Eugenia alternifolia Wight
Syzygium alternifolium is a small to large, evergreen tree[
An important timber tree, the wood is much esteemed and in considerable demand for building purposes in India[
]. The tree is also commonly used for medicineal purposes and yields an edible fruit that is eaten locally.
The species has suffered population loss whilst its natural range has also been reduced. It has become rare in the wild due to its overexploitation for its professed medicinal properties[
E. Asia - southern India.
Open areas of rocky terrain on the hills at an elevation of 600 - 750 metres, growing where the soil is red and on calcareous shales[
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Fruit - raw or cooked. Fleshy and edible[
]. The ripe fruits are also used for making squashes, jellies and vinegar[
]. The globose or pear-shaped fruit contains a single, large seed[
The juice of the fruits is used to cure stomach ache and ulcers[
The external application of the fruit pulp reduces rheumatic pains[
The fruit pulp and tincture of the seeds possess antidiabetic properties[
The extract of the stem bark possess antiseptic properties[
The leaves are the best source for such economically important compounds as sitosterol (+) pintol, sideroxylon and sizalterin. The juice of the fresh leaves and pulp of the tender shoots are used to treat bacillary dysentery[
The dark red wood is close-grained, hard. A useful structural timber, it is used in construction for purposes such as scantlings, beams and poles; and is also used for crafts and agricultural implements[
We do not have any more specific information for the wood of this species, but the various species of Syzygium tend to have somewhat similar timber. The general description of syzygium timber is as follows:-
The heartwood is a golden brown, greyish brown or brown, with pink or purplish glints; it is not clearly demarcated from the 1 - 4cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is fine; the grain slightly interlocked, sometimes wavy or irregular; there are resin deposits. The wood is heavy; moderately hard; somewhat durable, being moderately resistant to fungi and termites, but susceptible to dry wood borers. It seasons slowly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is moderately stable in service. It works well with ordinary tools, nailing and screwing are good so long as the wood is pre-bored; gluing is correct. The wood is used for musical instruments, tool handles, furniture components, ship building, heavy carpentry, flooring, joinery etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is fresh[
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