Many people say Java plums are an acquired taste, with their sour and tangy flavor. Where can you get them if you want to try them for yourself?
Java plum trees can grow in the US. However, some states like Hawaii and Florida consider them an invasive plant species. The fruits are perishable and are commonly made into supplements. If you buy them fresh, make sure to eat them within a few days.
Can you plant your own Java plum tree, and where can you get fresh fruits or supplements? Read on!
Where You Can Buy Java Plum in the US:
Java Plum Plants
Java plum trees are native to humid tropical countries in Asia and Southeast Asia like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
They can survive in dry and arid places but may not grow effectively (source: Science Direct). They won’t grow in places that have frost. If want them to bear fruit, it’s best to plant them at an elevation of around 2,000 ft (600 m).
The US Department of Agriculture scientists brought Java plums to the US in 1911 in South Florida (source: MinneopaOrchards). They are also grown in Arizona, Hawaii, Texas, and humid places in the US.
You can also find Java plum trees or plants online such as:
Some states like Florida and Hawaii categorize Java plum as an invasive plant (source: Invasive Plant Atlas). An invasive plant is a non-native plant that is capable of growing rapidly. Unfortunately, they can interrupt and negatively affect other plants and ecosystems (source: USDA).
This could be the reason why the Java plum plant is quite hard to find.
Java Plum Fruit
The fruit of this plant is perishable and fragile. It is easily bruised because its peel and pulp are soft and don’t provide enough protection against bruising and infections.
However, proper harvesting, post-harvesting, and handling can prevent these problems and can even extend the fruit’s shelf life. Its shelf life is around 2 days, but refrigeration will keep it longer (source: Science Direct).
You can find Java plum fruits at most Indian groceries. They are called Jamun (source: MinneopaOrchards).
You can check these stores out as they sell fresh Java plum fruit:
You can find powdered Java plums here:
For powdered seed of the Java plum fruit:
Tablet or capsule form:
Here are some buying tips for each of the forms above.
Java Plum Plant
As explained above, Java plum plants are quite hard to find because some states consider them invasive. However, in other places, they are used in coffee plantations to provide shade for the coffee plant.
Make sure to check the store’s return policy and shipping rates (which will depend on your location and the season). You can also ask for some pictures of the Java plum plants so you know what to expect.
If you find one at a nursery, look for signs of insect infestation, holes in the leaves, and the condition of the leaves. The leaves should be intact, should not easily fall, and should not be limp or discolored.
Java Plum Fruit
The fruit of the Java plum is favored for its medicinal properties such as treating diabetes (insulin-dependent and noninsulin-dependent), asthma, and diarrhea. It also has antioxidant effects.
Java plums can also be made into a decent dry wine or table wine, or used as food coloring (source: Science Direct).
Powdered Fruit, Powdered Seed, Capsule or Tablet Forms
Due to the fruit’s short shelf life, Java plums are often made into capsules or tablets, which may contain powdered fruit or seeds. These products have the same benefits as the fruit, and are used to treat the medical conditions mentioned above.
If you opt for these types, we recommend products that have no additives or preservatives and are non-GMO.
Java plums are well-researched for their health benefits, but we always recommend asking your doctor before using them for health reasons, especially if you have other medical conditions. We hope this article answers your questions about this exotic fruit!