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Java Apple

(Syzygium samarangense )

Other Names: Wax apple, Wax jambu, Water apple, Rose apple, Jamrul, Amrul, Chom pu kio, Makopa, Semarang

Description:
The tree, 5-15 m tall, has a short trunk 25-30 cm thick, and open, widespreading crown, and pinkish-grey, flaking bark. The opposite leaves are elliptic and rounded at the base; yellowish to dark bluish-green 10-25 cm long and 5-12 cm wide; very aromatic when crushed. Flowers, borne in drooping panicles of 3 to 30 at the branch tips or in smaller clusters in the axils of fallen leaves, are fragrant, yellowish-white 2-4 cm broad, 4-petalled. The waxy fruit, usually light-red, sometimes light green is pear-shaped, narrow at the base, very broad, flattened, indented and adorned with the 4 fleshy calyx lobes at the apex; 3.5-5 cm long, 4-5 cm wide. The skin is very thin, the flesh white, spongy, dry to juicy, sub-acid and very bland in flavour. There may be 1 or 2 seeds or more likely none.

Uses:
The greenish fruits are eaten raw with salt or may be cooked as a sauce. They are also stewed with true apples. The red fruits are juicier and more flavourful and suitable for eating out-of-hand.

Health:
The flowers are astringent and used in Taiwan to treat fever and halt diarrhea.

Climate:
The java apple is extra-tropical. It does best in areas that have a long dry season.

Soil:
Java apple will grow best in rich fertile soil.

Propagation:
The trees grow spontaneously from seed. Preferred types are reproduced by layering, budding onto their own rootstocks. Sometimes the java apple is grafted onto the cultivated Rose Apple.

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