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Syzygium aqueum (Burm. f.) Alston

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Synonyms: Eugenia javanica, Eugenia mindanaensis, Eugenia aquea
Common Name: Water Apple, Jambu Air Mawar, Water Rose Apple, Watery Rose Apple, Water Cherry, Java Apple, Bell Fruit, Jambu Ayer, Jambu Chili, Jambu Air, 水莲雾
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 5 m to 10 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 5 m to 8 m
Tree or Palm – Trunk Diameter 0 to 0


Native Distribution Southern India to Eastern Malaysia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Growth Form: Small evergreen tree with a dense, spreading crown. Habitat: This species occurs in moist tropical lowlands at altitudes of up to 1200 m. It grows best in climates that have a substantial dry season, but only in locations where they have ready access to water (eg., near a stream). Trunk: Trunk is short with branching occuring at about 1 m. Bark is brown and cracked. Foliage: Leaves are elliptic (5 - 23 cm long, 2.5 - 13 cm wide) with very short petioles. Flowers: Flowers (2.5 - 3.5 cm wide) are loosely arranged in small terminal or axillary clusters of 3 - 7. The bisexual flowers carry a large number of long stamens that give the flowers a fluffy appearance. They have a subtle fragrance. Fruits: Fruits are pear-shaped berries (5 cm long). The apex has a shallow cavity that is partially covered by 4 fleshy sepals. The skin is shiny, thin and waxy, while the flesh is white, juicy and crisp. Fruits are often seedless, but sometimes have 1 - 4 small seeds. In Singapore, the fruits are typically produced from January to March and from July to September. Landscaping: This plant is often planted in tropical parks and gardens. The pink to red fruits add colour and interest to the landscape. They can be used for screening, but should be planted on the outside of the screen. This species grows well when planted next to streams and ponds, because it requires a consistent supply of water. Cultivation: It grows best in open, tropical environments. Add well-rotted compost to the soil before planting. During the first 2 years of growth, the trees should be carefully weeded, watered and mulched with regular applications of manure or complete fertilizer. After the trees have become established, they require minimal maintenance. This species grows quickly and will produce fruits within 2- 3 years. For optimal fruit production, apply a compound fertilizer after harvesting the fruits. Propagation: In Southeast Asia, this species is typically propagated by air layering. It can also be propagated by cuttings, budding, marcotting and grafting. Although seeds can be planted, they do not store well and must be planted immediately. Etymology: The genus name "Syzygium" is derived from the Greek word "suzugos" which means joined. Syzygium used to be the name of a Jamaican plant species with paired leaves and branches. The species epithet "aqueum" refers to the juicy fruits of this species. It comes from the Latin word "aqueus" which means watery.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable)
[Others]: Food: The fruits are eaten fresh or preserved. It has a sweet, but slightly astringent taste. Sometimes, they are boiled briefly and sweetened with a little sugar. They are also added to soups and rojak (a fruit salad popular in Malaysia and Indonesia). The fruit skin is rich in Vitamin A. In the past, Malaysian women who had given birth would eat a ceremonial salad containing the fruit. Medicine: In Hawaii, an astringent bark decoction is used to treat thrush. Other: In Indonesia, young foliage is used to wrap snacks sold by street vendors. The reddish wood is hard and used to make ornamental objects.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Riverine
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Abiotic (Self-Pollinated)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Planting Distance From 5
Planting Distance To 7
Fertilizing Apply a compound fertilizer after harvesting the fruits.
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Grafting, Marcotting, Air-Layering
Maintenance Requirements Remarks Seedlings require intensive care, whereas established trees need little maintenance.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Caudate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Typical Foliar Area Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Brown
Root Type Underground (Tap Root)
Mature Bark Texture Remarks Cracked Bark

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flowering Period Hot & Dry Period
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Pink, Red, White
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 1860
Species ID 3153
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.