Syzygium zeylanicum or formerly known as Eugenia spicata belongs to the family Myrtaceae, the sea apples, and is locally known as kelat nenasi or gelam tikus. This species can often be found in secondary forests, coastal areas, along riverbanks and rarely in montane forests. Syzygium zeylanicum is a shrubby tree and rarely grows more than 18 m tall.
When the tree blooms, it produces white flowers and fruits, giving the tree a snowy effect. The tree has a neat crown and reddish-brown bark, attractive as an ornamental tree thus commonly cultivated along roadsides. The fruits are small white berries with sweet pulp, eaten by birds, squirrels, other fruit-eating animals as well as humans. While the buds open, we can see the flowers surrounded by many kinds of nectivorous insects. Light green fresh leaves will be flushed soon after the fruiting ends.
At FRIM, the tree can be found in Kepong Botanic Gardens. Besides for its beauty, the tree also benefit humans for its economic value. The reddish brown bark is used for fuel and in boat building while the leaves and roots are used in traditional medicine. The tree is common and widely distributed in Malaysia, Sumatra, India, China, Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore.
Posted on 13th August 2012. The temperature for the week was forecasted at 24°-33° Celsius, rain with storms and lightning in the evening. Prepared by Nor Azlin, M. F. Photographs by Zawiah, N. and Nor Azlin, M. F.