(Last Updated on : 05/08/2011)
Jamun Tree is generally grown as avenue tree or as wind break. Jamun` is a kind of `Java Plum` that is a medium-sized or large tree with a straight trunk. The tropical tree is graceful in form and evergreen. It is a native to India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Burma and Sri Lanka and very much recognizable to most of the people for its medicinal properties. Though it has uniquely designed leaves and it profuse sweet-scented flowers annually, very few people recognize it in that way. It is also known as Nerale Hannu, Jamblang, Jambolan, Black Plum, Damson Plum, Duhat Plum, Jambolan Plum, Java Plum or Portuguese Plum. "Malabar plum" may also refer to other species of Syzygium. According to Hindu tradition, Lord Rama
subsisted on the fruit in the forest for 14 years during his exile from Ayodhya
. Because of this, many Hindus regard Jamun as a `fruit of the gods, ` especially in Gujarat
, India, where it is known locally as jamboon.
Description of Jamun Tree
The tree has some long leaves that hang from the above. They crowd near the end of the branches and bear up to a number of leaflets that count twenty-nine to thirty-one. Each of the leaves is about 7.5 cm in length, severely jagged, sharply pointed and curvy like a sweep. Their surface is fresh, green in colour, and very shining. It gives the tree a delicate and appealing view. During the monsoon, the flowers fall down and the tree gets in full flora. To recognize easily, the curved and notched leaves mass around the branches and make a distinguishing appearance.
Climate and Soil for Jamun Tree
Jamun tree thrives best in the dry areas. Since Jamun is a hard fruit, it can be grown under adverse soil and environment. It seeks dry weather at the time of flowering and fruit setting. Early rain is good for better growth, development and ripening of fruit. Young plants are susceptible to frost.
The Jamun trees are grown on a wide range of soils-calcareous, saline sodic soils and marshy areas. Deep loam and well-drained soils are, however, beneficial. It does not require very heavy and light sandy soils.
Fruits of Jamun Tree
The fruit of Jamun tree is oblong, ovoid, starts green and turns pink to shining crimson black as it matures. A variant of the tree produces white coloured fruit. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple. The seed is also used in various alternative-healing systems like Ayurveda
, Unani and Chinese medicine for digestive ailments. The leaves and bark are used for controlling blood pressure and gingivitis. Wine and vinegar are also made from the fruit. It has a high source in vitamin A and vitamin C.
Jamun has been spread overseas from India by Indian emigrants and at present is common in former tropical British colonies. Generally, they are tiny stars bearing great numbers on long, relaxed stems. They spring from the axils of the leaves. The pollen attracts bees and other insects and people can easily see lively crowds hanging round the tree all through the flowering season. When the fruit is ripe later in the year, numerous birds visit the tree very frequently.
Uses of Jamun Tree
In Maharashtrian Culture the leaves of Jamun tree are used as marriage pandals. This tree is used in Andhra Pradesh
to make bullock cart wheels and other agricultural equipment. Jamun fruits are a good source of iron
and are believed to be useful in the troubles of heart and liver. The seeds of Jamun are an effective medicine against diabetes
and their powder is widely used in India to control diabetes.