Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Syzygium lineatum

Commonly known as the Common Kelat, this tree is native to IndoChina, Peninsula Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, and Sumatra. 

A fruit tree of the Syzygium species, the Common Kelat is usually found in secondary forests. It grows up to about 30m tall. This tree is often conical to hemispherical in shapewith a dense light green crown. 

The faintly fragrant flowers are whitish pink or pale green in colour with protruding stamens. They  are pollinated by flies, beetles, butterflies and bees. 

The fleshy berries are about 1cm in diameter and change from green to yellow to white to reddish colour upon ripening. 

The Common Kelat can tolerate soggy, muddy conditions. Notice the tree’s conspicuous stilt roots which seem to suggest that they were once submerged in a frequently flooded environment.

May be confused with the shorter Syzygium zeylanicum, but the latter can be differentiated by its smaller, dark glossy green mature leaves with less crowded secondary veins and less distinct marginal vein, purplish-red young leaves, smaller white fruits (5 -7mm across), and reddish-brown peeling trunk. 

Hardy plant, tolerates poor sandy and limestone soils, waterlogged areas and salt-spray. Propagate by seeds, stem cuttings or air-layering. 

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