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Syzygium jambos - (L.) Alston

Common Name Jambos, Rose Apple, Plum Rose
Family Myrtaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards The seeds are said to be poisonous[303 ]. An unknown amount of hydrocyanic acid has been reported in the roots, stems and leaves[303 ]. An alkaloid, jambosine, has been found in the bark of the tree and of the roots, and the roots are considered poisonous[303 ].
Habitats Open places, generally around villages, at elevations of 600 - 1,400 metres in Nepal[272 ]. Most commonly found in moister habitats such as stream banks, becoming more frequent at higher elevations as rainfall levels rise[790 ].
Range E. Asia - Malaysia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Syzygium jambos Jambos, Rose Apple, Plum Rose

Syzygium jambos Jambos, Rose Apple, Plum Rose


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Originated from Southeast Asia, Syzygium jambos or Jambos is an ornamental and fruit tree up to 15 m in height. It has dark brown and smooth bark. The leaves are lanceolate, dark, and glossy green. The flowers are formed into clusters at the end of branches. Plant parts are used medicinally against fever, diarrhea, dysentery, catarrh, diabetes, sore eyes, rheumatism, smallpox, asthma, bronchitis, and hoarseness. The fruits, juicy and sweet, can be eaten raw, cooked, or processed into desserts. The flowers can be candied. Essential oil from the plant is used to make perfume. The bark contains tannin and brown dye. The wood is medium heavy to heavy, strong, and susceptible to termite attacks. It is used for fence posts, plant stakes, furniture, construction, etc. It also makes great fuel and charcoal.

Physical Characteristics

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Syzygium jambos is an evergreen Tree growing to 8 m (26ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Caryophyllus jambos Stokes. Eugenia jambos L. Jambosa jambos Millsp. Jambosa vulgaris DC.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit
Edible Uses: Drink

Fruit - usually eaten raw, the fruit can also be stewed, made into jams, jellies, confections etc[296 , 301 ]. A sweet flavour with a crisp and crunchy texture, the fruit is somewhat to very juicy and has a delicate, rose-water fragrance[200 , 296 , 301 ]. When cooked with custards or puddings, they impart a rose-like flavour[301 ]. The large, hollow seed cavity is sometimes utilized to stuff the fruits and bake them [377 ].The fruit has to be handled very carefully after harvesting because it bruises easily and then loses its crispness[306 ]. The fruit is up to 4cm x 6cm[200 ]. Around the tropical world, the fruit is mostly eaten out-of-hand by children. It is seldom marketed. In the home, it is sometimes stewed with some sugar and served as dessert[303 ]. The fruit can be distilled to yield a rosewater that is said to be equal to the best obtained from rose petals[701 ]. Flowers - candied[301 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiasthmatic  Antidiarrhoeal  Antirheumatic  Astringent  Cathartic  Diuretic  Dysentery  Epilepsy  
Expectorant  Febrifuge  Ophthalmic  Skin  Tonic

