- History and Culture
Syzygium cumini, the Java plum or more locally known as “Jamblon” is an evergreen tropical tree that is part of the Myrtaceae family and is native to the Indian Subcontinent. It is a slow growing species which can reach 30 meters in height and live more than 100 years. At its base, its trunk is dark grey and rough becoming smoother and lighter in colour moving upwards, with dense foliage. Its leaves are first pink and change to a dark green as they mature. Jamblon has small and fragrant flowers measuring about 5 mm in diameter. Following flowering season, the tree bears fruit resembling large oblong berries which turn black when fully mature, while its flesh is white in colour and is known for its combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour.
Jamblon trees originate in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, China and Queensland. They are believed to have been naturalized in Mauritius and in some areas may be considered invasive. The species is found throughout tropical and sub-tropical climates under a wide range of environmental conditions and a variety of soils; in low, wet areas and on higher, well-drained land. In Mauritius they are most common in the dry coastal forests and along river systems. Syzygium cumini tends to form a dense cover which excludes native species. Although it is not as much of an invader as Syzygium jambos, it nevertheless prevents the regeneration of native lowland forests.
No specific management efforts are currently in place for this species.
Did you know?
The fruit are an important part of the culinary culture of Mauritius. It is also part of Ayurvedic traditional medicine and helps treat digestive ailments and diabetes. In India, it is considered sacred to Krishna and is planted near Hindu temples.