Malpighia is a genus of flowering plants in the nance family, Malpighiaceae. It contains about 45 species of shrubs or small trees, all of which are native to the American tropics.The generic name honours Marcello Malpighi, a 17th-century Italian physician and botanist.The species grow to 1-6 m (3.3-19.7 ft) tall, with a dense, often thorny crown. The leaves are evergreen, simple, 0.5-15 cm (0.20-5.91 in) long, with an entire or serrated margin. The flowers are solitary or in umbels of two to several together, each flower 1-2 cm (0.39-0.79 in) diameter, with five white, pink, red, or purple petals. The fruit is a red, orange or purple drupe, containing 2-3 hard seeds. M. emarginata is cultivated for its sweet and juicy fruits, which are very rich in vitamin C.