Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Syzygium grande

Commonly known as Sea Apple of Jambu Laut, this tree is native to tropical countries like India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia. 

The Sea Apple is a fast-growing tree that can grow up to 30m. The crown can range from oblong to irregularly shaped. The bark is rough, dull grey, fissured lightly and a little flaky. 

The leaves are shiny and leathery with short stalks and a drip tip. They are arrange in pairs opposite of each other. There is a distinct ring of veins around the leaf margin which can be seen by looking at the underside of the leaf. 

The flowers of the Sea Apple are yellowish-white and resemble pom-poms. They grow in clusters and have white petals with numerous white stamens, lasting for about 4 to 5 days. Its flowers produce nectars, and are probably pollinated by bats. The nectar can also attract insects like butterflies and birds. 

The single fruits are oblong to round, with a green leathery skin. Bats would also eat its fruits and help dispersed its seeds. It is also the host plant of the moth, Parasa lepida. The fruits are edible.

The wood produced by this tree is classified under the medium hard wood group. In our region, a general trade name ‘Kelat’ is given to timber produced from Syzygium trees.

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