Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community Green Vacation Rentals

Hedonisia Hawaii Botanical Plant Inventory

Mountain Apple

1) Plant History & General Information:

  • Location on Property:  Garden K, V, Z
  • Scientific Name:  Syzygium malaccense
  • Region of Origin:  Malaysia
  • General History:  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 which 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: