Ugni is a genus of plants in the myrtle family Myrtaceae, described as a genus in 1848. It is native to western Latin America from the Valdivian temperate rain forests of southern Chile (including the Juan Fernández Islands) and adjacent regions of southern Argentina, north to southern Mexico.
They are shrubs with evergreen foliage, reaching 1–5 m tall. The leaves are opposite, oval, 1–4 cm long and 0.2-2.5 cm broad, entire, glossy dark green, with a spicy scent if crushed. The flowers are drooping, 1–2 cm diameter with four or five white or pale pink petals and numerous short stamens; the fruit is a small red or purple berry 1 cm diameter.
Image Scientific name Distribution Ugni candollei (Barnéoud) O.Berg
Central to southern Chile Ugni molinae Turcz.
Central to southern Chile, southern Argentina; naturalized in New Zealand and Juan Fernández Islands Ugni myricoides (Kunth) O.Berg
), Central America, South America (Guyana, Venezuela, Guyana, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, NW Brazil (Amazonas
)). Ugni selkirkii (Hook. & Arn.) O.Berg Robinson Crusoe Island
The scientific name derives from the Mapuche Native American name Uñi for U. molinae. The genus was formerly often included in either Myrtus or Eugenia; it is distinguished from these by the drooping flowers with stamens shorter than the petals.
Ugni molinae (syn. Myrtus ugni, Eugenia ugni) is grown as an ornamental plant for its edible (The "Ugniberry" or "strawberry-flavoured berries"). Some commercial "strawberry flavouring" is made from this species, not from strawberries. Myrtus ugni fruits are oblate and up to 1.5 cm in diameter with a purplish to deep cranberry color. They are used to make piquant drinks, desserts, jams, and jellies.
^ Turczaninow, Nicolai Stepanowitsch. 1848. Bulletin de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou 21(1): 579 in Latin
^ Tropicos, Ugni Turcz
^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
^ Davidse, G., M. Sousa Sánchez, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera. 2009. Cucurbitaceae a Polemoniaceae. 4(1): i–xvi, 1–855. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez, S. Knapp & F. Chiang Cabrera (eds.) Flora Mesoamericana. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México.
^ Sánchez-Vindas, P. E. 2001. Calycolpus, Eugenia, Myrcia, Myrcianthes, Myrciaria, Pimenta, Plinia, Psidium, Syzygium, Ugni. En: Stevens, W.D., C. Ulloa, A. Pool & O.M. Montiel (eds.), Flora de Nicaragua. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 85(2): 1566, 1570–1574, 1575–1580
^ Landrum, L. R. & M. L. Kawasaki. 1997. The genera of Myrtaceae in Brazil: an illustrated synoptic treatment and identification keys. Brittonia 49(4): 508–536
^ National Academies Press, Lost Crops of the Incas