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Ugni molinae - Turcz.

Common Name Uñi, Chilean guava
Family Myrtaceae
USDA hardiness 7-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woodland edges and scrub[11, 184].
Range S. America - Chile.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Ugni molinae Uñi, Chilean guava

(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future
Ugni molinae Uñi, Chilean guava
(c) 2010 Ken Fern & Plants For A Future


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Ugni molinae is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) commonly known as Chilean guava, strawberry myrtle, Ugniberry, or New Zealand cranberry. An excellent ornamental plant with a beautiful strawberry aroma. Often grown as a low growing hedge or a container specimen. It was a favourite fruit of Queen Victoria having been introduced to the UK in 1844. The fruit has an absolutely delicious flavour, it is very aromatic and tastes of wild strawberries. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter and is freely borne even on small plants. The fruit is used to make jam, Kuchen cake and the dessert murta con membrillo. Leaves are a tea substitute. The roasted seeds are a coffee substitute. It is used to make the traditional liqueur Murtado in Chile. Myrtus ugni Molina is a synonym of Ugni molinae Turcz.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ugni molinae is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Eugenia ugni. Ugni molinae. Myrtus ugni


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses: Coffee  Tea

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 3]. An absolutely delicious flavour, it is very aromatic and tastes of wild strawberries[11, 15, K]. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter[196] and is freely borne even on small plants[K]. Leaves are a tea substitute[177, 183]. The roasted seeds are a coffee substitute[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge

Tolerant of trimming, it can be grown as a small hedge in the milder parts of Britain[11].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Hedge  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any reasonably good soil including[1] dry ones. Prefers a moderately fertile well-drained loam in a sunny position[11, 200]. Fairly tolerant of maritime exposure[K]. Established plants are drought resistant[196]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is only hardy in the milder parts of Britain[3], tolerating temperatures down to about -10°c when fully dormant[184]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants grow and fruit very well in Cornwall, indeed, in the past it has been cultivated commercially for its fruit there[11, 59] (it was one of Queen Victoria's favourite fruits), but is now normally only grown as an ornamental plant. This is a much underused plant that highly merits cultivation on a commercial scale for its fruit[K]. Flowers and fruits well even when the plants are young[11, 166]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow it in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up in the autumn and overwinter in a cold frame. Plant out in late spring. High percentage[78]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, 7 - 12cm with a heel, November in a shaded and frost free frame. Plant out in late spring or early autumn. High percentage[78]. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Chilean cranberry, Chilean guava myrtle, Cranberry, Guava myrtle, Muria, Murta, New Zealand cranberry, Strawberry myrtle, Tazziberry, Temo, Ugni,

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Argentina, Australia, Bolivia*, Chile*, New Zealand, South America, Tasmania,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Margaret Notton   Sat Oct 16 19:49:07 2004

Could not find any useful information on Ugni molinae on RHS site. I bought a plant at Ludlow Farmers Market and hope to plant it outside at our garden in north Reading. In view of your comments about frost hardiness I shall take cutting as a safeguard and also try some seeds, having had success with myrtle seeds previously. Thanks for your advice. Margaret Notton

Giancarlo Bucchi   Sat Dec 10 2005

Thank you for the information provided on Ugni Molinae. We live and have a farm in southern Chile. Ugni Molinae is originally from here. We are thinking of starting a small commercial plantation of this plant (called Murta or Murtilla here). The fruit and leaves have many properties, nutritionally and from the health and cosmetic points of view. Chilean goverment experimental farms are doing a lot of research on this plant and its potential use as a commercial crop, and also its potential to sustain different types of cottage industries. It was interesting to learn from your website that it was queen Victoria's favotite fruit. My name is Giancarlo Bucchi, we live in the Araucanía Region of Chile, and my email is giancarlo.bucchi@gmail.com

murtilla - Chilean guava Chilean Govt. Experimental farm proyect on Ugni Molinae Turcz.

carlos inostroza   Mon Dec 26 2005

Mi nombre es carlos inostroza,region de la araucania. carahue, de chile. Visite mi pagina www.murtilla.cl

H. Gockowiak   Wed Feb 22 2006

I have had the same unfruitful experience as A. Wigmore. The plant has been in a pot for 4 years, flowers freely but then drops all the blossoms without the development of a single fruit. Any suggestions???

wayne callanan   Wed Mar 22 2006

this information has very helpful to myself as a pending grower.

