December.


Fruiting time in the site of Frutas Raras: End of January to the first half of March.  




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