Syzygium samarangense/javanicum (Wax Jambu, Java/Rose/Water Apple)
- Botanical Name: Syzygium samarangense / javanicum, Eugenia javanica
- Common Name: Wax Jambu, Java Apple, Rose Apple, Water Apple
- Family name: Myrtaceae
- Plant type: Ultra tropical fruit tree of medium height
- Light: Prefers a warm sunny spot.
- Moisture: Needing adequate water/rainfall and some humidity.
- Soil: Grow best in fertile soil.
- Propagation: By seed, air-layering, grafting or budding.
- Features: Syzygium javanicum is a semi-deciduous tree, 5-15m tall and 3-10m wide with yellowish-green to dark bluish-green leaves. Clusters of lemon-green buds appearing at the branch tips or in the axils of fallen leaves or any point on its trunk/branches will bloom in 1-1.5 months time. The slightly fragrant white to pale yellow flowers (2-3 inches wide) with four petals and countless stamens (1-1.5 inches long) are a rich source of nectar for honey bees. These showy flowers borne in drooping panicles of 3 to 20 will fall and litter the ground in 2-3 days, leaving behind the tiny fruits to mature and ripen in about 2 months. A healthy tree can produce abundant fruits and has two fruiting seasons annually, May-September and November to March.
- Usage: Also known as Java Rose Apple, it is grown specially for their edible fruits that can be very refreshing and quenching on a hot day. They’re pear-shaped, 1.5-2 inches long and slightly narrower in wide, skin is smooth, waxy and thin that comes in varying colors ranging from white, pale green, green, pink, rose red and crimson. The fruit’s pith is snow white like cotton. Often seedless, you can eat these fruits out-of-hand, needing no peeler! The texture is crisp, almost crunchy and juicy with a mild scented flavour and tasting mildly sweet to sweeter (the reddest fruits are the sweetest). Fruits can also be added in salad and the unripe fruits eaten with salt or dipped in a sweetish-spicy sauce.
- Care: Generally, requires very little attention and no pruning is needed unless to promote bushiness.
- For subtropical regions: Browse through here and here to acquaint yourself with more plant facts.
Our Wax Jambu tree is planted in a large container which has been its home for almost 10 years. It grows very well in our hot and wet tropical climate, needing very little care. Just regular watering and occasional feed has assured us of relatively sufficient fruits to enjoy twice annually. We usually get excited during the flowering seasons, as the tree will give a spectacular display of showy flowers in clusters that also attract small insects and honey bees seeking nectar! And, that season is now – has started a week ago! :D This isn’t the end – in less than 1.5 months from now, the tree will be spotted all over with its red fruits amongst its green leaves and white-yellowish flowers, another spectacle of colours to delight, though the ultimate joy is the anticipation of consuming their sweet, crispy and refreshing fruits, of course! ;)
Updated on April 20, 2007 – Unexpected turn of events, where a pair of White-browed Bulbuls practically cleared all the Rose Apples! So many fruits, yet we hardly had a dozen for ourselves! ;)
Hmm…so sweet and quenching! Though an equal number of fruits fell to the ground probably due to strong wind and heavy rain last night, we’re happy to at least have some this time round!
A few more fruits can be plucked in a couple of days…probably we’ll leave them for the birds, having had our fill! :D
Last edited: 2008-06-22