Non-Native to Florida
Download a page (PDF 165 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.
For control information, see Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (SP 242)
Date of introduction to Florida: 1920 (agriculture)
(from Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.)
Syzygium cumini is found growing in distubed hammocks of the central and southern peninsula of Florida. It is native to the Indo-Malayan region but escaped from cultivation. It blooms all year and is equally likely to occur in wetlands or non-wetlands.
Appearance: Evergreen tree to 25 m (80 ft) tall, with young stems grayish white and lower bark coarse and discolored.
Leaves: Opposite, simple, entire, elliptic to broadly oblong, smooth, glossy, somewhat leathery, 5–10 cm (2–5 in) long, short pointed at tips; petioles to 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Leaf midrib prominent, yellowish; blades with many lateral veins closely parallel.
Flowers: White to pinkish, about 1 cm (0.5 in) across, in branched clusters at stem tips; calyx cuplike; 4 petals, fused into a cap; many stamens.
Fruit: An ovoid, 1-seeded berry to 2 cm (0.8 in) long, dark purplish red, shiny, with white to lavender flesh.
Ecological threat: Forms dense canopies that shade out young native trees in wet pinelands, hammocks, and well drained uplands. FLEPPC Category I
Distribution: C, SW, SE
Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.
View more information and pictures about java plum, as contained in the Langeland/Burks book, Identification & Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas.
See the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.