Surinam Cherries are not from Surinam, nor are they true cherries. Once a popular hedge plant in Florida, the attractive red fruit has a strong resin taste that most people find objectionable. However, there are “dark” varieties that ripen at room temperature to a very deep red color, and at full ripeness are free of the resin taste, an excellent spring fruit. The dark varieties do not come true from seed, so must be grafted.
A shrub that can be trained as a small tree, dark Surinam cherry is an attractive and hardy edible landscape choice. When covered in white blooms, it will attract swarms of bees. Here at SweetSong Groves, we have three dark Surinam Cherry trees. Two are from the Zill Nursery in Boynton Beach, via the Crowley Nursery, and the other is a Wayne Clifton graft from Ray Jones’ famously delicious specimen. Watch for SweetSong Surinam Cherries next May.