Syzygium jambos

Syzygium jambos

The rose apple (Syzygium jambos L. Alston) is a shrub or small tree species belonging to the Myrtaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Subarign Tracheobionta,
Spermatophyta superdivision,
Magnoliophyta Division,
Magnoliopsida class,
Subclass Rosidae,
Order Myrtales,
Myrtaceae family,
Genus Syzygium,
S. jambos species.
Basionimo is the term:
– Eugenia jambos L ..
The terms are synonymous:
– Eugenia decora Salisb.;
– Eugenia jamboides Wender.;
– Eugenia jambos subsp. sylvatica;
– Eugenia jambos var. sylvatica Gagnep.;
– Eugenia jambosa Crantz;
– Eugenia jamboscensis L.;
– Eugenia malaccensis Blanco;
– Eugenia malaccensis f. cericarpa (O.Deg.) H.St.John;
– Eugenia malaccensis subsp. cericarpa;
– Eugenia monantha Merr.;
– Eugenia vulgaris Baill.;
– Jambosa jambos (L.) Millsp.;
– Jambosa malaccensis f. cericarpa O.Deg.;
– Jambosa malaccensis subsp. cericarpa;
– Jambosa palembanica Blume;
– Jambosa vulgaris DC.;
– Myrtus jambos (L.) Kunth;
– Plinia jambos (L.) M.Gómez;
– Syzygium jambos subsp. linearilimbum;
– Syzygium jambos subsp. sylvaticum;
– Syzygium jambos var. jambos;
– Syzygium jambos var. linearilimbum H.T.Chang & R.H.Miao;
– Syzygium jambos var. sylvaticum (Gagnep.) Merr. & L.M.Perry
– Syzygium merrillii Masam.;
– Syzygium monanthum (Merr.) Merr. & Perry.

Etymology –
The term Syzygium comes from the Greek σύζῠγος sýzygos paired, united, paired: in reference to paired leaves.
The specific epithet jambos is a Portuguese word that comes from the Latin and in turn from the Malay jambu, which derives from the Sanskrit jambuḥ “pink apple”.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Syzygium jambos is a plant native to Southeast Asia and Malaysia and widespread elsewhere, having been introduced as an ornamental and fruit tree.
The plant has been widely introduced to all continents except Antarctica and has naturalized in several regions. Concern was expressed about the threat to several ecosystems, including those of several Hawaiian islands, Réunion, the Galápagos Islands, parts of Australia and warmer regions of the Americas.
Its natural habitat is that of open places, generally around villages, at an altitude of 600 – 1,400 meters in Nepal. It is most commonly found in wetter habitats such as stream embankments, becoming more frequent at higher elevations as rainfall levels increase.

Description –
Syzygium jambos is a plant that grows in the form of a large shrub or small to medium-sized tree, 3 to 15 meters high, with a tendency to low branching and dense foliage.
The trunk can have a diameter of 50 cm.
Its leaves and twigs are hairless, and the bark, although dark brown, is also fairly smooth, with little relief or texture.
The leaves have a lanceolate shape, 2 to 4 cm wide, 10 to 20 cm long, pointed, with a wedge-shaped base almost without petiole, bright red when they grow, but dark green and glossy when they reach full size.
The flowers are gathered in small terminal clusters, white or greenish white and the long and numerous stamens give them a diameter of 5-8 cm.
The flowers are described by some as fragrant, although this appears to be a variable attribute.
The fruit is shaped like some guava species so it can be mistaken for this plant and measures up to 4cm x 6cm. However, the fragrance, flavor and texture are different, and instead of containing dozens of small, hard seeds embedded in a jelly-like tissue, as in guava, S. jambos fruit usually contains one or two seeds one cm in diameter. , lying loose in a slightly soft cavity when ripe.
To see if the fruit is ripe, just shake it to feel if the seeds vibrate. The skin is thin and waxy.
The ripe fruit has an intense and pleasant floral scent.

