Syzygium malaccense is a species of flowering tree native to Malaysia, Indonesia (Sumatra and Java) Vietnam and Thailand.
As its name suggests, Malay apple originates in the Indo-Malayan region throughout Southeast Asia’s lowlands and forests. Though not native to this area, it has ancient roots in Polynesia as well: In Hawaii, religious icons were carved from the wood, which the Polynesians and Fijans held as sacred. These groups also made gorgeous leis from blossoms and fruit. Indeed, Malay apple trees create a rich mauve carpet when shedding their pompom-like flowers. Other better-tasting and higher yielding crops—such as mango and papaya—have since crowded out Malay apple groves in these regions.
Malay apples have two seasons: one from May to July, and the other from November to December.
Their taste is crisp, watery, earthy, and slightly sweet; but insipid and uninspiring on the whole. Some Malay apples have an astringent, slightly bitter aftertaste.
Syzygium malaccense has a variety of common names. It is known as a Malay rose apple, or simply Malay apple, jambu merah (Malaysian language, meaning "red guava"), jambu bol (Indonesian, meaning "ball guava"), Malay rose apple, Otaheite cashew and pommerac.