Syzygium cumini     

Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels

Family : Myrtaceae

Common Name : ഞാവൽ (Mal)

: जामुन (Hin)

: Java Plum (Eng)

The evergreen jamun plant is originally from Indonesia and India. Indian mythology describes the Indian subcontinent as an island, 'situated in the centre of the world', called Jambudweep. Because of a majority of Jamun (black berry) trees, this island was named as Jambudweep. An evergreen tropical tree, 50 to 100 ft. tall, with oblong opposite leaves that are smooth, glossy and having a terpentine smell. Jamun has fragrant white flowers in branched clusters at stem tips and purplish-black oval edible berries.

Medium sized trees to 25 m high; bark gray-white. Leaves simple, opposite to subopposite, to 18 x 8 cm, ovate, oblong, long-acuminate at apex, acute at base; lateral nerves many, parallel, close, slender, raised beneath, looped near the margin forming intramarginal nerve; intercostae reticulate, prominent; shining above; petiole 1.5-2 cm long. Panicles to 10 cm across, on leafless nodes. Flowers 6-9 mm across, subsessile. Calyx tube 3 mm broad, turbinate. Petals 4, white, calyptrate. Stamens many; filaments 7 mm long. Berry 1.1.8 x 0.8-1.5 cm, obovoid, or oblong, deep blue or bluish-purple.

Use: Ripe fruits eaten. Leaf and bark juice, and seed powder is given for treatment of diabetes. The leaves are antibacterial and are used for strengthening the teeth and gums. Timber used in building constructions.

Distribution : Indo-Malesia to Australia

Flowering & Fruiting : December-April