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Syzygium grande (Wight) Walp.

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Synonyms: Eugenia grandis
Common Name: Sea Apple, Jambu Laut, Kilat Jambu, Jambu Air Laut, Jambu Ayer Laut, Jambu Jembah, Jembah, Kerian Acheh, Kerian Ayer, Keriang Batu, Ubah, 大蒲桃, 海蒲桃
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Butterfly Food Plant Native to Singapore Coastal Roadside Tree / Palm Fragrant Ornamental Flowers 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 (Big (>30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Columnar, Irregular
Maximum Height 25 m to 45 m


Native Distribution India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Common)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a tree with oblong to irregular crown, which can grow up to 45 m tall, and 75 cm diameter at breast height.
Foliage It has opposite, stalked leaves that are leathery, broadly elliptic, 9.4–25 cm long by 4–13 cm wide, darker green above, lighter green below, and each has a down-turned leaf tip, 2 veins running parallel to the leaf margin, and 9–16 pairs of side veins.
Flowers It produces bisexual flowers that are white, fragrant, 2.5–3.8 cm across, and are found in 4–14 cm long flower clusters located at the axils of its leaves, or ends of its branches.
Fruits It produces fleshy fruits that are round, elliptic or oblong elliptic, 1.5–4 cm long by 1.3–3 cm wide, green when ripe, and each contains 1 seed. Each seed is round or flattened, up to 2.5 cm across.
Others - Plant Morphology Synchronous flowering can be observed at the onset of wet spell. Intensity of flowering is more obvious, if the wet spell comes after a long dry spell. Flowers large, compact, white with puffy appearance; mushy fragrance often attracts birds, bees and butterflies. Spent blooms persistence and brown, often giving the trees an untidy appearance.Fruits round to oblong, with green leathery rind when ripe; edible, often eaten and dispersed by bats. Tree used to be planted closely, as a firebreak, at the edge of lalang-infested wasteland because 'live' wood of this tree does not burn easily.
Habitat It grows in coastal forest, and on sandy and rocky coasts. In Singapore, it is planted as roadside trees, and can be found in secondary forests near coasts, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, and Singapore Botanic Garden.
Associated Fauna Its flowers produced nectars, and are probably pollinated by bats. The nectar can also attract insects like butterflies and birds. Bats would also eat its fruits and help dispersed its seeds. It is also the host plant of the moth, Parasa lepida.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seeds and cuttings.
Etymology Greek syzygos, joined, referring to the paired leaves of this species; Latin grande, great.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Timber & Products ( The wood produced by this tree is classified under the medium hard wood group. In our region, a general trade name ‘Kelat’ is given to timber produced from Syzygium trees.)
Cultural / Religious ( Heritage Tree : There is currently one individual of Syzygium grande listed as a Heritage Tree in Singapore. It can be found on Sentosa. To find out more about these trees, please visit the Heritage Tree Register. )

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Fragrant (Flowers) (Day), Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, General, Coastal, Parks & Gardens, Shade Providing Tree / Palm
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Flowers, Hiding / Nesting Place), Butterfly Food Plant (Flower Nectar), Caterpillar Moth Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee), Insects (Butterfly, Moth), Vertebrates (Bird))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Water, Gravity)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Planting Distance From 12
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny, Thick, Leathery
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Mucronate
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Mature Bark Texture Scaly
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root), Aboveground (Buttress Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Opening Time Daytime
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Flowering Period Remarks Usually during at the onset of rainy spell

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Green
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Leathery
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 1867
Species ID 3160
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.