Commonly known as Water Apple or Java Apple in the rest of the world, Bengal knows this fruit as the good old Jamrul. It originated from the region between Malaysia and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, where they grow as wild trees in the coastal forests. But it has now been introduced in many Asian countries including India.
This evergreen tree of the Myrtaceae family grows to a height of 5m to 12m. The fruit in itself is watery and slightly sweet. It has very thin skin with colorless juice. The fruit contains one or two seeds or no seed at all. The attractive fruits resemble bell-shaped berries.
When mature, the fruit will puff outwards with a slight concavity in the middle. The color of the fruits ranges from white to pale green. There are two types of Jamrul fruits one having white fruits and the other with pink fruits.
Java Apple must be plucked carefully, because bruised fruits rots easily. The fruits are generally served uncut and eaten fresh. In some places the fruits are used to make pickles.
Their astringent flowers are said to stop fever and diarrhoea and they have low energy value. The carbohydrate level in ripe Jamruls is about 4g per 100g but there is fair amount of Vitamin C in it.
The red hard wood of the Water Apple tree is used for constructing huts in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.