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Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels

Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels

Family

Myrtaceae

Synonyms

Myrtus cumini L., Eugenia jambolana Lamk, Syzygium jambolanum (Lamk) DC., Eugenia cumini (L.) Druce.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Jambulana, jambulan.
English Jambolan.
Indonesia

Jamblang, duwet (Java).

Philippines Duhat (Tagalog, Bisaya), lomboi (Ilokano).
Burma Thabyay-hpyoo.
Cambodia Pring bai.
Laos Va.
Thailand

Wa (central), hakhiphae (Chiang Rai).

Vietnam Vôi rung, trâm môc.
French

Jamélongue.

Geographical Distributions

Syzygium cumini is native to the subtropical Himalayas, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Australia, where it is also widely cultivated. At present, it is grown throughout the tropics and subtropics.

Description

This is a stout, evergreen tree which can reach 10-20 (-30) m tall, with its trunk 40-90 cm in diametre. It is low branching, with irregular or spherical crown and 12 m spreading. The bark is rough and dark grey on the lower part of tree but further up smooth and light grey.

The leaves are arranged opposite, broadly obovate-elliptic to elliptic-oblong, measuring 5-25 cm x 2-10 cm, wedge-shaped or rounded at base, blunt or tapering to a point at the apex, entire, with thin transparent edges, thick coriaceous, pinkish when young but later shiny dark green above and faintly turpentine-scented when bruised. The petiole is 1-3.5 cm long.

The inflorescences are in panicles, usually borne on the leafless branches, solitary or fascicled, dense, many-flowered and 5-12 cm long. The flowers are small and fragrant. The sepal is widely bell-shaped, 4-6 mm long and irregularly dentate above. The disk is yellow. There are 4 petals, free, orbicular and greyish-white to pink. The stamens are numerous, 4-7 mm long and white. The ovary is 2-3-celled, with 6-7 mm long style and white.

The fruit is an ovoid-oblong berry, often curved, crowned by the sepal lobes, 1-5 cm long and dark violet while in clusters up to 40. The pulp is grey-yellow to violet, juicy, almost inodorous and with sourish astringent taste. There are 0-5 seeds which are oblong, up to 3.5 cm long and green to brown.

Ecology / Cultivation

S. cumini grows best in the tropics at elevations up to 600 m, although it can be found as high as 1800 m. In the latter case, it does not fruit but can be grown for its timber. It develops well in regions with over 1000 mm annual rainfall with a distinct dry season. S. cumini grows on river banks and can withstand prolonged flooding. It is drought-tolerant after its initial development. It also grows well in the warmer parts of the subtropics. In southern Florida (United States), mature trees may suffer from occasional frosts. S. cumini can thrive on a variety of soils in low, wet areas and on higher, well-drained land (loam, marl, sandy soils, calcareous soils).

Line Drawing / Photograph

Syzygium_cum

References

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

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