Jambolan

 
 

Jambolan, black plum, or Java Plum, is native to east Africa, China, and Southeast Asia. It was introduced to Puerto Rico in 1920. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 100 feet, with a trunk 3 feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 7 inches long, have a yellow central vein, and smell of turpentine when crushed. Flowers are about five-eights of an inch wide. Fruits are up to 2 inches long, the pulp is whitish and astringent, with a certain resin taste; they are generally consumed in jams and juices, and are also used to prepare vinegar and wine. It flowers and produces fruits during summer and fall. The generic name means coupled, in reference to the paired arrangement of the leaves along the branches. The species name means cumin.


The photographed tree is behind the Physics building. There are other trees east of the Dispensary, north of Building B, and southwest of the Chemistry Building. The largest trees were planted by Henry Cowles and Sévero Vélez, probably in the 1930s.

Syzygium cumini (Myrtaceae)