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Syzygium (Cloves genus)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Myrtales > Family: Myrtaceae

About 500 species, native to warm regions of the World, with eight species native to southern Africa, two species naturalised, and a further six species that are cultivated in the region. Cloves spice is derived from the dried flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Syzygium cordatum (Water berry, Umdoni)

See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Syzygium gerrardii


Syzygium guineense (Water pear)

See Flora of Zimbabwe, where it is split into four subspecies:


Syzygium intermedium


Syzygium legatii


Syzygium masukuense

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.


Syzygium owariense

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Syzygium pondoense


Species naturalised in southern Africa

Not listed in Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI) but included here on the basis of their status as declared invasive plants in South Africa.

Syzygium cuminii (Jambolan)

Native to Malaysia and Indonesia. A declared Category 3 invasive plants in South Africa.


Syzygium jambos (Rose apple)

Native to Malaysia. A declared Category 3 invasive plants in South Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Syzygium aromaticum (Cloves)

Native to Indonesia. The dry flower buds are used as a spice in cooking. See Wikipedia.


Syzygium australe


Syzygium coolminianum

Native to eastern Australia.


Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple, Pomerac)

Native to Malaysia.


Syzygium paniculatum (Australian water pear)

Native to Australia.


Syzygium samarangense (Wax apple)

Native from Burma to New Guinea.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.


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