Home » Exploring Jamaican Foods » How much do you know about the Otaheite apple?

How much do you know about the Otaheite apple?

As Jamaicans, we know it as apple but the Jamaican apple is actually called Otaheite apple or Malay apple or rose apple depending on where you are in the world.

Jamaican Otaheite apple

The botanically known as syzygium malaccense.

The Jamaican apple have a pear like shape with a single large seed that sits in its core. A less common variety can be found in a slightly round shape.

When matured, the apple skin is deep red to crimson in colour and the inner flesh white.

When ripen, the apple is sweet and fill with juice. The darker the colour the sweeter the apple tends to be.

When ripen, the apple is sweet and fill with juice.

Related: Guava, Naseberry, Star Apple, Guinep

How To Eat Otaheite Apple

Jamaican apple

Here in Jamaica, the otaheite apple is mainly picked straight from the tree and eaten raw.

Sometimes it is also used to make a refreshing apple drink.

When stewed with brown sugar and ginger it makes a very nice sauce that is served with ice cream as a dessert.

Although us Jamaicans experiment little when it come to cooking otaheite apples, in other places such as Puerto Rico, the mature apples are used to make wine whilst the young apples are used to make pickles and jelly.

In Asia and part of India, the blossoms, which grows abundantly during the apple season are use to make salad dishes and the young leaves are cooked and eaten along with rice dishes as greens.

The Benefits

Jamaican apple benefits

There are a lot of health benefits that comes with eating the raw fruit as we do in Jamaica.

The apple is a great source of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that contributes to the prevention of diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, cold/flu.

In the Spice Islands, extract from the bark is used to treat and prevent thrush.

In Asia, decoction and powder from the leaves are use to treat skin infections.

The otaheite has a very high water content, which is good to get you hydrated especially in the hot weather.

The up side, unlike fruits such as the start apple, you can consume the otaheite apple in excess amount without getting sick.

What’s More

Otaheite apples are tropical fruits and thrive only in warm climate. The apple is in season during August and September in Jamaica.

You can easily purchase otaheite apples from numerous street vendors selling the fruit.

During May and June, the tree is flush with beautiful pink blossom. The ground beneath the tree is covered with lots of pink sprout.


  1. Rose apple is different from Otaheite apple. Rose apple is smaller in size and golden when they are ready. They smell like rose extract when you are eating them hence the name given.

    • Desmond Dorman

      I like planting and was researching how long before an apple tree bears fruit from seed stage or seedling which is not mentioned here, since your website concentrates primarily on recipes.

  2. How long does it take a Jamaican apple tree to produce when plant from a seed?

  3. My guess is about 25 years. It would be best to buy an established plant from a nursery in the south. I am in the process doing so now.

  4. Leslie A. Minns

    Thanks,as a Bahamian attending primary and high school in “Yard” I was introduced to the Otaheite by the boys on my football team. I have not stopped eating them now that I am at home and retired I am growing some so that my fellow Bahamians may get to know and enjoy them as much as I have. Thanks.

  5. Courtney Platt

    My Otaheite tree took about 6 years from seed to first fruit in Grand Cayman. It has made more fruit each year since and is now about 16 years old, 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Birds get about half of the fruit and I’d love to know a cost effective way to prevent that. Any ideas out there?

  6. Sara Westenskow

    I love this fruit and would like to plant a tree – where can I buy a plant or seeds for this in the USA? Thanks!

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