Syzygium cumini

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"Jamun" redirects here. For the dessert popular in Indian cuisine, see Gulab Jamun.
Syzygium cumini
Syzygium cumini Bra30.png
Syzygium cumini
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. cumini
Binomial name
Syzygium cumini
(L.) Skeels.
  • Eugenia cumini (L.) Druce
  • Eugenia jambolana Lam.
  • Syzygium jambolanum DC.

Syzygium cumini, known as jambul, jambolan, jamblang or jamun, is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae. Syzygium cumini is native to the Indian Subcontinent and adjoining regions of Southeast Asia. The species ranges across India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.[citation needed] The name of the fruit is sometimes mistranslated as blackberry, which is a different fruit in an unrelated family.

The tree was introduced to Florida, USA in 1911 by the USDA, and is also now commonly grown in Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. In Brazil, where it was introduced from India during Portuguese colonization, it has dispersed spontaneously in the wild in some places, as its fruits are eagerly sought by various native birds such as thrushes, tanagers and the great kiskadee. This species is considered an invasive in Hawaii, USA.[2] It is also illegal to grow, plant or transplant in Sanibel, Florida.[3]

Common names[edit]

Syzygium cumini is also known as jambul/jambhul/jambula/jamboola, Java plum, jamun, jaam/kalojaam, jamblang, jambolan, black plum, Damson plum, Duhat plum, Jambolan plum or Portuguese plum. Malabar plum may also refer to other species of Syzygium. This fruit is called Jambu phalam in Sanskrit , Jamun in Nepali, Konkani, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi, Jambhul in Marathi, Naaval Pazham or Naga Pazham in Tamil, Njaval Pazham(or Nhara Pazham) in Malayalam, Nerale Hannu in Kannada,Neredu Pandu[నెరేడు పండు] in Telugu, Kalojam/Jam in Bengali, Jamukoli in Oriya and Jambu in Gujarat. In the Philippines, common names include duhat in the Tagalog-speaking regions, lomboy in the Cebuano-speaking areas, lumboy in Northern Luzon and inobog in Maguindanao.[4] It is called Dhanbu in Maldives and Dhuwet/Juwet in Javanese. Among its names in Portuguese are jamelão, jambo, jambolão, jalão, joão-bolão, manjelão, azeitona-preta, baga-de-freira, brinco-de-viúva and guapê, always with lower case, the early four derived from the Konkani name jambulan.[5] They are called rotra in the Malagasy language of Madagascar.[6] It is called reyang dut or krian dot in Malay especially in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula.


A slow growing species, it can reach heights of up to 30 m and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. At the base of the tree, the bark is rough and dark grey, becoming lighter grey and smoother higher up. The wood is water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.

The leaves which are an aroma similar to turpentine, are pinkish when young, changing to a leathery, glossy dark green with a yellow midrib as they mature. The leaves are used as food for livestock, as they have good nutritional value.[7]

Flower bud and open flowers

Syzygium cumini trees start flowering from March to April. The flowers of are fragrant and small, about 5 mm in diameter. The fruits develop by May or June and resemble large berries; the fruit of Syzygium species is described as "drupaceous".[8] The fruit is oblong, ovoid, starts green and turns pink to shining crimson black as it matures. A variant of the tree produces white coloured fruit. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple.

The seed is also used in various alternative healing systems like Ayurveda (to control diabetes, for example.[9][10]), Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments.

The pulp of the fruit, extracts from the bark and seeds is of great benefit when it comes to lowering of blood glucose level. Taking dried extract of the seeds orally, greatly reduces the blood sugar and glucosuria.[11][dubious ]

The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.[12][13][14]

Syzygium cumini has been spread overseas from India by Indian emigrants and at present is common in former tropical British colonies.[15]

Nutrients and phytochemicals[edit]

Java-plum, (jambolan), raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 251 kJ (60 kcal)
14 g
Dietary fiber 0.6 g
0.23 g
0.995 g
Thiamine (B1)
0.019 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.009 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.245 mg
Vitamin B6
0.038 mg
Vitamin C
11.85 mg
11.65 mg
1.41 mg
35 mg
15.6 mg
55 mg
26.2 mg
Other constituents
Water 84.75 g

Link to Newcrop entry
Link to USDA Database entry
Newcrop values given as averages
Calories/B6 from USDA
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Nutritional information for S. cumini leaves and fruit are detailed here.

