Mountain Apple – Tropical Garden K

This Garden is Now Resting Under Lava 🌋

We have preserved this page in memory of our pre-volcano community
It is also still useful as a tropical plant and garden information resource.

We now welcome visitors as an online community
Hedonisia Members Volunteer ContributorsLava to Lotus Web Portfolio

Featured Plant in Garden K - Mountain Apple

1) Plant History & General Information:

  • Location on Property:  Garden K, V, Z
  • Scientific Name:  Syzygium malaccense

    Mountain Apple in Hawaii
    Mountain Apple in Hawaii
  • Region of Origin:  Malaysia
  • General History: The Mountain Apple is a beautiful fruit tree that grows in many farms and gardens in Hawaii, particularly on the rainy east side of the Big Island. It has a Hawaiian name Ohi’a ’ai (oh-hee AH eye).  Mountain apple is a fast-growing tree and could reach 50-60 feet when mature.  On the Big Island, it thrives in areas that have abundant rainfall and humidity, such as Hilo and Pahoa towns or the lush Waipio Valley. It can be seen growing in the wild wherever birds and animals have scattered its seeds: in the middle of a rainforest, at the bottom of a ravine, or alongside the many waterfall streams around the island.  It is a beautiful sight to see a mountain apple tree in bloom. The flowers have a deep magenta-crimson color, with tiny gold specks dusting the tips of the stamens. They seem to resemble mini fireworks! The lightly fragrant flowers sprout abundantly along the woody branches (or even on the main trunk) and when falling, they transform the ground underneath the tree into a pink carpet of flowers. After flowering, the tree bears fruits that are bell-shaped, light green when young, and turn bright to dark red when they are ripe. If left on the tree, the ripe fruits will eventually change into a dark burgundy color and then drop to the ground.

2) Plant Uses:

  • As Food:  A ripe mountain apple fruit tastes sweet and very juicy. It also has a distinct rose flavor. The flesh is soft and slightly crunchy. Each fruit typically has one (sometimes two) small round seeds inside.
  • As Medicine:
  • Other Uses:

3) Growing Instructions

  • Propagation:  It can be grown easily from seeds (they germinate almost immediately in humus-rich soil) and cuttings or air layering.
  • Soil Requirements:  Mountain apple is not picky about soil and will grow happily on anything from sand to heavy clay. The tree does well in soil that is moderately acidic but fails in highly alkaline locations.
  • Sunlight Requirements:  full sun
  • Best time to Harvest:  August to September
  • Growing:  Mountain apple care includes ridding the areas around the tree of weeds and providing generous irrigation, especially in dry weather.
  • Difficulties with this plant:

History of this Plant at Hedonisia:


Garden K Pre-Volcano Instructions


  • Upper Cliff Area From Kava & Pineapple Garden to Ocean View; Upper Cliff Side Kahuna Cabin
Ocean View Trail Work Travis
Ocean View Trail Volunteer Travis

Lodgings and/or Facilities in areas of the Garden:

This EDIBLE Garden has the following plants:

  • Avocado
  • Mango
  • Suriname Cherry
  • Egg Fruit Tree
  • Mexican Sunflower
  • Mountain Apple
  • various trees and decoratives

Maintenance Activities For This Garden:

  • Main Weeds: Cane Grass, Stink Maile, Fire Ants, choking, creepers, climbers
    • Eradicate cane grass as close to the base as possible using a Kama and pickax out if accessible
    • Use a Kama to cut the climbers and the chokers at the plant base to kill them. Remove off plant carefully.
    • Before working in this area spray Soapy Water mix for fire ants
  • Identification and Labeling:
    • Tag and label  transplanted trees with bright-colored tree ribbons,
    • Date the tree with the date it was transplanted (only babies so we can see the growth process)
    • Update plant pages if any are added or deleted from the garden.
  • Borders & Maintenance:
    • Keeping the wood and fence borders free of weeds and mosses, weed whack the area of large grasses to keep walkways low and clear
    • Plant sweet potato in all bare areas
    • Thin out Mexican Sunflower
    • Plant Guava on top of slopes
    • Prune Guava trees to keep out of the way
    • Remove weeds from the slope and replace them with erosion control plants - work only from the bottom upwards
    • Landscape rocks to make terraces
    • Plant Okinawa Spinach & sweet potato in all bare areas
    • Fix Trail Signs for the top of Ocean View steps
    • Weed pineapple patch weekly to keep bottoms clear and untangled
    • Keep Cane Grass in front and on the side of Kahuna low with a long saw tool
    • Check with the director if you have any ideas for new plants in this garden
  • Harvesting:
    • Harvest Guava fruit when in season to keep walkways clear
    • Harvest Okinawa Spinach when gets overgrown
    • Harvest Egg Fruit when soft to the touch and bright orange


Post-Volcano Online Community

With our model of community living, we attracted wonderful people from around the world.
Over a 14-year history, the Hedonisia community developed websites, books, and eCourses.

Virtual Volunteer 🌋 Lava to Lotus Web Portfolio 🌋 Hedonisia Membership