Jamun (Syzygium cuminii) is a evergreen tree also know as Java plum or Indian blackberry. It is originated from Southeast Asian countries like India, Myanmar and Eat Indies. It belongs to the family Myrtaceae(the typical character being flowered with numerous stamens). They are closely related to an important spice Syzygium aromaticum “Clove“.
They are commonly cultivated in tropical areas, like an evergreen tree that produces dense foliage and provides a lot of shade throughout the year. It is a unique fast-growing tree, known to be tolerant to extreme conditions like high rainfall and also water deficit conditions. Therefore, it is a very popular avenue tree all over the country. It tolerates prolonged flooding, and once the plants are established, it can tolerate drought. The trees are also planted commonly under the agroecological and social forestry program. It also serves as an ornamental tree and as a windbreak on the bunds.
In India, Jamun trees are found all over the country, it is widely spread from North to South and East to West. Jamun diversity is observed in Gangetic plains, western peninsular region, Western ghats area, Central highlands adjoining gangetic plains. It finds place in cultivated lands and also in wild conditions.
Botanically there are 2 to 3 morpho-types like small “Katha jamun” where fruits are very small and highly acidic. The medium “Adaka jamun” are with bold seeds and pulp which is pink is color. The large jamuns are jumbo types which have rich polp and medium to small seeds. These types have found commercial place in the market and are very popular. There are also seedless types which contain very chaffy seed and 80 to 85% pulp. Pulp is highly nutritive rich in important minerals.
Nutritional value of Jamun Fruit per 100g:
|Vitamin C||18 g|
|Oxalic Acid||89 g|
All parts of the tree is used for various purposes purposes. If finds applciation in all most all types of medicines like Ayurveda, Unani, Sidda, Sri Lankan medicine, Tibetan traditional medicine and also in Homeopathy systems.
Multiple uses of Jamun tree are as follows:
- Fruits are edible when ripe, also made into jam, jelly, juice, etc.
- The wood used as fuel, being a fast-growing tree provides woody growth at the earliest.
- The reddish-grey or brownish heartwood is utilized in carpentry. It is hard and also finds use in boat building, agricultural implements, cartwheels, building bridges, and making musical instruments especially Guitar.
- Tannin or dye from the bark gives a brown dye.
- Fruits are also used in the preparation of wine.
- There are plenty of medicinal uses:
- The seeds and bark are well known for the control of hyperglycemia or diabetes.
- Fruits are used as relief for colic diseases.
- Fruits are also used as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and as well as the gastroprotective agents.
- Recent studies have revealed that it protects against radiation-induced damage.
Other closely related species are:
- Syzygium aromaticum L, it is a conical evergreen tree of 8 to 12 m height, with grayish smooth bark, lanceolate leaves and flowers borne in termical clusters. The flower bud is an important source of spice the “Clove”.
- Syzygium jambos L, commonly known as “Rose apple” is used as an ornamental tree. It is small to medium size tree having narrow lanceolate leaves with glabrous bark. The flowers with numerous 5 to 8 cm long stamens are attractive . The fruits are greenish yello in color with a typical rose fragnance. The fruit has twho large round seeds.
- Syzygium malaccense L, known as Malay rose apple or water rose apple. It is a small bushy tree with attractive red flower and fruit borne in bunches.
- Syzygium samarangese Blume, it is gound in Andaman Islands. Tree is similar to Syzygium malaccense. The fruits are waxy; bell shaped resembling cashew apple also known as water apple.
Jamun trees flowers during dry weather from March to April. The flowers are in panicles, small, about 5 mm in diameter, hermaphrodite and light yellow in color; borne in leaf axis.
The fruits develop during May/June and are large berries. The fruit is oblong, ovoid, and green in the initial days, but turns crimson black at maturity.
The fruit has a sweet, mildly sour, and astringent flavor. The seed is recalcitrant, seeds germinate well when fresh, but viability is lost within two weeks of open storage at room temperature.
Some of the characteristis features of releases/identified varieties of Jamun are as follows:
- Ra Jamun: This is a large-fruited type having oblong fruits of deep purple color. A type having large-sized fruits is known as Paras in Gujarat.
- Rajendra Jamun: Identified from Bihar Aggri college, for big sized fruits.
- Narendra Jamun: Another type found in Varanasi has no seed. A selection with desirable trait which was isolated by the Agri University at Faizabad.
- CISH J-42: Released from ICAR during 2011. Fruits are unique, said to be seedless with pulp content of 97 -98% and TSS 14-15 Brix.
- CISH J-37: It has bold fruits and high pulp quality(pulp content 90 to 92 %) and TSS 16 to 17 Brix.
- Goma Priyanka: Released from Central Horticultural Experiment Station, Gujarat. It is semi-dwarf, spreading growth habit, dense foliage with drooping branches, early precocious bearer(starts flowering in 4th year), and suitable for high-density planting. It starts flowering in the month of March, ripens in the fourth week of May, and recorded 19.86 g average fruit weight, 85.06 percent pulp, 16.8 Brix TSS.
- Konkan BAhadoli: The variety was released by the Regional Fruit Research Station, Vengurla during 2004, The variety is a selection from local Jamun trees that grow in village Bahaduli. The fruit is large 25 to 28 g) with maximum pulp content(83.3%). On average per kg weight has 40 to 50 fruits. Bold size, good keeping quality, and more juice percentage.
- Dhoopdal: The Jamun variety from Belgaum district with GI tag, selected for its large-sized sweet fruits.
the selected plants were usually propagated by seedlings as the seeds are polyembryonic. Seedlings take 8 to 10 years to flower and fruit. Seeds have to be sown immediately otherwise they lose their viability very fast.
Presently Jamun selection are vegetatively propagated by path budding(Gujarat) and softwood grafting method on Jamun seedling as rootstock to avoid any segregation and induce early flowering.
Planting and management
Pits of 90 x 90 x 90 cm can be made and filled with well-decomposed farmyard manure. Planting is usually done during the onset of monsoon.
Being a vigorous tree needs a wide spacing of 10m x 10m, but presently a close spacing of 8m x 8m or even 5 m x 5m is recommended to accommodate more plants per unit area.
Apart from FYM, fertilizer dose of 125 g N, 50 g P205, and 50 g K20 is recommended by ICAR. Irrigation is not generally recommended. however, during early years of planting providing water during the summer months helps in better growth and establishment of the plants.
Pruning may be done to regulate the tree size and to achieve desired canopy architecture. Mulching and inter cultivation helps in regulating the weeds in orchards.
Insect pests and Diseases
Some of the pests found attacking Jamun plants are jamun leaf miner, jamun leaf roller, bark eating caterpillars, white fly, leaf webber and jamun seed dorer and among diseases, leaf spot and fruit rot are important.