Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Water berry.

+ Tree Species

Syzygium owariense

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Water berry is indigenous to Uganda. A tree of swamp forests, stream banks, riverine thicket and woodland along streams at higher altitudes from South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique and into West Africa. In Uganda, it grows in wooded grassland and semi-arid woodland preferring stony ground and hills. It is common in Mt. Kei and Otze Forest Reserves. In Kapchorwa District, it is sometimes associated with Syzygium cordatum and Flacourtia indica. In Kampala, this tree can found within Makerere University around Nkurumah hall.

+ Description

A semi-deciduous multi-stemmed shrub or small tree up to 8 m, erect branches to a bushy rounded crown.

BARK: grey, thick, smooth at first becoming dark grey, rough and flaking with age.

LEAVES: opposite, blue-green, thick, leathery, smooth and shiny, about  10 cm long, leaf tip long pointed but blunt, pink-yellow midrib, clear below, leaf stalk pink-red, aromatic when crushed.

FLOWERS: creamy white or pink with numerous stamens, sweet scented, in heads to 15 cm across, on angular square stalks.

FRUIT: oblong and fleshy, about 1.5 cm long and 1 cm thick, green at first, purple then black when ripe, containing 1 seed.

+ Uses

A purple dye is obtained from the fruits.

The wood is used to make spoons.

The wood is used for fuel.

Edible: leaves and the fruit contain the essential oil eugenol, which has been used for flavouring food, fruit is eaten.

Agroforestry: provides bee forage.

+ Propagation

Seeds, suckers.

+ Management

Coppicing, pollarding.

+ Remarks

Can be planted in semi-arid areas. It is said to be the best Syzygium species for honey. The leaves and fruit contain the essential oil eugenol which has been used for flavouring food (Guinea "cloves").

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