- History and Culture
E. kanakana is a small, erect and slender tree reaching up to 5 meters in height, the bark is greyish brown, and it has smooth branches. The leaves have curved edges and are obtuse at the top, more or less truncated at the base. The upper surface is dark green while the lower surface is pale green or yellowish green. Flowers are sessile and rarely have peduncles. they are grouped in 2-5 florets on protuberances in the axil of lower leaves and can also be found at the nodes on the defoliate part of branches. Petals are subcircular, white in colour. The fruit are globular and having a diameter of 1 to 2.5 cm and contains 3 to 4 seeds, which are 8-12 cm long and compressed.
The plant is endemic to Mauritius and is part of the undergrowth in intermediate forests and upland humid zones. The flowers are pollinated by birds and geckos. They produce many fruits that are scattered by birds. Seedling regeneration is observed in various forest restoration areas.
This species is classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List and is protected under the forest restoration project in Conservation Management Areas (CMAs) and in its natural habitat. The population, however, is declining due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species.
In the past, the plant was known as Monimiastrum globosum. After the revision of the two genera Eugenia and Monimiastrum by N. Show in 2012, the name of the plant was changed to Eugenia kanakana. This name is derived from the location where the sample was collected - the Kanaka crater at Bois Chéri.