Is a species of flowering tree native to Malesia and Australia.
It is one of the species cultivated since prehistoric times by the Austronesian peoples. They were carried and introduced deliberately to Remote Oceania as canoe plants. In modern times, it has been introduced throughout the tropics, including many Caribbean countries and territories. It is known as a Malay rose apple, or simply , mountain apple, rose apple, Otaheite apple, pink satin-ash and pommerac
(derived from pomme Malac
, meaning "Malayan apple" in French).Despite the fact that it is sometimes called the otaheite cashew, it is not related to cashew. While cashew nuts (but not cashew fruits) may trigger allergic reactions, rose apple fruit has not been observed to do so. In Costa Rica is known as Manzana de Agua. It is found mainly in the rainy zones on the Atlantic Coast of the country.
Malay apple is an evergreen tree with a spreading but cone-shaped crown; it usually grows 5 - 20 metres tall, though specimens to 30 metres have been recorded from New Guinea. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 20 - 45cm in diameter (to 130cm in New Guinea), often branching from near the ground though sometimes free of branches for 10 - 15 metres, with buttresses at the base.
The edible fruit is fairly well liked, it is harvested from the wild and consumed locally. The tree also sometimes grows large enough to produce a timber that is traded. The tree is sometimes cultivated, usually in home gardens, both as an ornamental and for its edible fruit in the tropics. When in flower this is one of the most delightful of trees, the rose-purple petals falling in vast numbers and covering the ground with a lovely carpet of bright and handsome color. Although not grown commercially, the fruit is often sold in local markets. It is believed that the tree has the prospect for greater commercial exploitation.
The combination of tree, flowers and fruit has been praised as the most beautiful of the genus Syzygium. The fruit is oblong-shaped and dark red in color, although some varieties have white or pink skins. The flesh is white and surrounds a large seed. Its taste is bland but refreshing. Jam is prepared by stewing the flesh with brown sugar and ginger.
The skin and flesh of this delicious fruit variety can be eaten and is known to be beneficial for human health, due to its significant levels of vitamins and minerals, as well as the organic compounds. Malay apples contain flavonols
, phenolic compounds, and sequiterpenes, as well as limited amounts of carotenoids
, all of which act as antioxidants
. Furthermore, they also contain dietary fiber and limited amounts of proteins. The health benefits of Malay apples include their ability to reduce inflammation, improve the health of the skin, boost circulation
, build stronger bones, improve vision health, strengthen and improve the quality of hair, and prevent the development of cataracts.