Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Malay Apple Tree

This is the Malay Apple tree ( Syzgium malaccense) in full bloom that I saw planted next to a Malay village house at Kampung Buntal, some 30 minutes drive from Kuching city. I have not seen one flowering for quite sometime now due to the fact that many of these trees have been cut down to make way for the construction of more houses in the villages. Thus the sight of this tree was a fast rewind to my childhood days when I used to hunt for birds frequenting them.
Malays like to plant them for their sweet edible fruits the size of apples. It would normally take about three months after flowering before the tree can bear fruits. They are medium sized trees ( 12-15 m) high and loves the full sun. The leaves are dark green and relatively broad. In many instances I prefer to eat the fruits semi-ripe as salad and can be dipped in soybean sauce ( ketchup) or shrimp paste (' belacan') for that extra 'umpphh'.
I always like to advocate that these trees be re-introduced into urban planting e.g. roadsides, parks and open spaces, school compounds etc because they are very attractive to birds and wildlife and have an attractive compact form. Propagation is easily done through seeds. The local name for the tree is 'Jambu Bol'.
The flowers are pink to light red and are attractive to wildlife especially starlings and wild doves.

1 comment:

Protege said...

How interesting that you use sweet fruits to dip into spicy sauces, and the like of ketchup.;)
They are indeed beautiful flowers.;)