Thursday, May 7, 2009

St John's Jambu air

At St John's Island, I came across this tree which has pink fruits. A closer look reveals that it is the Water Apple which is also known as Jambu air. There are two scientific synonymous names for this species: Syzygium aqueum or Eugenia aquea. The tree is not very tall and it is characteristic of growing up to 3-10m in height.

The water apple occurs naturally from southern India to eastern Malaysia. Elsewhere, they are cultivated as fruits. The fruits are filled with water, which is great for thirst quenching. According to early writings, a water apple salad is a ceremonial dish for new mothers.

This bunch of green water apple fruits is not riped though.

When it ripens, it turns pink.

And I chanced upon a bee on the ripening fruit as well as many of the red ants shown in the next photo.

The red fruit is an example of how Jambu air will look like if it overripens. Unfortunately Jambu air are rarely found in markets around the world because they spoil very quickly after being picked.


Morton, J. 1987. Water Apple. p. 382–383. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

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