Indigenous waterberry tree
Scientific name: Syzygium cordatum, Waterberry group (376);
Syzygium cordatum is a medium-sized tree. young trunks banded and blotched in grey and white and are fairly smooth; in old trees the bark is dark brown, light grey or reddish, thick, rough, fissured and can be pulled off in thick, corklike, square pieces. The tree is evergreen tree with a dense, spreading crown. Usually growing 6 - 15 metres tall, it can sometimes reach 20 metres and dwarf forms just 30 - 45 cm tall have also been reported. The bole is seldom straight, often gnarled and branching from low down, it can be up to 60cm in diameter and is sometimes buttressed.
The leaves, bark and roots are used in the preparation of various traditional medicines. ranging from treatment for stomach ache cure for giddiness. The smoke from burning wood has a pleasant aroma.
The tree is used to produce timber which is used construction and making furniture. The fruits are a source of food, it can be eaten raw or used to making an alcoholic drink. A good quality jelly can be cooked from the ripe fruit. Leaves, bark, roots having a tanning property.
Planting and tree management:
This is a fast-growing tree and can reach up to 1m per year with a rather aggressive root system. Pollarding is practised to produce close, rounded heads of young branches. Plantations of this tree should be planted around water points, springs or on banks of streams or rivers.