This plant is occasionally found in the collections of lovers of tropical plants. But many do not even suspect how versatile this plant has found in the countries of mass cultivation. Perhaps we will help someone to understand that he has the true jewel of the tropics.
Syzygium jambos, former name – Eugenia jambos, Malabar plum, Pink apple – this name is often associated with the fruits of other plants of the genus Sisigium, it is grown primarily for its fruits.
Description of Syzygium jambos
The homeland of the Malabar plum is considered to be Southeast Asia. For a long time, syzygium jambos has been successfully naturalized in India, widely distributed in the wild thickets of South America. Now, the Malabar plum is planted in almost all regions with a suitable climate. In some areas, it is considered an invasive species, poses a threat to natural ecosystems in Australia, Hawaii, and the Galapogos Islands.
Syzygium jambos grow as a small evergreen tree up to 12 m in height, the diameter of the trunk is more than 60 cm. The plant is very decorative, has long glossy pointed leaves up to 25 cm in length and up to 6 cm in width. Young growth of reddish color. The leaves are arranged oppositely, contain glands with essential oils. Very spectacular are large, up to 10 cm, white flowers, consisting of 4 small sepals and many (about 300) long stamens directed in different directions. Flowers are usually collected in apical inflorescences of several pieces, attract bees, are good honey plants. Flowering can take place 2-3 times a year, but usually in the spring or at the end of the dry period. After 3 months, the fruits ripen. The yellowish oval-shaped berry about 4-5 cm consists of a fleshy pericarp, usually surrounding one seed. Polyembrian seeds, can give up to 8 sprouts.
The fruits are crispy, the texture resembles a bell pepper, with a delicate pink aroma, the taste is something between an apple and a watermelon. Used fresh and for the preparation of jams and preserves, as a delicacy. Fruits are very tender, spoil quickly after harvesting. Fruit extract is used to make rose water. In industrial culture, they are propagated by sowing fresh seeds, the tree blooms for 3-4 years.
Areas of application
Due to its high decorativeness, syzygium jambos is widely used for street gardening in countries with tropical and subtropical climates, with a critical temperature of -50C. Roots are actively spreading, protection of roads, buildings and communications is required. It prefers moist loamy, slightly acidic soils, although it can grow on a wide range of soils, in direct sun or in light shade.
Wood is used to make furniture and musical instruments, brown pigment is extracted from the bark to dye fabrics. Essential oil from the leaves is used in the perfume industry.
In India, the fruits are used to stimulate the brain and liver, as a diuretic. Flowers with sugar are used as an antipyretic. Seeds are used for dysentery, diarrhea and catarrh. In South America, the seeds are used for diabetes mellitus and as an anesthetic. Decoction of leaves helps with eye diseases, rheumatism, serves as a diuretic and expectorant, leaf juice is used as an antipyretic. The bark contains many tannins, is used as an emetic and laxative, a decoction of the bark is used to treat asthma. In Cuba, the roots are used to treat epilepsy. However, according to scientific research, the seeds and roots are toxic (contain hydrocyanic acid and tannins) and should be used with caution. Studies have confirmed the presence of antimicrobial properties of the extract from the leaves.
Growing for syzygium jambos at home
Malabar plum is also grown as a container and potted plant, it can give, albeit small, a harvest of berries. It is useful, like any myrtle plant, for the home microclimate. The conditions of detention are similar to Syzygium paniculata (Eugenia myrtle) and myrtle vulgaris.
Young plants are best protected from direct sun. In the purchased universal peat soil (3 parts), it is desirable to add turf earth (1 part) and sand (1 part). Watering is uniform, do not allow the substrate to dry out and stagnation of water in the pallet. From spring to autumn, feed with universal fertilizers. With a lack of light in winter, it is necessary to ensure a cool content at + 8 +10 0C, optimally on a glazed non-freezing balcony. It is propagated at home by cuttings or air diversions, the seeds quickly lose germination.