(formerly named Eugenia Grandis)
Sea Apple, Jambu Air Laut
There are two towering examples just over the fence from UWCSEA in the former golf course (now University Town) opposite our RBT/Administration block. A smaller specimen stands outside our PE store, overlooking the tennis courts.
FORM, TRUNK, LEAVES:
The Sea Apple is a tall, fast growing tree with an irregular crown. The specimens just outside our fence – opposite the RBT/Administration block – are close to 30m high with a rough, greyish and slightly scaly bark. The leaves of the Sea Apple are glossy with a leathery texture and a distinctive down-turned tip. The leaf stalks are short.
Trees all over the region come into flower at the same time, after a dry season. This is often around in March-May and in October. The large white flowers resemble pom-poms with white petals and many protruding white stamens. They last about 4-5 days.
The fruits are oblong with a green leathery rind. They are dispersed by bats and birds.
POINTS OF INTEREST (e.g. uses, cultural links etc):
The Sea Apple is very fire-resistant and for many years was often planted as a wayside tree in areas of Singapore that were bordered by disused land covered with “lalang” grass that could easily catch fire.
There is just one Sea apple in Singapore with Heritage Tree status. It is found at Fort Siloso, Sentosa. Perhaps we should apply for one of the trees just outside our boundary to be accorded the same status?
Found throughout the Malay Peninsula and Thailand, Indo-China, Burma and Borneo.