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Useful Tropical Plants

Syzygium samarangense

(Blume) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Myrtaceae

+ Synonyms

Eugenia javanica Lam.

Eugenia samarangensis (Blume) O.Berg

Jambosa alba Blume

Jambosa javanica (Lam.) K.Schum. & Lauterb.

Jambosa samarangensis (Blume) DC.

Myrtus javanica (Lam.) Blume

Myrtus samarangensis Blume

Common Name: Java Apple

Syzygium samarangense
Fruits in hand
Photograph by: Ahmad Fuad Morad
Creative Commons License
Syzygium samarangense Syzygium samarangense Syzygium samarangense Syzygium samarangense Syzygium samarangense Syzygium samarangense

General Information

Java apple is an evergreen tree with an open, irregular, wide-spreading crown; it can grow 5 - 15 metres tall[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It has a short, crooked bole 25 - 50cm in diameter, that branches from near the base[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The tree is valued mainly for its edible fruit, which is gathered from the wild and consumed locally. It also supplies a timber, is planted to provide shelter, and has various medicinal uses. It is sometimes cultivated in the tropics, especially in home gardens, for its edible fruit[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Although not grown commercially, the fruit is often sold in local markets[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is occasionally exported to ethnic markets in Canada and Europe[
377
Title
Trade Winds Fruit
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The on-line catalogue of a company selling seeds. Gives descriptions, photos and uses of a very wide range of fruit and other food-producing plants plus ornamentals.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea.

Habitat

Coastal forests[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. Scrub behind coastal beaches[
911
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 54
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Massachusets
Year
1973
ISBN
0004-2625
Description
A botanical magazine, it includes a provisional key and enumeration of the genus Syzygium in New Guinea. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the moist, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 23 - 28°c, but can tolerate 16 - 33°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It can be killed by temperatures of 0°c or lower[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,300mm, but tolerates 1,200 - 3,000mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Although it is not drought-tolerant, the plant grows best in areas with a fairly long dry season[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Prefers a sunny position but also succeeds in light shade[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Succeeds in a variety of soils, preferably well-drained[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. The plant requires a reliable water supply and is often planted along streams or ponds[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5, tolerating 5 - 8[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Seedling plants commence fruiting when about 5 - 6 years old[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
].
There are definite flowering seasons, often two, sometimes three in a year, but the timing varies from year to year[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A heavy-cropping tree, when grown on good soil a five-year-old plant may yield 700 fruits[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].
There is at least one named variety[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. There are some forms that are seedless[
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
296
Title
Tropical Food Gardens
Publication
 
Author
Norrington. L.
Publisher
Bloomings Books (Melbourne)
Year
2001
ISBN
1-876473-41-x
Description
Excellent little book giving some basic information on a range of plants.
]. Crunchy, crisp and very juicy[
296
Title
Tropical Food Gardens
Publication
 
Author
Norrington. L.
Publisher
Bloomings Books (Melbourne)
Year
2001
ISBN
1-876473-41-x
Description
Excellent little book giving some basic information on a range of plants.
]. Green fruits are sometimes cooked as a sauce[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. Pink fruits are juicier, with a better flavour, and are usually eaten raw[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. The pear-shaped fruit is waxy, with a flesh that is spongy, dry to juicy, subacid and very bland in flavour[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The fruit is 4 - 6cm long, though it can be much larger in cultivation[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Medicinal

Various parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine, and some have in fact been shown to possess antibiotic activity. The plant contains tannins and is astringent[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. In particular the bark, leaves and roots of Malay apple are used against different ailments[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The flowers are astringent and are used to treat fevers and halt diarrhoea[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].
The principal active constituent is tannin, though the flowers also contain desmethoxymatteucinol, 5-O-methyl-4'-desmethoxymatteucinol, oleanic acid and B-sitosterol[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].
In tests, the flowers show weak antibiotic action against Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Candida albicans[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree is fast-growing and develops a dense, very dark green crown, making it an excellent windbreak[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].

Other Uses

The wood is reddish, coarse and hard[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. It can grow to dimensions large enough for construction purposes, and is sometimes used for constructing huts[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].
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[
848
Title
Tropix 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tropix.cirad.fr/en
Publisher
CIRAD
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line guide to the timbers of 245 species of trees.
].

Propagation

Seed - needs to be sown fresh from the fruit because it has a limited viability[
306
Title
Under-Utilized Tropical Fruits of Thailand. RAP Publication 2001/26
Publication
 
Author
Suranant Subhadrabandhu
Publisher
F. A. O., The United Nations, Bangkok.
Year
2001
ISBN
 
Description
A detailed report on 35 fruit species that could have potential for increased production in Thailand.
]. Give shade to the seedlings when young[
306
Title
Under-Utilized Tropical Fruits of Thailand. RAP Publication 2001/26
Publication
 
Author
Suranant Subhadrabandhu
Publisher
F. A. O., The United Nations, Bangkok.
Year
2001
ISBN
 
Description
A detailed report on 35 fruit species that could have potential for increased production in Thailand.
].
Air layering.

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