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Syzygium uniflora L.

Syzygium uniflora L.

Family

Myrtaceae

Synonyms

Syzygium michelii Lamk.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Ceremai belanda.
English

Brazil cherry, Surinam cherry, pitanga.

Indonesia Ceremai belanda, dewandaru.
Thailand Mayom-farang (Bangkok).
French Cerise de Cayenne, cerises-cotes, cerise carree.

Geographical Distributions

Syzygium uniflora is native to South America, from Surinam, Guyana and French Guyana to southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. At present, it is grown all over the tropics and subtropics. In Southeast Asia, it is rare (Java, Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines).

Description

S. uniflora is an evergreen shrub or tree, up to 7 m tall, with spreading, slender but sometimes crooked branches.

The leaves are arranged opposite, ovate to lance-shaped, measuring 2.5-6 cm x 1.5-3 cm, rounded or slightly cordate at the base, with obtuse to shortly acuminate apex, hairless, glossy, pellucidly dotted, bronze when young but dark green when mature and turning red in cold and dry weather.

The flowers are fragrant, 1-4 together in the leaf axils, creamy white and about 1 cm in diametre. The sepal is tubular, 8-ribbed and 4-lobed. The petals are white and 7-11 mm long. There are 50-60 stamens.

The fruit is a pendulous berry, spherical depressed in outline, 1-4 cm in diametre, 7- to 8-ribbed, greenish when young but turns to orange during development and bright red to blackish when mature. The skin is thin, flesh orange-red, juicy, acid to sweet and slightly resinous. There are 1 large seed or 2-3 smaller ones and flattened.

Ecology / Cultivation

S. uniflora is rather cold-tolerant and will stand several degrees of frost unharmed. It thrives best in full sun and requires only moderate rainfall. It withstands a long dry season. In the Philippines, it grows up to 1000 m altitude, while in Guatemala up to 1800 m. It grows in almost any type of soil and withstands temporary water logging, but it is intolerant of salt. Seedlings grow slowly. Flowering and fruiting may start at 2 years old under favourable circumstances, otherwise it usually starts at 5-6 years old, on the flushes of the previous season or basal part of the shoots of the current season. The fruits develop and ripen quickly, only 3 weeks after anthesis. Flowering and fruiting continue over an extended period (6-8 weeks) and, depending on the climate, there may be several harvests in a year.

Line Drawing / Photograph

S.uniflora

References

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

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