The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for June 2023 is Makaasim, scientifically known as Syzygium nitidum Benth. from the family Myrtaceae. The tree is native to the Philippines and New Guinea. The genus name “Syzygium” is derived from the Greek word “suzugos” which means joined while the specific epithet nitidum is from the Latin meaning shiny and probably due to its lustrous leaves.
The Makaasim tree grows up to 25 meters tall with a slightly flaky brown bark surface. Its leaves are elliptical to broadly lanceolate in long petioles. Its flowers are subsessile positioned at the terminal densely flowered white inflorescences while its fruits are globose greenish to orange as it matures.
The tree belongs to a group called ‘Kelat’. Kelat timber has golden brown, greyish brown to brown, with pink or purplish glints heartwood. Its wood is used for general construction, musical instruments, tool handles, furniture, shipbuilding, floorings, and others.
To know more about this plant, view its video presentation here: https://youtu.be/LaVO7NGrGZE
By: AALimpiada and ACMalayba