Wax Jambu, Java Apple, Rose Apple -  Syzygium samarangense (Blume) Merr. & L.M. Perry

Wax jambu fruit Credit: © toptropicals.com


Java Apple from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates

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Season: May-Sept. and Nov.-March

Damage temp. 30-32F


Light shade to full sun

USDA zone 10 - 11


Fig. 1


Other Information

Not to be confused with Malay apple (Syzygium malaccense) which is known as the pommerac in Trinidad and Tobago.

Common names: English common names include Jambu air (local Indonesian and Malay name), lembu or lian-woo (from the native Taiwanese name; pinyin: liánwù; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: lián-bū), wax apple, love apple, java apple, royal apple, bell fruit (or bellfruit), Jamaican apple, water apple, mountain apple, cloud apple, wax jambu, and rose apple. It is commonly known as makopa in the Philippines. In Bengali language the fruit is called Jaamrool.

Synonyms: Eugenia javanica Lam., Eugenia samarangensis (Blume) O.Berg, Jambosa javanica (Lam.) K.Schum. & Lauterb., Jambosa samarangensis (Blume) DC., Myrtus javanica (Lam.) Blume, Myrtus samarangensis Blume. 1

Origin: Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia

Family: Myrtaceae

Height: up to 50'
Spread: wide, irregular canopy
Trunk/bark/branches: short, crooked trunk, often branched near the base
Leaf: evergreen; opposite, elliptic/elliptic-oblong, 4-6", coriaceous, w/thin margin, pellucid dotted, strongly aromatic when bruised 4
Flower: terminal and in axils of fallen leaves, 3-30-flowered
Fruit: a berry, broadly pyriform, crowned by the fleshy calyx w/incurved lobes, 1.5-2", light red to white; flesh white spongy, juicy, aromatic, sweet-sour taste 4

The Syzygium samarangense 'Srinark' from Thailand was introduced to Florida in 1960 by Bill Whitman. 5

Description: This free-branching, medium sized tree similar to Malay Apple, is somewhat hardier. It also has large and wide glossy leaves and a waxy-looking fruit, probably hence the common name. The flowers and resulting fruit are not limited to the axils of the leaves and can appear on nearly any point on the surface of the trunk and branches. 3


Inflorescense Credit: © Liette Robitaille. growables.org Inflorescense Credit: © Liette Robitaille. growables.org Inflorescense Credit: © Liette Robitaille. growables.org
Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4


The tree, 16 to 50 ft (5-15 m) tall, has a short trunk 10 to 12 in (25-30 cm) thick, and open, widespreading crown, and pinkish-gray, flaking bark. The opposite leaves are nearly sessile, elliptic-oblong, rounded or slightly cordate at the base; yellowish to dark bluish-green; 4 to 10 in (10-25 cm) long and 2 to 4 3/4 in (5-12 cm) wide; very aromatic when crushed. Flowers, borne in drooping panicles of 3 to 30 at the branch tips or in smaller clusters in the axils of fallen leaves, are fragrant, yellowish-white, 3/4 to 1 1/2 in (2-4 cm) broad, 4-petalled, with numerous stamens 3/5 to 1 in (1.5-2.5 cm) long. The waxy fruit, usually light-red, sometimes greenish-white or cream-colored, is pear-shaped, narrow at the base, very broad, flattened, indented and adorned with the 4 fleshy calyx lobes at the apex; 1 1/3 to 2 in (3.4-5 cm) long, 1 3/4 to 2 1/8 in (4.5-5.4 cm) wide. The skin is very thin, the flesh white, spongy, dry to juicy, subacid and very bland in flavor. There may be 1 or 2 somewhat rounded seeds 3/16 to 5/16 in (0.5-0.8 cm) wide, or none. 2


Fruit habit Credit: © Liette Robitaille. growables.org Fruit Credit: © Liette Robitaille. growables.org Syzygium samarangense with a cross section of the fruit Credit: Morphzone, wikepedia
Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Fig. 7


Syzygium samarangense Credit: Nabin, flickr.com Tambis fruit - Syzygium samarangense Credit: Richard Parker, flickr.com
Fig. 8 Fig. 9


Propagation: The trees grow spontaneously from seed. Preferred types are reproduced by layering, budding onto their own rootstocks, or onto seedlings of S. densiflorum A. DC., (the beautiful Wild Rose Apple of Malaya, which has edible flowers, undesirable fruits, but is not attacked by termites). Sometimes the Java apple is grafted onto the cultivated Rose Apple (q.v.). 2

See our Information on Propagation

The reddest fruits are the sweetest and superior varieties of excellent quality are available. One of the most highly prized and sought after wax apples in Taiwan are "black pearls," which are purplish-red. Often seedless, fruits can be eaten out-of-hand. They are remarkably refreshing, juicy and quenching on a hot day. The liquid to flesh ratio of the wax apple is comparable to a watermelon. The texture is crisp, almost crunchy and juicy with a sweet, mildly scented flavor. 3


Syzygium samarangense (Blume) Merr. & L.M. Perry Credit: R.A. Howard, © Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany Syzygium samarangense, Syzygium javanicum, Eugenia javanica Credit: ©Toptropicals.com
Fig. 10 Fig. 11


Credit: Tingtingchung, wikipedia.org

Fig. 12


Further Reading

Syzygium samarangense from the World Agroforestry Center pdf

Wax Apple Industry in Taiwan, a Success Story from the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions pdf 62 pages


Check our List of Growers and Vendors



1 "Syzygium samarangense". wikipedia.org. N.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

2 Morton, J. "Java Apple". Fruits of warm climates. p. 381-382. 1987. hort.purdue.edu. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

3 "Syzygium samarangense, Syzygium javanicum, Eugenia javanica". toptropicals.com. N.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

4 "Syzygium samarangense." worldagroforestrycenter.org. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

5 Whitman, William F. Five Decades with Tropical Fruit, a Personal Journey. Stuart, Florida: Quisqualis Books in cooperation with Fairchild Tropical Garden. 2001. Print.


Fig. 1 Syzygium samarangense, Syzygium javanicum, Eugenia javanica. N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 2,3,4,5,6 Robitaille, Liette. Wax Jambu Series. 2014. growables.org. File JPG

Fig. 7 Morphzone. Syzygium samarangense with a cross section of the fruit. 2012. wikipedia.org. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

Fig. 8 Nabin. Syzygium samarangense. 2007. flickr.com. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Fig. 9 Parker, Richard. Tambis fruit, Syzygium samarangense. 2008. flickr.com. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Fig. 10 Howard, R.A. Syzygium samarangense (Blume) Merr. & L.M. Perry. N.d. mnh.si.edu. Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Fig. 11 Syzygium samarangense, Syzygium javanicum, Eugenia javanica. N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 1 Mar. 2015.

Fig. 12 Tingtingchung. 2006. wikipedia.org. Web. 9 Dec. 2014.

Published 9 Dec. 2014 LR. Updated 13 June 2015 LR

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