Several parts of the tree are used medicinally as a tonic or a diuretic[306 ]. In India, the fruit is regarded as a tonic for the brain and liver. An infusion of the fruit acts as a diuretic[303 ]. A sweetened preparation of the flowers is believed to reduce fever[303 ].. The seeds are employed against diarrhoea, dysentery and catarrh[303 ]. In Nicaragua, it has been claimed that an infusion of roasted, powdered seeds is beneficial to diabetics. They say in Colombia that the seeds have an anaesthetic property[303 ]. The leaf decoction is applied to sore eyes, also serves as a diuretic and expectorant and treatment for rheumatism[303 ]. The juice of macerated leaves is taken as a febrifuge[303 ]. Powdered leaves have been rubbed on the bodies of smallpox patients for the cooling effect[303 ]. The bark contains 7-12.4% tannin. It is astringent, emetic and cathartic[272 , 303 ]. The decoction is administered to relieve asthma, bronchitis and hoarseness[303 ]. Cuban people believe that the root is an effective remedy for epilepsy[303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Basketry  Charcoal  Cosmetic  Dye  Essential  Fencing  Fuel  Furniture  Hedge  Shelterbelt  Soil stabilization  Tannin  Weaving  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: If the young plants are pruned severely, they become very dense and form an effective if not particularly handsome wind-break hedge[331 , 790 ]. Plants develop massive root systems and can be useful for stabilizing soils on river banks[790 ]. However, the dense top growth can stop any plant growth underneath, and this has sometimes led to sheet erosion unless the crown is thinned[790 ]. Bees produce a heavy, consistent flow of amber honey from the flowers[790 ]. Other Uses A yellow coloured essential oil, important in the perfume industry, is derived from the leaves by distillation[306 ]. It contains, among other properties, 26.84% dl-a-pinene and 23.84% l-limonene, and can be resorted to as a source of these elements for use in the perfume industry[303 ]. The bark contains 7% tannin on a dry weight basis and is used by local villagers for tanning and dyeing purposes[306 ]. The bark also yields a brown dye[303 ]. The flexible branches split easily. They are valued for making wattle, hoops for large sugar casks, and also are valued for weaving large baskets[303 , 790 ]. The heartwood is dark-red or brown; the sapwood is white. The wood is straight and close-grained, medium-heavy to heavy, strong. It is not durable in the ground and is prone to attack by dry wood termites[303 , 306 ]. It is usually too small for many purposes, but is commonly used for fenceposts, plant stakes etc, and larger pieces can be used to make furniture, spokes for wheels, arms for easy chairs, knees for all kinds of boats, beams for construction, frames for musical instruments (violins, guitars, etc.), and packing cases. It is also popular for general turnery[303 , 790 ]. The wood makes an excellent fuel and charcoal[303,790].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Coppice  Hedge  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Flourishes in tropical and near-tropical climates only, usually below elevations of 1,200 metres but up to 2,300 metres in Ecuador[303 ]. It succeeds in dry areas, but fruits best in more humid regions[307 ]. At its climatic limits, as in California, the tree grows vigorously but will not bear fruit[303 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 38°c, but can tolerate 5 - 40°c[418 ]. The mature plant can tolerate occasional temperatures down to about -3°c[377 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 1,600mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,000mm[418 ]. It dislikes dry seasons unless growing in soils with adequate moisture levels[790 ]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil in full sun or part day shade[200 ]. Young plants require some shade and a moist environment[418 ]. Tolerates poor, sandy and alkaline soils[307 ], but grows slowly and reproduces poorly[790 ]. Often found in poorly drained soils[790 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 5 - 8[418 ]. The tree is said to tolerate wind and salt[310 ]. The trees have naturalized themselves thoroughly in the wetter parts of Guatemala[331 ]. Natural regenerarion from seed on suitable sites is generally abundant and will proceed under almost any condition[790 ]. Young plants have a slow rate of growth, speeding up as they grow older[303 , 307 , 790 ]. Two year old plants are around 80cm tall, up to 3 metres by the age of 7 and to 4.5 metres at the age of 10 years[790 ]. Trees coppice very vigorously[790 ]. A plant can produce dense stands of sprouts up to 3.6 metres tall just 12 months after being cut back to ground level[790 ]. Fruiting can be expected within 4 years, especially from layered plants[303 , 790 ]. In some areas it blooms and fruits sporadically nearly all the year round, whilst in other areas it has a clear fruiting season[303 ]. Trees in the open usually fruit abundantly, but fruiting reduces as the shade increases[790 ]. In India, a mature rose apple tree is said to yield 2 kg of fruit each season. The fruits are, of course, very light in weight because they are hollow, but this is a very small return for a tree that occupies so much space[303 ]. Trees coppice very vigorously[790 ]. Bloom Color: White/Near White Cream/Tan.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - the seeds have a very short viability and no dormancy; they usually germinate well within 10 - 120 days if sown fresh[306 , 377 , 790 ]. Surface sow the seed in a shady position, firming it gently into the soil, and water well but be careful not to wash the seed away[790 ]. A single seed often gives rise to 3 - 8 seedlings and most of them are true to type[306 ]. Young plants transplant badly, so should be potted up into individual containers as soon as they are large enough to handle and before the roots have grown much[790 ]. Young plants need some shade[306 ]. Air layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Pomarosa, Wax Apple, Jambu Mawa, Poma Rosa, Chom pu nam, Chom pu, Chumpu sa, Farang nam, Golabjamli, Golapi jamu, Gulab jamun, Gulabjamb, Jambavam, Jambu bulu, Jambu desrana, Jambu kelampok, Jambu mawar, Jambuneereedu, Jamrul, Jamun, Kavika ni vavalagi, Malabar-plum, Malakkachampa, Mjambosa, Mjamini, Pannerale, Pannirkoyya, Perunaval, Rose-apple, Sambunaval, Seeni jambu, Veli jambu,eugenia jambosa, gulab jamun, jamboes, jambos, jambosier, malabar plum, malabar plum tree, malabar-plum, manzana rosa, phanrid, pomarrosa, pomme rose, pu tao, pu tao ke, pu tao zhong zi, rose apple, rose apple|weli jambu/seeni jambu, rose-apple, rosenapfelbaum, rosenäpple, yambo.

Bangladesh; China; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Viet Nam, Africa, Andamans, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Central America, China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, East Africa, East Timor, Fiji, Ghana, Guiana, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Jamaica, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, North America, Northeastern India, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, PNG, SE Asia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Southern Africa, South America, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Uganda, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Africa, Zimbabwe,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
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Syzygium australeBrush CherryShrub3.0 6-12  LMHSNM403
Syzygium cuminiJambolan, Java Plum, Malabar Plum, JambuShrub25.0 8-12 FLMHSNMWe334
Syzygium paniculatumBrush CherryShrub5.0 9-11  LMHSNM102

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(L.) Alston

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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