Malpighia emarginata is a tropical fruit-bearing shrub or small tree in the family Malpighiaceae. Common names include Acerola, Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry and wild crepe myrtle. Acerola is native to South America, southern Mexico, and Central America, but is now also being grown as far north as Texas and in subtropical areas of Asia, such as India. It is known for being extremely rich in vitamin C, almost as much as camu camu, although it also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3, as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, which provide important nutritive value and have antioxidant uses. The vitamin C produced by the fruit is better absorbed by humans than synthetic ascorbic acid.
Acerola is an evergreen shrub or small tree with spreading branches on a short trunk. It is usually kept between 2 – 3metres tall but can reach 6 metres plus in height.