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Jambul facts for kids

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Syzygium cumini Bra30.png
Jambul (Syzygium cumini)
Scientific classification
S. cumini
Binomial name
Syzygium cumini
(L.) Skeels.

Syzygium cumini, commonly known as jambolan, java plum, black plum or jamun, is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent, adjoining regions of Southeast Asia, China and Queensland. Jambul has been spread overseas from India by Indian emigrants and at present is common in former tropical British colonies.

The tree was introduced to Florida in 1911 by the USDA, and is also now commonly grown in Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. In Brazil, where it was introduced from India during Portuguese colonization, it has dispersed spontaneously in the wild in some places, as its fruits are eagerly sought by various native birds which after eaten and digested distribute the seeds in various area's of their individual habitats. This species is considered an invasive in Hawaii.

A fairly fast growing species, it can grow as high as 30 metres, and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. The wood is strong and water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings, though it is relatively hard to work on.

The Jamun tree starts flowering in March-April. The fragrant flowers of Jamun are small, nearly 5 millimetres in diameter. This is followed by the fruit which appears in May-June and resembles a large berry. It is green when just appearing, pink when as it matures, and shining crimson black when fully ripe. Jamun fruit is a mixture of sweet, slightly sub acid spicy flavor that stands out even after eaten since it turns the tongue into purple color.

Another variety comes in white and some people say that it can be used as a medicine. The fruit is universally accepted to be very good for medicinal purposes, especially diabetics. The seed is also used in various alternative healing systems like Ayurveda, Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments. The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.

The 1889 book 'The Useful Native Plants of Australia’ records that the plant was referred to as "Durobbi" by Indigenous Australians, and that the fruit is eaten by the natives of India. It is a favourite food of the large bat or flying fox.

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