This species, whose native home is in the East Indies, is of little value in comparison with several of its congeners. It is a small tree, with large, oblong, apiculate, glossy leaves, white flowers, and oval, purplish red fruits commonly 1/2 inch in length. It is said that forms with large fruits of good quality are known in the Orient, but those which have been grown in the United States are scarcely worth cultivating. The plant is slightly less hardy than the rose-apple (see below), but can be grown successfully in southern Florida and in protected situations in southern California. It is said to succeed in Algiers, where it is known by the French name jamelongue. In English it is sometimes called Java-plum, while in India it is commonly known as jambu and jaman. According to Watt's "Dictionary of the Economic Products of India," it is "A small evergreen tree met with throughout India and Burma, ascending the hills to about 6000 feet. It is chiefly found along river beds and is specially cultivated for its fruit in gardens (topes) and in avenues. There are several varieties that yield much better flavored fruit than others, but as a rule it is astringent, and only serviceable when cooked in tarts and puddings."

The propagation of the plant is usually by seed. Its botanical synonymy is rather extensive; Syzygium jambolana, DC, Syzygium Cumini, Skeels, and Eugenia Cumini, Druce, are names under which it is sometimes listed.