An Eco-sustainable World
ArborealSpecies Plant

Syzygium lineatum

Syzygium lineatum

The common kelat (Syzygium lineatum (DC.) Merr. & L.M.Perry, 1938) is a shrub or tree species belonging to the Myrtaceae family.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Subkingdom Tracheobionta,
Spermatophyta Superdivision,
Division Magnoliophyta,
Class Magnoliopsida,
Subclass Rosidae,
Order Myrtales,
Myrtaceae family,
Subfamily Myrtoideae,
Syzygieae tribe,
Genus Syzygium,
Species S. lineatum.
The term is basionym:
– Jambosa lineata DC..
The terms are synonymous:
– Clavimyrtus latifolia Blume;
– Clavimyrtus lineata (DC.) Blume;
– Clavimyrtus lineata var. membranacea Blume;
– Clavimyrtus lineata var. procera Blume;
– Clavimyrtus lineata var. varingifolia Blume;
– Clavimyrtus symphytocarpa Blume;
– Eugenia lineata (DC.) Duthie;
– Eugenia longicalyx Ridl.;
– Eugenia longiflora (C.Presl) Fern.-Vill.;
– Eugenia marivelesensis Merr.;
– Eugenia miquelii Elmer;
– Eugenia rubricaulis (Miq.) Duthie;
– Eugenia teysmannii (Miq.) Koord. & Valeton;
– Eugenia zippeliana (Miq.) Koord. & Valeton;
– Jambosa latifolia (Blume) Miq.;
– Jambosa rubricaule Miq.;
– Jambosa symphytocarpa (Blume) Korth.;
– Jambosa symphytocarpa (Blume) Korth. ex Miq.;
– Jambosa teysmannii Miq.;
– Myrtus lineata Blume;
– Syzygium longicalyx (Ridl.) Masam.;
– Syzygium longiflorum C.Presl;
– Syzygium teysmannii (Miq.) Masam.;
– Syzygium zippelianum Miq..

Etymology –
The term Syzygium comes from the Greek σύζῠγος sýzygos coupled, united, paired: in reference to paired leaves.
The specific epithet lineatum is Latin “lineatus, a, um”, that is, provided with lines, with reference to the numerous secondary veins of the leaf.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Syzygium lineatum is a plant native to Borneo, Cambodia, China (Guangxi), Philippines, Java, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Lesser Sunda Islands, Singapore, Sumatra, Thailand and Vietnam.
Its habitat is usually that of humid forests, often in marshy areas and near watercourses, keranga, mixed dipterocarp and submontane forests from sea level up to about 2000 m of altitude.

Description –
The Syzygium lineatum is an evergreen shrub or tree that grows up to about 30 m in old specimens in nature, but which usually remains much lower.
The foliage is dense and the trunk erect, with a diameter of up to 50 cm, with greyish bark, which tends to flake with age, rich in tannins; in marshy or frequently submerged areas it sometimes produces stilt-like (fulcrating) roots at the base to support the stem.
The leaves are borne by a petiole about 1 cm long; they are opposite, simple, 6-12 cm long and 2.5-4.5 cm wide, with acuminate to caudate apex and entire margin, rather leathery, with numerous secondary veins, parallel and spaced 1-2 mm apart, more visible on the bottom page.
The inflorescences are in a terminal or axillary position, erect, 4-12 cm long, carrying numerous white or pinkish-white bisexual flowers, odorous, rich in nectar, with hypanthium (a casing that in some species surrounds the lower or semi-lower ovary ) obconic, about 6 mm long, calyx with 4 semicircular lobes, 2 mm long and 3 mm wide, persistent in fruit, 4 early deciduous ovate petals, 3-4 mm long and wide, numerous white stamens 0.6-1 cm long and stylus approximately 1 cm long.
The fruits are berries with a globose to ellipsoid shape, 1-1.4 cm in length and about 1 cm in diameter, initially green in colour, then white and finally reddish when ripe, fleshy, edible.
There is only one seed inside.

Cultivation –
Syzygium lineatum is a plant that is harvested in the wild for local use as food and a source of tannins and wood.
This plant grows in the wild on sandy soils, but also on calcareous soils.
It is widespread in nature and frequently cultivated in the areas of origin, in parks and gardens and in street trees, for its dense foliage and copious scented flowering from December to June, and, to a lesser extent, for its fruits. It requires full sun and adapts to different types of soil, even poor, from sandy to heavy, and tolerates water stagnation and marine aerosols.
It reproduces by seed, which must be planted as soon as possible as it has a short germination period, and by cuttings and layering.

Customs and Traditions –
Syzygium lineatum is a plant known by various common names, including: common kelat (English); galam, obah (Borneo); pring, pring chan, pring phnom (Cambodia); lagi-lagi, lubeg (Philippines); gelam, ki sireum, nagasari (Java); kayu udang (Indonesia); kayu kelat, kelat puteh, sekujah (Malaysia); daeng song plucak, khi tai, phung kha (Thailand); trâm ba vỏ, trâm hang, trâm khế (Vietnam).
The fruits of this plant, with a sour flavour, are locally consumed raw or used for juices, jams and alcoholic drinks.
The wood, yellowish white in colour, resistant and long-lasting, is used in the construction of homes, for commonly used objects and as fuel.
Laboratory studies have highlighted the presence of flavonoids, tannins and saponins in the leaves and fruits, compounds that play an important role in the pharmacological field and are susceptible to further investigation.

Preparation Method –
Syzygium lineatum is a plant used for food, medicinal purposes and for its timber.
In the food sector, fruits of which the pulp is eaten are consumed.
In the medicinal field, the roots and young shoots are used in local medicine.
The bark is also a source of tannins.
The wood is used for tool handles and for house construction.

Guido Bissanti

– 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 d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Photo source:

Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and food uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; we therefore decline any responsibility for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.

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