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Syzygium malaccense

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Syzygium malaccense
Syzygium malaccense Flower and Fruit
Rare (NCA)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
S. malaccense
Binomial name
Syzygium malaccense
(L.) Merr. & L.M.Perry, 1938
  • Caryophyllus malaccensis (L.) Stokes
  • Eugenia malaccensis L.

Syzygium malaccense is a species of flowering tree native to tropical Asia and Australia.[2][3] It is one of the species cultivated since prehistoric times by the Austronesian peoples. They were carried and introduced deliberately to Remote Oceania as canoe plants. In modern times, it has been introduced throughout the tropics, including many Caribbean countries and territories.[4][5][6]


Syzygium malaccense has a number of English common names. It is known as a Malay rose apple, or simply Malay apple, mountain apple, rose apple, Otaheite apple, pink satin-ash, plumrose and pommerac (derived from pomme Malac, meaning "Malayan apple" in French).[2] Despite the fact that it is sometimes called the Otaheite cashew, it is not related to cashew.[citation needed] While cashew nuts (but not cashew fruits) may trigger allergic reactions,[7][8] rose apple fruit has not been observed to do so.[9] In Costa Rica it is known as manzana de agua.[2] It is found mainly in the rainy zones on the Atlantic coast of the country. In Colombia, Puerto Rico, and other Latin American countries it is also found and known as poma rosa. In Venezuela it is known as pomagás.[10]


The combination of tree, flowers and fruit has been praised as the most beautiful of the genus Syzygium.[11] The fruit is oblong-shaped and dark red in color, although some varieties have white or pink skins. The flesh is white and surrounds a large seed. Its taste is bland but refreshing. Jam is prepared by stewing the flesh with brown sugar and ginger.


Malay apple is a strictly tropical tree and will be damaged by freezing temperatures.[12] It thrives in humid climates with an annual rainfall of 152 cm (60 in) or more. It can grow at a variety of altitudes, from sea level up to 2,740 m (8,990 ft). The tree can grow to 12–18 m (39–59 ft) in height. It flowers in early summer, bearing fruit three months afterward. In Costa Rica, it flowers earlier, with ripe fruit in April. Coffee growers use the species to both divert birds and provide shade.

In Hawaii, Syzygium malaccense is called mountain apple or 'Ōhi'a 'ai.[13] When the Polynesians reached the Hawaiian Islands, they brought plants and animals that were important to them. The mountain apple was one of these "canoe plants," arriving 1000–1700 years ago.[14]


The mountain apple is an edible fruit that can be consumed when raw and ripe. In Puerto Rico, the Malay apple is used to make wines, in Hawai'i, the fruits are consumed the same way a Pacific Northwest apple is eaten.[15] Indonesians consume the flowers of the tree in salads and in Guyana the skin of the mountain apple is cooked down to make a syrup.[16] A mountain apple has a white fleshy fruit that has a similar texture to a pear but less sweet than an apple. Below is a chart with more nutrition information derived from Malay apples found in Hawai'i, El Salvador, and Ghana. Due to the high water content, the Mountain Apple is lower in calories than a Gala apple or a Fuji apple and contains a moderate amount of vitamins and minerals.

Food Value Per 100g of Edible Portion
Moisture 90.3-91.6 g
Protein 0.5-0.7g
Fat 0.1-0.2 g
Fiber 0.6-0.8 g
Ash 0.26-0.39 g
Calcium 5.6-5.9 g
Phosphorus 11.6-17.9 g
Iron 0.2-0.82 g
Carotene 0.003-0.008 mg
Vitamin A 3-10 I.U.
Thiamine 15-39 mcg
Riboflavin 20-39 g
Niacin 0.21-0.41 mg
Ascorbic Acid 6.5- 17.0 mg


In 1793, Captain William Bligh was commissioned to procure edible fruits from the Pacific Islands for Jamaica, including this species.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) & IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (2018). "Syzygium malaccense". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T136055196A136139387. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Syzygium malaccense". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
  3. ^ F.A. Zich; B.P.M Hyland; T. Whiffen; R.A. Kerrigan (2020). "Syzygium malaccense". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants, Edition 8. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  4. ^ Dotte-Sarout, Emilie (2016). "Evidence of forest management and arboriculture from wood charcoal data: an anthracological case study from two New Caledonia Kanak pre-colonial sites". Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 26 (2): 195–211. doi:10.1007/s00334-016-0580-0. S2CID 132637794.
  5. ^ Whistler, W. Arthur; Elevitch, Craig R. (2006). "Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple) (beach hibiscus)". In Elevitch, Craig R. (ed.). Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands: Their Culture, Environment, and Use (PDF). Permanent Agricultural Resources (PAR). pp. 41–56. ISBN 9780970254450.
  6. ^ Blench, Roger (2004). "Fruits and arboriculture in the Indo-Pacific region". Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association. 24 (The Taipei Papers (Volume 2)): 31–50.
  7. ^ Rance (2003). "Cashew allergy: observations of 42 children without associated peanut allergy". Allergy. 58 (12): 1311–1314. doi:10.1046/j.1398-9995.2003.00342.x. PMID 14616109. S2CID 25908660.
  8. ^ "Substance Info: Cashew Nut".
  9. ^ "Substance Info: Rose-apple".
  10. ^ "Syzygium malaccense". European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  11. ^ Morton, Julia (1987). Fruits of Warm Climates. Florida Flair Books. p. 505. ISBN 978-0-9610184-1-2.
  12. ^ "Malay Apple". Plant Characteristics. Pine Island Nursery.
  13. ^ Abbott, Isabella Aiona. (1992). Lā'au Hawai'i : traditional Hawaiian uses of plants. [Honolulu, Hawaii]: Bishop Museum Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-930897-62-5. OCLC 26509190.
  14. ^ Whistler, W. Arthur (2009). Plants of the canoe people: an ethnobotanical voyage through Polynesia. National Tropical Botanical Garden. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-915809-00-4.
  15. ^ Morton, Julia (1987). Fruits of Warm Climates. Julia F. Morton. pp. 378–381. ISBN 0-9610184-1-0. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  16. ^ Morton, Julia (1987). Fruits of Warm Climates. Julia F. Morton. pp. 378–381. ISBN 0-9610184-1-0. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Hargreaves, Dorothy; Hargreaves, Bob (1964). Tropical Trees of Hawaii. Kailua, Hawaii: Hargreaves. p. 45. ISBN 9780910690027.