Syzygium malaccense

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Syzygium malaccense


(L.) Merr. & Perry

Rose apple fruit, about 2-3 inches long, are 

juicy and sweet, but do not store well. (Lee 


Rose apple or jambu tree in Brazil. This tree 

is about 10 meter high. Note the blossom 

petal drop beneath the tree. The tree 

blooms twice a year in most areas of Brazil. 

(Lee RF)


 Burmese (thabyo-thabyay); English (wax jambu,malay-apple,long fruited 

rose-apple); Filipino (tersana,pomerac); French (poirier de Malaque); 

German (Apfel- Jambose); Indonesian (jambu bol); Malay (jambu bol); 

Spanish (Pomarrosa malay); Thai (chomphu-saraek); Vietnamese (cay roi)


Syzygium malaccense is a tree to 20 m tall, with straight trunk, 20-45 cm 

diameter, often branched near the base and with broadly ovoid canopy.

Leaves opposite, elliptic-oblong, 15-38 cm x 7-20 cm, thick-coriaceous, 

petiole 0.5-1.5 cm long, thick, red when young.

Inflorescences exclusively on defoliate twig-parts, short and dense, 1-12- 

flowered; flowers 5-7 cm in diameter, red; calyx-tube ventricose towards 

apex, 1.5-2 cm long, with broad lobes 4-8 mm long; petals 4, oblong-ovate 

or orbicular-ovate, up to 2 cm long, dark red; stamens numerous, up to 3.5 

cm long, with red filaments; style 3-4.5 cm long, red. 

Fruit a berry, ellipsoid, 5-8 cm in diameter, crowned by the incurved non-

fleshy calyx segments, dark red or purplish-yellow or yellow-white; flesh 

0.5-2.5 cm thick, juicy, white, fragrant. 

Seed 1 per fruit, globose, 2.5-3.5 cm in diameter, brown.


There are definite flowering seasons, often two, sometimes three in a 

year, but the timing varies from year to year. There seems to be no regular 

growth rhythm for Malay apple. Apparently the trees are triggered into 

bloom (by wet weather following a dry period) more readily than water 

apple (S. aqueum) and wax jambu (S. samarangense) trees; at any rate, 

Malay apple usually has the most crops per year. Malay apples ripen 

about 60 days after bloom. Polyembryony occurs in the genus and has 

been observed in Malay apple seed. Shoot growth proceeds in flushes 

which are more or less synchronous, depending on the climate. The 

juvenile period lasts for 3-7 years. Bearing of clonal trees starts after 3-5 


Laulau flower & leaves (French B.)

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Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al.2009)

Syzygium malaccense


(L.) Merr. & Perry


The trees are at home in fairly moist tropical lowlands up to 1200 m elevation. Malay apple is restricted to the wetter 

climates. The species require a reliable water supply and are often planted along streams or ponds.


Altitude: Up to 1200 m.

Soil types: The trees prefer heavy soils and easy access to water instead of having to search for water in light deep soils.


The map above shows countries where the species has been planted. It does neither 

suggest that the species can be planted in every ecological zone within that country

nor that the species can not be planted in other countries than those depicted. Since 

some tree species are invasive, you need to follow  biosafety procedures that apply to 

your planting site. 

Exotic range

Native range

Indonesia, Malaysia

Fiji, India



Page 2 of 5

Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al.2009)

Syzygium malaccense


(L.) Merr. & Perry

The map above shows countries where the species has been planted. It does neither 

suggest that the species can be planted in every ecological zone within that country, 

nor that the species can not be planted in other countries than those depicted. Since 

some tree species are invasive, you need to follow  biosafety procedures that apply to 

your planting site. 


Food: The tree is grown for their fruit, which substitute for one another in the marketplace. Whereas S. malaccense can 

easily be recognized, it is not easy to distinguish between the various S. aqueum and S. samarangense fruits. The ripe 

fruit is sweet and is mainly eaten fresh.  Malay apples are often stewed with other fruit to tone down the sour taste of the 

latter. The Malay apple is usually red with pink or white streaks; the flesh is thick, rather dry and scented, but often 

insipid. Eighty per cent or more of the fruit is edible. The composition of the species per 100 g edible portion is similar 

with S. samarangense: water more than 90%, protein 0.3 g, fat none, carbohydrates 3.9 g, fibre 1 g, vitamin A 253 IU, 

vitamin B1 and B2 traces, vitamin C 0.1 mg, energy value 80 kJ/100 g (analysis for S. samarangense in Thailand). 

Timber: The wood is reddish, hard and grows to dimensions large enough for construction purposes.

Medicine: Various parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine, and some have in fact been shown to possess 

antibiotic activity. In particular the bark, leaves and roots of Malay apple are used against different ailments in a number 

of countries, also outside Asia (e.g. Hawaii, Brazil).


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Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al.2009)

Syzygium malaccense


(L.) Merr. & Perry


Tree spacing ranges from 6-8 m. The trees receive little attention after the first year or two when manuring, weeding, 

mulching and watering ensure rapid increase of tree volume. Trees which bear well benefit from compound fertilizers 

applied after harvest and supplemented with a top dressing as soon as the inflorescences are being formed. There 

appears to be no experience with pruning or fruit thinning. Malay apple yields of 20-85 kg/tree are reported.



There are no specific recommendations for crop protection, but the incidence of pests and diseases certainly warrants 

a study of the causal organisms and their control.

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Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al.2009)

Syzygium malaccense


(L.) Merr. & Perry

Orwa C, A Mutua, Kindt R , Jamnadass R, S Anthony. 2009 Agroforestree Database:a tree reference and selection guide 

version 4.0 (



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Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al.2009)

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