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Jamun
Jambul (Syzygium cumini)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. cumini
Binomial name
Syzygium cumini
(L.) Skeels.

Jambul (Syzygium cumini) is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae, native to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Indonesia. It is also known as Jaam/Kalojaam, Jamun, Nerale Hannu, Njaval,Neredupandu, 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.

It is also grown in other areas of southern and southeastern Asia including the Philippines, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. The tree was also introduced to Florida, USA in 1911 by the USDA, and is also now commonly grown in Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In Brazil, where it was introduced from India during Portuguese colonization, it has dispersed spontaneously in the wild in some places, as its fruits are eagerly sought by various native birds such as thrushes, tanagers and the Great Kiskadee. Scientific synonyms include Syzygium jambolanum, Eugenia cumini and Eugenia jambolana.

Ripe Jamun fruits for Sale in a HAL market in Bangalore

A fairly fast growing species, it can reach heights of up to 30 m and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. The wood is strong and is water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.

Jamun trees start flowering from March to April. The flowers of Jamun are fragrant and small, about 5 mm in diameter. The fruits develop by May or June and resemble large berries. The fruit 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 (to control diabetes, for example[1].), 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.

Jambul has been spread overseas from India by Indian emigrants and at present is common in former tropical British colonies. [2]

Contents

Religious Significance

According to Hindu tradition, Rama subsisted on the fruit in the forest for 14 years during his exile from Ayodhya. Because of this, many Hindus regard Jambul as a 'fruit of the gods,' especially in Gujarat, India, where it is known locally as jamboon.

Lord Krishna has been described as having skin the color of Jamun. In Hindu mythology several protagonists have been described as having the color of jamun.

In Maharashtra Culture

In Maharashtra, jambhul [jamun known as jambhul in (marathi)Maharashtra]leaves is use as marriage pendals . There is a famous song in Marathi,'jambhul piklya zada khali dhol kunacha waji' which means "under the full fruity jamun tree dhol (drum) is beaten in joy". This song is pictured on the famous Indian star 'Smita Patil'.

Ancient Tamil Culture

Auvaiyar (Tamil: ஔவையார்)(also Auvayar), one of the most prominent poets of Sangam (Tamil literature) periods, while resting under Naaval Pazham (Njaval fruit) tree and pondering over her retirement from Tamil literary work, she was awakened by a supernatural power (Lord Murugan) to make her realize that more work is needed. Following this awakening, Auvaiyar is believed to have taken her work to children for their education.

Trivia

1.Jamun is so exclusive to the Indian Sub-continent and so widespread across the Indian Sub-continent that one of the old names of India (or the Indian region) is called Jambu-Dvipa (literally, Island of Jamun fruit).

2.Sometimes the name 'Jamun' is wrongly translated as 'blackberry'. Blackberry is a different fruit and should not be confused with Jamun.

References

  1. ^ [1] Article in The Hindu, retrieved June 23 2007
  2. ^ Syzygium cumini

See also


Simple English

Jamun
File:Syzygium cumini
Jambul (Syzygium cumini)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. cumini
Binomial name
Syzygium cumini
(L.) Skeels.

Jambul or Jamun or Jamblang (Syzgium cumini), Nava Pazham (Tamil) is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae, native to India and Indonesia. It is also grown in other areas of southern Asia including Myanmar and Afghanistan. The tree was also introduced to Florida, USA in 1911 by the USDA, and is also now commonly planted in Suriname. In Brazil, where it was introduced from India during Portuguese colonisation, it has spread out in the wild in some places, as many native birds such as thrushes, tanagers and the Great Kiskadee want their fruits. The various names for this fruit are (in Java) plum, jambul, jamun, jaman, black plum, faux pistachier, Indian blackberry, jambol, doowet, jambolan and jambolão. Scientific synonyms include Syzygium jambolanum, Eugenia cumini and Eugenia jambolana.

A fairly fast growing species, it can grow as high as 30 metres, and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. The wood is strong and water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.

The Jamun tree starts flowering in March-April. The fragrant flowers of Jamun are small, nearly 5 millimetres in diameter. This is followed by the fruit which appears in May-June and resembles a large berry. The berry is oblong and ovoid. It is green when just appearing, pink when as it matures, and shining crimson black when fully ripe. Another variety comes in white and some people say that it can be used as a medicine. Jamun fruit is a mixture of sweet, slightly sub acid spicy flavour that stands out even after eaten since it turns the tongue into purple color. The fruit is universally accepted to be very good for medicinal purposes, especially diabetics. 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.








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