SHERBET BERRY aka Phalsa / Falsa
Grewia subinaequalis syn Grewia asiatica
Native to India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia:
Grows well both in tropical and subtropical climates; fruits heavily in regions with distinct summer / winter seasons; suited to zones 9-11
Produces 1/2" to 5/8" round fruits that turn purple to black when ripe, much like our blueberries or grapes grown in NA. Some have reportedly produced 1" diameter fruits. Fruit ripens over an extended time, rather than all at once.
Flavor is sweet/sour, something like a grape sherbet-like flavor, while texture is more like an apple. Contains a single seed in the middle.
High in Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus and antioxidants. Phalsa syrup, a drink prepared from the juice of the berries, is considered a delicacy in northern India.
Trees have grey, rough bark with drooping branches. Leaves are a plump round shape w/ serrated edges, much like a mulberry tree. New growth is a berry-red color turning first a lime green then to a rich dark green. Flowers are golden yellow-orange, turning to rich golden yellow when fully open with long frilly stamens.
Very easy to grow, tolerates many types of soil, and reaches heights of 6-15' when mature. Prefers a mildly acidic soil: 6.1 to 6.5 pH. Mature trees are drought tolerant. Best in partial sun.
Flowering forms only on current year's shoots in late spring, so late winter pruning promotes a good crop. Sherbert Berry is desiduous, i.e. it will lose its leaves in the winter.
Sherbet Berry is mildly cold tolerant down to 25-27 degrees when mature. Can also be container grown.