Kelat Jambu Laut / Sea Apple
Scientific name: Syzygium grande
Family name: Myrtaceae
Kelat Jambu Laut trees in Taman Tugu
The Kelat tree is an indigenous rainforest tree that are amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site, selected in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”). This tree was one of the trees selected to be added because its flowers produce nectar that attract insects like butterflies and birds. Bats also eat its fruits and help disperse its seeds. It is also the host plant of the moth, Parasa lepida.
The Kelat Jambu Laut tree has an oblong to irregular crown, which can grow up to 45m tall. It has opposite, stalked leaves that are leathery, broadly elliptic, darker green above, lighter green below, and each has a down-turned leaf tip, 2 veins running parallel to the leaf margin, and 9–16 pairs of side veins. It produces bisexual flowers that are white, fragrant, and are found in clusters located at the axils of its leaves, or ends of its branches. It produces fleshy fruits that are round, elliptic or oblong elliptic, green when ripe, and each contain 1 seed. Each seed is round or flattened.
The fleshy fruits are edible. The wood is classified under the medium hard wood group and used to make cabinets.
The trees are used to be planted closely, as a firebreak, at the edge of lalang-infested wasteland because the ‘live’ wood of this tree do not burn easily.
These trees occur in coastal forests, and on sandy and rocky coasts. These trees are native to Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myamar, India, and Sri Lanka.