The Rose Apple (Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston 1931), also called Malabar Plum, Plum Rose, Water Apple, Malay Apple, Jambu Tree or Chompu, is a tropical fruit tree, native to South-East Asia.

Rose Apple trees belong to the myrtle family (Myrtaceae) and reach a height up to about 12 meters, but are not related to the common apple (Malus), which is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae). The crispy and juicy Rose Apple fruits have a pleasant scent, reminescent of rose water, but don`t have a strong taste. Fruits of Syzygium jambos have a pale yellow color, sometimes with a pink blush and are not that popular, as red rose apples, also Java Rose Apples (Syzygium samarangense), Watery Rose Apples (Syzygium aqueum) and Syzygium cultivars with their bright colors and waxy skins are more attractive. Rose apple trees don`t have much requirements to the soil and are easy to care. As rose apples has been introduced to the Caribbean Islands in the 18. century, they became naturalized in many tropical countries around the world and are considered as an invasive species in some regions. The cute and sweet scented Rose Apple flowers get a diameter of about 8 cm and occur in clusters. With tropical conditions rose apples blooming all around the year. In South-East Asia rose apple fruits are often served with a spicy sugar (sugar with chili). Even as roots and seeds of Syzygium jambos are reported as toxic, flowers, fruits, leaves and also roots and seeds are used in nature medicine. In India rose apples are considered as a tonic for the brain.

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Image: Rose Apple flowers (Syzygium jambos)

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