Cultivation –
S. Jambos is an evergreen tree that has been cultivated for about 2,500 years. It provides food, medicine and a range of products for the local population. It is an attractive tree with showy cream-colored flowers and dark green foliage that is often grown as an ornamental and hedge plant in tropical gardens.
It is also sometimes grown for its edible fruit.
This plant only blooms in tropical and near-tropical climates, usually below 1,200 meters in altitude but up to 2,300 meters in Ecuador.
It also grows in arid areas, but bears fruit better in more humid regions.
At its climatic limits, as in California, the tree grows vigorously but does not bear fruit while it grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are between 18 and 38 ° C, but can tolerate between 5 and 40 ° C.
The mature plant can tolerate occasional temperatures down to about -3 ° C and prefers an average annual rainfall in the range 1,200 – 1,600 mm, but tolerates 700 – 4,000 mm.
It does not like dry seasons unless it grows in soils with adequate humidity levels and can vegetate in any sufficiently fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. Young plants, however, require some shade and a humid environment.
From the pedological point of view it tolerates poor, sandy and alkaline soils and preferably a pH between 5.5 and 7, tolerating between 5 and 8.
Young plants have a slow rate of growth, accelerating as they age. Two-year-old plants are around 80cm tall, up to 3m at the age of 7, and up to 4.5m at the age of 10.
A plant can produce dense vegetation up to 3.6 meters high only 12 months after being cut down to ground level so it grows immediately after the coppice.
Fruiting can be expected within 4 years and in some areas it blooms and bears fruit sporadically almost all year round, while in other areas it has a net fruiting season.
Outdoor trees usually bear abundant fruit, but fruiting decreases as shade increases.
In India a production of 2 kg of fruit is estimated every season. The fruits are obviously very light because they are hollow.
Propagation can occur by seed. The seeds have a very short viability and no dormancy; they usually germinate well within 10 – 120 days if sown fresh. The seed should be sown on the surface and in a shaded position, gently firming the soil, and watering it well.
A single seed often yields 3 to 8 seedlings.
Young plants transplant poorly, so they should be placed in pots or individual containers as soon as they are large enough to handle and before the roots have grown a lot. Young plants also need some shade.

