Pollinating Eugenia uniflora indoors

Ken Dritz dritz at anl.gov
Mon Feb 28 17:43:34 EST 2000

I have two specimens of Eugenia uniflora, each about 7 or 8 years old,
started from seed, growing indoors at home near Chicago.  This is a tropical
or subtropical fruit tree or shrub (pitanga, Surinam cherry) in the
Myrtaceae, with edible fruit.

My plants bloomed for the first time this winter, just inside a north-facing
glass door, no less.  The 3/8-inch flowers are extremely fragrant for the
first day.  Despite my efforts to transfer pollen from stamens to stigma,
not a single flower (out of about 30) was successfully pollinated.  Stamens
remained "fresh" for two days or so, and stigmata for almost a week.

Does anyone have experience growing and pollinating this particular plant
indoors that they could share?  The plants grow luxuriantly and branch
frequently, and I've had to shorten them several times when they reached the

The relatively cold environment near the window in winter seems not to faze
them.  Is the low humidity the problem?  It will be much more humid in the
summer, should they bloom again then.

Ken Dritz

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