Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Jambolan,Java plum Luganda: Jambula.

+ Tree Species

Syzygium cuminii (S. jambolanum)

+ Tree Family

Myrtaceae family

+ Ecology

A large tree, native to Burma, India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, introduced in many other tropical countries and even into the sub- tropics, e. g. southern Australia and Florida. In Uganda it is grown as an avenue, compound or back-yard tree. In some areas it has become naturalized in secondary forests and scrub. It grows best in areas with rainfall over 1,000 mm annually and in well-drained soils, although it can tolerate waterlogging. In Kampala, Jambolan can be found within Uganda Golf course club, Kitante courts, Makerere University, Makerere II Zone C along Buganda road, Kololo hill lane among other places.

+ Description

A large tree up to 30 m, though usually 15-18 m. The crown is well branched with dense, heavy foliage.

BARK: dark and rough on the bole, smooth and paler on the younger branches.

LEAVES: opposite large and oval to 20 cm, smooth and shiny, with a distinct pointed tip, strongly aromatic if crushed. Young leaves reddish.

FLOWERS: green-white, about 1.5 cm across, in clusters below leaves. Flower branchlets very symmetric, at right angles.

FRUIT: fleshy purplish berry about 2.5 cm long and up to 2 cm in diameter. Sweet, but the juice dries the mouth.

+ Uses

Edible: fruit is eaten and can be made into jams, sherbet, jellies, juice, tarts, puddings etc., coffee-like beverage is made from the dried and ground up seeds.

Medicine: seeds, fruit, bark, leaves, wood, and roots. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Syzygium+cumini

Agroforestry: can be grown as a hedge or to provide shelter from the wind, can be inter-planted as a shade-provider with crops such as bananas, coffee and cocoa, used in apiculture (attractive to bees, yielding a quality honey), seeds provide pig feed, used in soil conservation.

The bark contains 13 - 19% tannins. It yields a brown dye that has been used in colouring and preserving fishnets.

The branches are used to whiten the teeth The wood is used for construction, boat building, commercial tea and chest plywood, agricultural implements, tool handles, cart wheels, well curbs and troughs, sleepers, furniture and as props for shafts and galleries in mines. It is also used for building bridges and for making musical instruments, especially guitars.

The tree provides excellent firewood and charcoal.

An ornamental tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds, grafting, air layering.

+ Management

Fairly fast growing, pollarding, trimming, coppicing.

+ Remarks

In Uganda, Jambolan has become one of the major cheap fruits and also an important tree for firewood production. Intercropping with banana, coffee and cocoa should be encouraged as well as planting single trees for shade and other uses.

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