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Jamaican Rose Apple
The Delicious But Dying Fruit

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Jamaican rose appple

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Jamaica is an island filled with surprises. Each day as you venture out, if you look closely or simply go somewhere new, you are bound to discover something different. That something new may be one of the magical herbs with tremendous healing capabilities, a fresh spring gushing with mineral water, or a fruit like the Jamaican Rose Apple, that many either haven’t heard of or have simply forgotten about for a very long time.

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What Is Rose Apple In Jamaica?

Jamaican Rose AppleJamaican Rose Apple

The Jamaican rose apple, scientifically named Syzygium Jambos,  is originally from Southeast Asia. Like most fruits, it has been given many names by the numerous regions it is found in. Some of the most common names are guljamun, Madhuri Neilli, Malabar plum, panineer champakka, mountain apple, chom pu or chom-phu.

Other names include plum rose, water apple, cloud apple, wax apple, Malay apple, jambrosade, and rose apple as we call it here in Jamaica. The rose apple tree typically grows quite tall, but has low hanging branches, making the fruit easy to pick. The rose apple many times is confused with the more common Jamaican Otaheite apple, but they are quite different in appearance.

The fruits are small, maybe an inch or two wide and resembles another popular fruit here in Jamaica, guava.

Like guava, the outer layer is usually light green or yellow, but outside of appearance, that’s where the similarities end between both fruits. The rose apple tree bears beautiful blossoms as well and sometimes the fruits are so small that if one isn’t deliberately looking for them, they could easily be missed.

Are Jamaican Rose Apples Edible?

Yes, rose apples are edible. Like most fruit, you simply wash them clean with fresh water and eat them raw, or you can use it to make a refreshing drink. Rose apples can also be cooked by steaming or simmering or be used to make a tasty fruit jam.

Where Does Jamaican Rose Apple Grow?

The rose apple or Syzygium Jambos is native to east Indian and southeast Asian countries. They came to Jamaica in 1762 and has been spread across the Caribbean and other parts of the western world, Mexico and Peru.

What Do Rose Apples Taste Like?

Rose apples have a strong fruity flavour. They are sweet and crisp, light and crunchy and have a texture quite familiar to an American apple.

Nutritional Value, Uses And Benefits Of The Rose Apple

Nutritonal Value

The rose apple contains many vitamins and minerals and has many nutritional values. They will make a great addition to almost any diet.

In a single rose apple you will receive Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins - Vitamin A Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Vitamin C, Mineral, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.


As with most fruits rose apples make a great snack. In many parts of the world, it is used in some dishes and in some south-east Asian countries, it is served with spiced sugar. 

The wood from the rose apple tree being as dense as it is, makes it excellent for burning charcoal.

The rose apple tree is used in some regions for traditional medicinal purposes because of its richness in tannins and antimicrobial properties.


  1. Diabetes - evidence shows that the rose apple has a positive effect on diabetes as it increases metabolism which in turn decreases blood glucose levels.

  2. Blood Pressure - Rose apple is low in sodium but high in potassium making it a great addition to the diet of anyone struggling with high blood pressure. These properties are known to effectively reduce high blood pressure and ultimately decrease the risk of related heart conditions. 

  3. Thrush - Thrush can be an annoying issue for many persons, using a rose apple to create an oral mouthwash can effectively get rid of thrush and other fungi prone to affect the mouth. 

  4. Stunts The Growth of Bacteria - The Rose apple is believed to have antibacterial properties that will slow or stop the growth of some bacteria. However, this is a concept that is still being studied by scientists. 

  5. Diuretic - Rose apple is considered a diuretic as it increases the excretion of water from the body which increases kidney functions. 

  6. Fever Reducer - The International Archive of Applied Sciences and Technology has published information that supports the belief that the rose apple fruit aids in the reduction of fevers and alleviation of headaches. 

  7. Weight Loss - Many people are always looking for ways to increase their chances of losing weight. Well, not only is the Jamaican rose apple tasty, but its high fibre content will keep you feeling full so you eat less and will help to improve your digestive health. 

  8. Pain Relief - It is believed that the rose apple aids in reliving arthritic and muscle pains, however, this is a phenomenon that is still being studied. 

  9. Cholesterol - Scientific studies have proven that niacin, which is found in the rose apple fruit, significantly lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. Having a handful of these small fruits might work wonders for your cholesterol.

  10. Free Radicals - The rose apple may protect you from early ageing and damages that may occur to the body due to toxins from UV rays, toxins and pollutants, by using its vitamins and antioxidant properties to combat the effects of free radicals.

The rose apple seems to be slowly dwindling, so if you ever get your hands on some of this delicious fruit, remember to replant those seeds.

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References & Sources For Jamaican Rose Apple

  1. The 10 Benefits of the Rose Apple you Need to Know -,
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