Cerocarpus aqueus (Burm.f.) Hassk.
Eugenia alba Roxb.
Eugenia aquea Burm.f.
Eugenia callophylla (Miq.) Reinw. ex de Vriese
Eugenia javanica Lam. pro parte
Eugenia malaccensis Lour.
Eugenia mindanaensis C.B.Robinson.
Eugenia nodiflora Aubl.
Eugenia obversa Miq.
Jambosa alba (Roxb.) G.Don
Jambosa ambigua Blume
Jambosa aquea (Burm.f.) DC.
Jambosa calophylla Miq.
Jambosa madagascariensis Blume
Jambosa obtusissima (Blume) DC.
Jambosa subsessilis Miq.
Jambosa timorensis Blume
Malidra aquea (Burm.f.) Raf.
Myrtus obtusissima Blume
Myrtus timorensis Zipp. ex Span.
Syzygium obversum (Miq.) Masam.
Common Name: Water Apple
Photograph by: Yosri
GNU Free Documentation License
Water apple is usually an evergreen shrub or small tree with a small crown; it usually grows 6 - 10 metres tall, sometimes up to 15 metres, whilst occasional specimens to 27 metres have been recorded in New Guinea[
]. The bole seldom exceeds 30cm in diameter, and usually branches from fairly low down[
], though in the largest specimens it can be up to 60cm in diameter and free of branches for 10 metres with buttresses at the base[
The fruit is very thin-skinned and not very suitable for commercial cultivation, but it is a popular fruit and is often sold in local markets[
]. Larger specimens are sometimes harvested for their wood, which can be used locally or traded[
]. The tree is often cultivated for its fruit in home gardens, where it is planted along driveways and paths[
E. Asia - Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nicobar and Andaman Islands, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia.
Found wild in Australia as an understorey tree in the dry, seasonal rain forest, monsoon forest and gallery forest, usually at elevations below 100 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Butterflies, Flies
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
The trees are at home in fairly moist tropical lowlands at elevations up to 1,200 metres[
]. They grow best in areas with a fairly long dry season[
]. Plants are not tolerant of temperatures going below freezing[
Grows vigorously in poor, alkaline soils, though it prefers better conditions[
]. Prefers a light, well-drained, mildly acid soil[
]. Requires a reliable water supply, it is often planted along streams or by ponds[
Seedling plants commence bearing fruit when about 7 - 8 years old, whilst layered plants can fruit in 3 - 4 years[
Plants can flower and fruit two or three times a year[
There are several named varieties, some of which bear seedless fruits[
Fruit - usually eaten raw, they can also be made into a syrup[
]. Crunchy, crisp and very juicy, the fruit is often seedless[
]. Mildly fragrant with a sweetish but mild flavour[
]. They are eaten raw to quench the thirst[
]. Superior forms are nice when sliced into salads[
]. The broadly campanulate fruit is about 25mm x 25mm[
]. The fruits have a thin skin and are delicate[
Various parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine, and some have in fact been shown to possess antibiotic activity[
The dried leaves are eaten with vegetables, or the fresh leaves are eaten raw, as a treatment for malaria and pneumonia[
]. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of stomach aches and dysentery[
Some plant parts are astringent because of the presence of tannins[
The wood is reddish and hard[
]. The bole is generally too small for commercial exploitation[
], but when large enough makes a useful structural timber.
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[
Seeds lose their viability quickly and should be sown fresh from the fruit.
Air layering is a simple method of propagation[
Cuttings root easily[
Budding. The buds do not always continue to grow successfully[