Judi   Sat Mar 25 2006

Absolutely delicious fruit and very easy to grow. Pretty plant, pretty flowers too. Delicious in porridge and on cereal.

tanya   Tue Jun 6 2006

Is this plant also known as Checken? This is a quote from A Modern Herbal by Mrs M Grieve FRHS, first published by Johnothan Cape in 1931. "Eugenia Checken (Mol) N.O. Myrtaceae... Medicinal Action and Uses: Most useful in the chronic bronchitis of elderly people and in chronic catarrh of the respiratory organs. Dose: Fluid extract, 1 to 2 fluid drachms." Not sure how much a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society of GB would know about the medicinal uses of plants from Chile, but you never know. By the way are there any regions in Chile with very alkaline soil? We live on a chalk cliff by the sea. Would Ugni Molinae be a good bet to grow here?

Giancarlo Bucchi   Mon Feb 5 2007

Tanya: No, it's not the same. I looked it up on the Internet: Chequen (Mol.) is a tree that grows up to 45 ft high. I'm sure there are parts of Chile that have alkaline soil, however, the part where we live (coastal Araucania) is mostly acid. By the way, Ugni Molinae around here does well in semi-shaded spots, but also survives in full sunlight. We have a few hundred Ugni Molinae plants, and would be willing to ship them to the UK or elsewhere, but I suspect there are sanitary regulations that will have to be considered. Any ideas on that? Thanks

Rosario   Mon Dec 18 2006

The origin of Chilean guava is CHILE! in South America, and Australia patented the plant as their with the name of tazziberry!!, so chileans would have to pay royalties?? INJUSTICE!!

Mark Garnsey   Thu Jun 14 2007

Ugni molinae (Tazziberry) is grown as a commercial crop in Tasmania and is starting to become popular in other states. Tazziberry Growers Ausralia Pty Ltd has just been formed and is updating, in July 2007, the Tazziberry website which will be helpful to future readers. Currently we are taking orders for plants and looking for potential growers. For enquiries contact us at markgarnsey@yahoo.com.au

Tazziberry New industry in Australia for this superb fruit

Mal and shona   Sun Mar 23 2008

We planted one of these recently. It had a few berries on it which were lovely. Next crop we will try them in a salad.

Mark Garnsey   Mon Mar 24 2008

Ugni molinae (Tazziberry) has just begun its season in Tasmania. Usually demand is greater than our product yield. We welcome our new growers and look forward to their participation in our industry. Further information is on our website, tazziberry.com.au. For enquiries contact us at markgarnsey@yahoo.com.au

Tazziberry Tazziberry Growers Australia formed in 2007 are succesfully growing these berries as a commercial venture with the blessing of our counterparts in Chile who visited our farms in 2007 to learn how we were operating.

Giancarlo Bucchi   Tue Mar 25 2008

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Charles Darwin took some Ugni Molinae plants back to England, when he visited Chile in the XIX century. Can anyone help me out to conform or deny this information? Thanks in acvance. Giancarlo Bucchi Carahue, Chile

Giancarlo Bucchi   Tue Mar 25 2008

Hi. I wonder if someone could help me confirm whether it was Charles Darwin who introduced Ugni Molinae to England, having taken some plants or seeds from southern Chile during his round-the-world trip?

   Fri Feb 6 2009

According to my books Myrtus ugni as it was then named was introduced to Great Britain in 1844 by W, Lobb, a plant collector This would be about 5 years after Darwin returned from S America,

Paulina D   Thu Apr 16 2009

Hola es posible adquirir un estudio de mercado de la murta????, es para mi tesis, muchas gracias!

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