Java Plum Leaf
Compound Percent
Crude Protein 9.1
Fat 4.3
Crude Fiber 17.0
Ash 7
Calcium 1.3
Phosphorus 0.19

Cultural and religious significance[edit]

According to Hindu tradition, Rama subsisted on the fruit in the forest for 14 years during his exile from Ayodhya[citation needed]. Because of this, many Hindus regard S. cumini as a 'fruit of the gods,' especially in Gujarat, India, where it is known locally as jamboon.


Jambudvipa is one of the Great Seven continents mentioned in Hindu Cosmology along with Dharmic cosmology such as Buddhistic Cosmology and Jain Cosmology is named after this tree and its fruit.

Lord Krishna has been described as having skin the color of S. cumini. In Hindu beliefs several protagonists have been described as having the color of S. cumini[citation needed]. Lord Krishna is also known to have four symbols of the jambu fruit on his right foot as mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam commentary (verse 10.30.25), "Sri Rupa Cintamani" and "Ananda Candrika" by Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura.[16]


In Maharashtra, S. cumini (locally known as jāmbhūḷ Marathi :जांभूळ) leaves are used in marriage pandal decorations. There is famous Marathi song "Jambhul pikalya zada khali...". The seeds are used in herbal teas for diabetes

Andhra Pradesh[edit]

This tree is called Alla Neredu(నేరేడు) in Telugu. Besides the fruits, wood from Neredu tree is used in Andhra Pradesh to make bullock cart wheels and other agricultural equipment.The timber of Neredu is used to construct doors and windows. Hindus use a sizable branch of the tree to inaugurate beginning of marriage preparations and plant it in a place a pandal will be erected.. Culturally, beautiful eyes are compared to this fruit. In the great epic of India Mahabharatha Sri Krishnas'[Lord Vishnu] body color is compared to this fruit as well.These are also good for sugar patients.

Tamil Nadu[edit]

There is a very famous legend that is associated with Auvaiyar (also Auvayar) (Tamil: ஔவையார்), a prominent female poets/ethicist/political activist of Sangam period (Tamil literature), and Naval Pazham(Jambu) in Tamil Nadu. Auvaiyar, believing to have achieved everything that is to be achieved, said to have been pondering over her retirement from Tamil literary work while resting under Naval Pazham tree. But she was met with and was wittily jousted by a disguised Lord Murugan (regarded as one of the guardian deities of Tamil language), who later revealed himself and made her realize that there is still a lot more to be done and learnt. Following this awakening, Auvaiyar is believed to have undertaken a fresh set of literary works, targeted at children.


In Malayalam the tree is called njaval and its fruit are njavalpazham. The fruit is particularly plentiful in Kollam.


In Kannada the tree is called Nerale mara and its fruit are kempu Nerale Hannu Nerale hannu is widely used by diabetes patients as it was thought to cure the same. The bears like this fruit. This tree is found everywhere in rural areas of Karnataka.

In Konkani, the tree is called "JambLa rooku" and the fruit is called "JaambuL".


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels. at The Plant ListWorld Checklist of Selected Plant Families. (WCSP) and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  2. ^ [1] Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER), retrieved November 3rd, 2010
  3. ^ [2] Go fertilizer free, retrieded September 21st, 2012
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ FERREIRA, A. B. H. Novo Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa. Segunda edição. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1986. 981
  6. ^ Eugenia Jambolana: Madagascar, Suzanne Urverg Ratsimamanga. Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA) Antananarivo, Madagascar.
  7. ^ The encyclopedia of fruit & nuts, By Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull, p. 552
  8. ^ Chen, Jie & Craven, Lyn A., "Syzygium", in Wu, Zhengyi; Raven, Peter H. & Hong, Deyuan, Flora of China (online),, retrieved 2015-08-13 
  9. ^ [4] Article in The Hindu, retrieved June 23, 2007
  10. ^ [5] Tips for Health: Wofome
  11. ^ Natural Remedies of Diabetes
  12. ^ [6] Syzygium Cumini, retrieved November 3rd, 2010
  13. ^ [7] TopTropicals plant catalog, retrieved November 3rd, 2010
  14. ^ [8] Antioxidant actions and phenolic and vitamin C contents of common Mauritian exotic fruits, by Amitabye Luximon-Ramma1, Theeshan Bahorun1,and Alan Crozier, retrieved November 3rd, 2010
  15. ^ Syzygium cumini
  16. ^ Vishvanatha, Cakravarti Thakura (2011). Sarartha-darsini (Bhanu Swami ed.). Sri Vaikunta Enterprises. p. 790. ISBN 978-81-89564-13-1. 

External links[edit]