- History and Culture
S. glomeratum, is a small tree that can measure up to 15 meters tall. The trunk is 15 centimeters in diameter and has smooth reddish bark with buttress roots. Its leaves are simple and opposite, smaller than those of other species of Syzygium, with a prominent mid rib and a peripheral vein. The leaves tend to have a leathery appearance and the young leaves are usually bright to dark red. It has pink flowers that are terminal and are in clusters but are often found along the branches. The tree produces small fruit that are red at maturity.
S. glomeratum belongs to the same genus as the other 22 species of the Mascarenes, it is one of the 13 species that are endemic to Mauritius. It is found in intermediate forests as well as in higher elevation forests. It is found in the Petrin Reserve, the Maccabé forest, the Bassin Blanc region and along the Tamarin River near the Mare aux Vacoas. Its produces abundant fruit that is eaten by both the endemic and exotic wildlife and the seeds are dispersed by the animals that feed on it. Seeds grows easily and in nature there are many seedlings.
S. glomeratum is classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Adult plants are on the decline due to the invasion of exotic lianas (creeping liana, Hiptage benghalensis) and the loss of habitat. The seeds are easy to propagate, however, and the species is used in forest restoration projects and landscaping.
The bright red fruits at maturity look like apples, hence its vernacular name.Formerly, its hardwood was used in the construction of houses and boats.