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Ornamental tree for shelter and shade. The dense nature of the foliage makes it suitable for hedging and topiary. The small glossy leaves are deep green with new growth red or bright pink. Use the tasty fruit for jams.
Native to Malaysia, Malay Apple was an important fruit of the Polynesians, and was later distributed to the America's on Captain Bligh's voyages throughout the tropics, including many Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Suriname, Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago. It has been also spread through much of southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, now common growing wild on the Hawaiian islands. It was brought into Hawaii by Polynesians probably 1000 to 1700 years ago. The Polynesians reached the Hawaiian islands bringing plants and animals that were important to them, and Mountain apple, as it is called in Hawaii, was one of the 'canoe plants'.
This plant grows to over 60 ft in tropics in mid-elevation rain forest areas, often as large understory tree. The evergreen leaves are opposite, soft leathery and dark green; the flowers are purplish-red and form a carpet after falling under the tree. Flowering usually occurs in early summer followed by fruit ripening 3 months later. The beautiful pear shaped fruit is about the size of an apple, deep red in color, white flesh and a waxy skin. The flesh is crunchy, often juicy, with a mild sweet flavor.
Fruit are mostly eaten fresh and chilled and make great thirst quenching snacks. The fruit can also be used to make wines. The plant has important medicinal value in many tropical countries.
Malay Apple requires tropical conditions and is too tender to grow outdoors in areas with even occasional frost. Often trees will have leaf damage at temperatures well above freezing. Trees also do not like poorly drained soils, so if planted in areas with high water tables should be planted on slightly raised mounds to give them more room for the roots during periods of high rainfall. It does not succeed as well at sea level. Other than that, it requires little care providing year-round water.
The young leaves of Syzygium myrtifolium are often either yellow or orange. There is a cultivar with dark red young leaves and bright pink to maroon flowers.
They are often used as a hedging plant or ornamental tree, also sculptured into topiaries or even made into bonsai.
Small shrub, bush, or tree to 20-40ft, but can grow taller. The blue lilly pilly is fairly hardy and needs only a subtropical climate to flourish. Protection should be given from long or hard freezes. Plants enjoy profuse amounts of water but will grow in drier areas, and grow best in areas of light sun or shade. Flowers are small and fluffy, with a creamy white color. Propagation: By seeds or cuttings. Eaten fresh and used in jams, jellies, preserves, drinks.
Native to temperate and tropical rainforests of Australia's east coast, The Brush Cherry is a small tree or shrub, sometimes used as a hedge. The new foliage, produced nearly year round, is bronze-red then maturing to a 1 to 3 inch glossy green leaf. The leaves are darker above, and paler below. White showy flowers are produced during Spring and Summer; they come in clusters, followed by fruit ripening 2-3 months later. Cherry sized, with crispy flesh surrounding a pea sized seed, it is pink, red and sometimes purple, particularly pretty when ripening. The fruit is thirst quenching, eaten fresh, but has no particular flavor. It can be used to make preserves.
The tree prefers moderate moisture year round, with a subtropical climate. Hardy to 25F, and stem hardy to short duration temperatures to about 20° F. Can be planted in coastal areas with protection from direct ocean winds. Compact grower, it can be successfully cultivated as a container plant. Recommended as a topiary subject.
Pendulous showy white flowers followed by oblong red fruits.
This free-branching, medium sized tree similar to Malay Apple, is somewhat hardier. It also has large and wide glossy leaves and a waxy-looking fruit, probably hence the common name. The flowers and resulting fruit are not limited to the axils of the leaves and can appear on nearly any point on the surface of the trunk and branches. They are slightly fragrant, white to pale yellow, 2-3 inches wide, with four petals and countless stamens are very showy and are a rich source of nectar for honey bees. Flowers fall on the ground in 2-3 days, leaving behind the tiny fruits to mature and ripen in about 2 months. In favorable conditions, a healthy tree can produce abundant fruits and has two fruiting seasons annually, May-September and November to March. When mature, the tree is considered a heavy bearer and can yield a crop of up to 700 fruit. Fruit are are pear-shaped, 1.5-2 inches long, skin is smooth, waxy, come in varying colors ranging from white, pale green, green, pink, rose red and crimson. The reddest fruits are the sweetest and superior varieties of excellent quality are available. One of the most highly prized and sought after wax apples in Taiwan are "black pearls," which are purplish-red. Often seedless, fruits can be eaten out-of-hand. They are remarkably refreshing, juicy and quenching on a hot day. The liquid to flesh ratio of the wax apple is comparable to a watermelon. The texture is crisp, almost crunchy and juicy with a sweet, mildly scented flavor.
In Indian-Ocean-Island cuisine, the fruit is frequently used in salads, as well in with light sauteed dishes. The unripe fruits eaten with salt or dipped in a sweetish-spicy sauce.
Wax Jamboo tree usually requires very little attention and no pruning is needed. It needs adequate rainfall, some humidity and fertile soil for best growth, and is hardy to around freezing, possibly a few degrees below. Wax Jambu tree can be grown in a large container for many years, needing very little care. Just regular watering and occasional feed will be enough to get sufficient fruit to enjoy twice annually.