Syzygium is a genus from the Myrtaceae (myrtle) family. There are about 1200-1800 species of Syzygium and its native range expands from Africa, through southern Asia to the Pacific.
In Singapore, Syzygium grande is an important species of tree from this genus. Not only is it grown for ornamental purposes at the sides of roads, but it also helps to prevent the spread of fires. It is also used in local medicinal traditions to help treat causes of tooth diseases, bronchitis, diabetes and more.
The Malay apple (Syzygium malaccense) is another species which is native to the Malay Peninsula, more specifically Malaysia. Economically, S. malaccense is important for local livelihood as it is collected and sold at markets around Southeast Asia. It is also used in traditional medicine to reduce fever and to prevent itching. Studies however have shown that it also has the potential for many other medical uses, such as use as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, an antidiabetic and it even may have anticancer effects.
Kew Garden’s Herbarium is one of the largest collections of historical plant specimens from all over the world and currently our job is to digitise all these specimens to make them available online. By transcribing these Syzygium sheets, you will not only be contributing to this gigantic task of digitising all our specimen data, but also help scientists understanding of this genus’ ecology and biology, indicating how we can utilize and preserve these plants. Thank you and happy transcribing!
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