Java plum (Syzygium cumini) is a large evergreen and densely foliaceous tree with greyish-brown thick bark, exfoliating in woody scales. The wood is whitish, close grained and durable; affords brown dyes and a kind of a gum Kino. The leaves are leathery, oblong-ovate to elliptic or obovate-elliptic with 6 to 12 centimeters long (extremely variable in shape, smooth and shining with numerous nerves uniting within the margin), the tip being broad and less acuminate. The panicles are borne mostly from the branchlets below the leaves, often being axillary or terminal, and are 4 to 6 centimeters long. Flowers are scented, greenish-white, in clusters of just a few or 10 to 40 and are round or oblong in shape and found in dichotomous paniculate cymes. The calyx is funnel-shaped, about 4 millimeters long, and toothed. The petals cohere and fall all together as a small disk. The stamens are numerous and about as long as the calyx. Several types, which differ in colour and size of fruits, including some improved races bearing purple to violet or white coloured flesh and seedless fruits have been developed. The fruits are berries and are often obviously oblong, 1.5 to 3.5 centimeters long, dark-purple or nearly black, luscious, fleshy, and edible; it contains a single large seed. The plant produces small purple plums, which have a very sweet flavor, turning slightly astringent on the edges of the pulp as the fruit becomes mature. The dark violet colored ripe fruits give the impression the fruit of the olive tree both in weight and shape and have an astringent taste.
Java plum's facts
Did you know?
The fruit of Java plum (Syzygium cumini) has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple.
Java plum's Reproduction
Java plum's Relationship with Humans
Fruit - raw. In other parts of the world the fruit is made into jams, sherbet, jellies, juice, tarts, puddings etc.
Both the seeds and the fruit are diuretic and have important carminative and astringent properties.