Rose Apple
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Rose Apple
E Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Rose Apple, Malabar plum, Jambo • Assamese: গোলাপী জামুক Golapi jamuk, বংগালী জামুক Bangali jarnuk, বোগা জামুক Boga-jarnuk • Bengali: গোলপজাম Golapjam • Hindi: गुलाब जामुन Gulab jamun • Kannada: Jambu, Pannerale • Malayalam: മലക്കാചമ്പാ Malakkachampa • Manipuri: ꯒꯨꯂꯥꯕ ꯖꯥꯝ Gulab Jam • Marathi: जाम्ब Jamb • Nepali: गुलाब जामुन Gulab jamun • Tamil: Perunaval • Telugu: Gulabjama, Jambunaeredu • Urdu: Sirka Jamun ﺳﺮﰷ ﺟﺎﻣﻦ
Botanical name: Syzygium jambos    Family: Myrtaceae (Bottlebrush family)
Synonyms: Eugenia jambos, Eugenia decora, Myrtus jambos

Rose Apple is an evergreen tree up to 10 m tall. The terminal inflorescence is showy and usually carries four whitish-green flowers on the outside of the crown. The leaves are lanceshaped, 2-4 cm broad, 10 cm to 20 cm long, pointed, base wedge-shaped with hardly any leaf-stalk, lively red when growing, but dark, glossy green on attaining full size. The showy flowers are in small clusters at branch-ends, white or greenish white, the long, numerous stamens giving them a diameter of 5-8 cm. The fruits are whitish-green, rose scented, about 5 cm long and ripen over an extended period. The edible fruit is shaped like a small pear. The flesh is a bit softer than that of an apple. It tastes like a cross between apple and watermelon, with a very mild rose scent and a slightly bitter aftertaste. In ancient Sanskrit, the land now called India was referred to by the ancient Indians themselves as Jambudvipa, which means Rose-apple-land (jambu = rose apple; dvipa = land). The dry, crisp fresh fruit is used to make jellies. Fruit/seed can be produced following self-pollination. Rose Apple is native to India, China and SE Asia.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Manipur & Arunachal Pradesh.

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