What comes to your mind when somebody say ‘Cat Eye’? Well, it has nothing to do with a cat. It is an ornamental plant with pretty flowers and fruits. The plant may not be familiar for many of us. Cat eye plant is a relative of the rose apple plant.
Cat eye plant was common in Kerala in the yesteryears and is rarely found now. The plant which is native of South Asia belongs to Myrtaceae family and its scientific name is Syzygium zeylanicum. The evergreen plant has a rather strong trunk and branches.
Cat eye is a slender tree that grows to a height of 10 metres. The fluffy flowers and white ball-like fruits in bunches add to the beauty of a garden. Its leaves are 8 cm long and 3 cm wide.
Cat eye normally blooms in February and March. The slightly fragrant flowers are yellowish white in colour and looks like a tuft of cat hair.
Its delicious fleshy fruits smell like fried rice flakes. Each fruit contains a seed inside it. Cat eye tree is propagated by sowing seed.
Collect the seeds from the fruits and rinse thoroughly and dry under shade for two days. Mix soil and cow dung powder into a fine powder and sow the seeds in it and keep it moist.
Seeds will sprout within 10-15 days. When four new shoots emerge, replant the saplings into polythene covers filled with potting mixture.
The saplings can be replanted to ground after 6-8 months growing in polythene covers. For this, make holes that have 1.5 feet length, width and depth each. Fill the holes with sand and cow dung powder before planting the saplings.
The bright green leaves, fluffy flowers and white fruits make cat eye plant a beautiful garden tree. It is ideal to be planted at the border of orchards. They are suitable for making bonsai trees and growing in flowerpots.