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Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston

zygium jambos (L.) Alston

Family

Myrtaceae

Synonyms

Eugenia jambos L.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Jambu kelampok, jambu mawer.
English Rose apple, Malabar plum.
Indonesia Jambu air mawar, jambu mawar, jambu kraton.
Philippines ampoy (Tagalog), bunlaun (Bisaya), yambo.
Cambodia Châm'-puu.
Laos Chièng, kièng.
Thailand Chomphu-namdokmai (Central), manomhom (Northern), yamu-panawa (Malay Yala).
Vietnam Lý, bô dào, roi.
French Pome rose, jambosier.

Geographical Distributions

Syzygium jambos originates in Southeast Asia, its centre of origin being Malaysia. From there, it has been spread throughout the tropics. It has now become naturalised in many tropical countries. It is not a crop for commercial orchards, but the trees are widely grown in home gardens.

Description

S. jambos is an evergreen tree which can grow up to 10 m tall and 50 cm trunk diametre, often low branching and with a dense crown of wide-spreading branches. The stem is terete and sometimes quadrangular when young, generally twisted at the base, with brown, furrowed and smooth bark.

The leaves are arranged opposite, oblong-lance-shaped, measuring 9-26 cm x 1.5-6 cm, thinly coriaceous, wedge-shaped at base, acuminate at apex, glossy dark-green above, lighter green and obscurely glandular-dotted beneath. The petiole is 5-6(-13) mm.

The inflorescences are short terminal or axillary corymbs, 5-10 cm long and 4-5(-10)-flowered. The flowers are large, 5-10 cm wide and white to greenish-white. There are 4 sepal lobes which are suborbicular and measuring up to 10 mm x 7 mm. There are 4 petals which are suborbicular, 15-18 mm in diametre and white to greenish-white. There are about 400 stamens up to 4 cm long. The style is up to 4 cm long. The pedicel is up to 1.5 cm long.

The fruit is a drupe, spherical to ovoid, 2.5-5 cm in diametre, crowned by persistent sepal and style, whitish-yellow, sometimes pink-blushed and fragrant. The pericarp is fleshy and yellow-pink.

There are 1-2(-4) seeds which are nearly spherical, 1-1.6 cm in diametre, brown, rough-coated and polyembryonic.

Ecology / Cultivation

S. jambos is a tree of the tropics which has penetrated into the subtropics. It thrives up to 1200 m above sea-level. At much higher elevations and towards its limits in the subtropics, it bears no fruit. It withstands minimum temperatures down to 0°C. Young plants require shady and moist environment, but established trees are rather hardy. The tree prefers wet climate but also grows in monsoon climates with a taxing dry season. It is not clear whether flowering and/or fruiting are set back under dry conditions; recommendations of ensuring access to soil moisture and observation that trees do not shed their leaves easily suggest that the tree is not really drought-resistant. On the other hand, the trees are said to tolerate wind and salt. There are virtually no limitations on soil conditions; the tree is able to cope with poor drainage as well as flooding, and grows on various types of soil. The recommended pH is between 5.5-7.0.

Line Drawing / Photograph

syzygium_jambos

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.2: Edible fruits and nuts.

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