Customs and Traditions –
Syzygium jambos has several common names, reflecting the large number of regions in which it is grown or as a spontaneous species.
Among the various names we remember: ಪನ್ನೇರಳೆ, Guljamun, madhura nelli, Malabar Plum, Panineer Champakka, Mountain Apple (champoo), chom pu or chom-phu. Terms such as “pink plum”, “water apple”, “pera de agua”, “cloud apple”, “wax apple”, “Malay apple”, “jambrosade”, “PauTêe” (Penang Hokkien written with the system of Taiwanese romanization), “pomarrosa”, or the English equivalent, “rose apple”. Many of these names are also applied to other Syzygium species, while “jambu” can also mean a guava.
In Bangla, the fruit is called “golap-jaam” (Bengali: গোলাপজাম) and in Odia it is called “Golapajamu” (ଗୋଲାପଜାମୁ), which literally translates to “rose jaamun”, referring to its distinct aroma. In Karnataka the common English name is “rose apple”, and the vulgar name is Pannerale (Paneer hannu).
In the Philippines, it is called locally as yambo, dambo, or tampoy. Always confused with macopa, a closely related fruit (Syzygium samarangense), Syzygium jambos is not widely cultivated and can only be found in rural areas.
In the Maldives it is called Jambu in Dhivehi and its fruit is called Jamburol, the water apple or wax apple.
It is also known as বগী জামুক Bogi Jamuk in Assamese.
In Brazil the fruit is called jambo.
In addition, there are many varieties of S. jambos around the world, including anonymous wild trees. In Thailand, the most common cultivated variety bears a light green fruit. Malaysian varieties generally have red skin. In many regions the fruit is a pale yellow hue, often with a slight redness. The flavor is distinctive, which leads to some imaginative descriptions such as: “like a cross between nashi and pepper, with a very delicate rose scent and a slightly bitter aftertaste”.
This plant is used for various purposes, from edible to medicinal and more.
Among the food uses it should be remembered that the fruits are generally eaten raw or even stewed, transformed into jams, jellies, jams, etc.
When cooked with creams or puddings, they impart a rose-like flavor.
The large seed cavity is sometimes used to stuff fruits and cook them.
The fruit must be handled very carefully after harvesting because it deforms easily and then loses its crunchiness.
Throughout the tropical world, the fruit is mostly eaten by children, who harvest it from plants that also grow in the natural state and is rarely marketed.
The fruit can be distilled to produce a rose water that is said to be the same as the best obtained from rose petals.
Fruits are rich in vitamin C, and in Southeast Asian countries they are often served with spiced sugar.
An unknown amount of hydrogen cyanide has been reported in the roots, stems and leaves.
Additionally, an alkaloid, jambosine, has been found in the bark of the tree and roots, and the roots are considered poisonous.
Flowers are also consumed candied.
In medicinal use, different parts of the tree are used as a tonic or diuretic.
In India, the fruit is considered a tonic for the brain and liver. The infusion of the fruit acts as a diuretic.
A sugary preparation of the flowers is believed to reduce fever.
The seeds are used against diarrhea, dysentery and phlegm.
In Nicaragua it is claimed that an infusion of roasted and powdered seeds is beneficial for diabetics. In Colombia the seeds are said to have anesthetic properties.
The decoction of leaves is applied to irritated eyes, it also acts as a diuretic and expectorant and for the treatment of rheumatism.
The juice of the macerated leaves is taken as a febrifuge.
The powdered leaves were rubbed on the bodies of smallpox sufferers for the cooling effect.
From a biochemical point of view, the bark contains 7-12.4% of tannin. It is astringent, emetic and cathartic. A decoction of this is given to relieve asthma, bronchitis and hoarseness.
Cubans believe that the root is an effective remedy for epilepsy.
Other uses include agroforestry ones.
If the young plants are pruned vigorously, they become very dense and form an effective windbreak hedge.
Plants develop huge root systems and can be useful for stabilizing soils on river banks. However, the dense top growth can stop the growth of any underlying plants.
Bees produce a substantial amount of amber honey from the flowers.
Furthermore, a yellow essential oil is obtained by distillation from the leaves, which is important in the perfume industry. This contains 26.84% dl-a-pinene and 23.84% l-limonene and can be used as a source of these elements for use in the perfume industry.
The bark also produces a brown dye.
The flexible branches divide easily. They are popular for making reeds, hoops for large sugar barrels and are also popular for weaving large baskets.
Heartwood is dark red or brown; the sapwood is white. The wood is straight and fine-grained, medium heavy to heavy and strong. It is not durable in the soil and is subject to attack by termites.
It is also usually too small for many purposes, but it is commonly used for fence posts, plant posts, etc. Larger pieces can be used to make furniture, spokes for wheels, armrests for chairs, knees for all types of boats, construction beams, frames for musical instruments (violins, guitars, etc.) and packing cases. It is also popular for general turning.
From wood you get an excellent fuel and coal.

Preparation Method –
Syzygium jambos has been a plant that has been used and cultivated for thousands of years, certainly for over 2,500.
There are various uses, both for food and medicine.
The fruits are eaten raw or even stewed, transformed into jams, jellies, jams, etc.
Rose water is obtained from the distilled fruit.
Flowers are also consumed candied.
In medicinal use, different parts of the tree are used as a tonic or diuretic or as a tonic for the brain and liver. The infusion of the fruit is used for diuretic purposes.
The seeds are used against diarrhea, dysentery and phlegm.
From the leaves are prepared decoctions for irritated eyes, as a diuretic and expectorant and for the treatment of rheumatism.
The juice of the macerated leaves is taken as a febrifuge.
The powdered leaves were rubbed on the bodies of smallpox sufferers for the cooling effect.
Cubans believe that the root is an effective remedy for epilepsy.
Furthermore, the tree is variously rich in tannins of a certain antimicrobial interest.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.
Photo source:
https://inaturalist-open-data.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/195906682/original.jpeg
http://www.hear.org/pier/imagepages/singles/Syzygium_jambos_Blanco1_170.htm

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.




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