Thursday, 8 January 2009

Lilly Pilly

Acmena floribunda
Curtis's Botanical Magazine 5480 vol. XC (1864)

Still looking at Eugenia. The most frequent "Eugenia" at Monserrate, and in the last ten years or so once again popular in Portuguese gardens is generally given the name Syzigium paniculatum, though is quite probably Syzygium australe.

Syzygium paniculatum Gaertn.
Gaertner, J. (1788), De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum 1: 167, t. 33 [tax. nov.]
Type: "Hort. sicc. Banks."

Curtis's Bot. Mag. 177 (1969) t. 529.

Eugenia paniculata (Gaertn.) Britten nom. illeg. Floyd, A.G. (1979) For. Comm. New South Wales Res. Note 28, ed. 2: 83-85
Eugenia australis H.L.Wendl. ex Colla nom. illeg.Hyland, B.P.M. (1983) A revision of Syzygium and allied genera (Myrtaceae) in Australia. Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 109-110
Eugenia paniculata (Gaertn.) Britten nom. illeg.Robson, Peter J.Checklist of Australian Trees. (1993) Database Record.
Creek Lilly Pilly, Brush Cherry, Scrub Cherry

Threatened Species and Communities, Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia (1998), Schedules 1, 2 & 3 (24 February 1998). Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 CHAH (2005),

Australian Plant Name Index

Sorting Syzigium :
Sorting Eugenia :

No sign of a "Eugenia latifolia", but there is a Eugenia smithii Poir. -> Syzygium smithii (Poir.) Nied. Synonym : Eugenia elliptica Sm.,

Desert Tropicals gives Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & Perry as a further synonym. The photograph that accompanies this name shows leaves that looks remarkably like the Monserrate Syzigium paniculatum.,

Again grom The Australian Plant Names Index

Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & L.M.Perry
Merrill, E.D. & Perry, L.M. (1945) Plantae Papuanae Archiboldianae, XII. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 26: 16 Floyd, A.G. (1979) N.S.W. Rainforest trees Part III Family Myrtaceae. Forestry Commission of New South Wales Research Note Edn. 2, 28: 1-92 (19-22) Hyland, B.P.M. (1983) A revision of Syzygium and allied genera (Myrtaceae) in Australia. Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 1-164 (20-23)
synonym: Eugenia elliptica Sm. nom. illeg.Robson, Peter J.Checklist of Australian Trees. (1993) Database Record.

Australian Plant Census does not accept Acmena genus
Acmena DC. = Syzygium Gaertn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Syzygium paniculatum/australe identity confusion is an enduring "problem" for wholesale and retail nurseries in Australia, and confusion is maintained as growers regularly introduce new cultivars, particularly of S. australe,into the market. Other species, S.(formerly Acmena)smithii and S.oleosum syn. coolminianum,of superficial similarity and overlapping natural distribution, help to muddy the waters.

Syzygium paniculatum is a tree of very restricted distribution, being found in a few forested coastal sandmasses within 100km or so on either side of Sydney. This proximity to Sydney is of course the key to its early distribution to collections around the world. In Sydney, mature planted specimens of S. paniculatum are encountered far more frequently than S. australe, often as solitary 15m x 15m beauties dominating several adjoining domestic gardens. Some are survivors of larger landscaped landholdings now subdivided. Many are street and park trees in Sydney and even Melbourne, though Syzygium smithii is more commonly used there.

Mature, park-grown specimens of S. australe and paniculatum have similar form but are easy to distinguish on closer examination. The bark of S. australe is usually of a paler gray to S.paniculatums gray/brown. Twigs of S.australe are four-angled; squareish in cross-section. Leaves are subtley different in detail, S.autrale (a much more widely naturally distributed plant) shows a lot more variety in shape. For instance, leaf apices vary from being acute to obtuse and evenly slightly emarginate, whereas the less variable S.paniculatum leaf is more acuminate to acute...if that sheds a little light!

The most obvious difference is in the fruit. S.paniculatum (known as the Magenta Cherry) fruit is definitely magenta/purple in colour,glossy, and the seed is polyembryonic, appearing globular but breaking into uneven sized and curvingly faceted segments under slight pressure. S.australe (Brush or Creek Cherry)fruit is rich red and glossy, and monoembryonic. Fruit shape is often slightly pyriform; I've never seen this in S.paniculatum.

The more sombre S.smithii, the common Lillypilly,is less glossy in the leaf,flowers are shorter in the stamens and fruit, never glossy always matt-surfaced, is white to pink/purple. S.smithii,like S.oleosum,has a chocolate brown bark with less flaky texture. S.oleosum fruit is glossy blue/purple; the tree is known as Blue Cherry. Leaf tips are acuminate and translucent oil glands are densely distributed in the leaf, giving it an oily smell when crushed. These two trees are the most common Syzygiums on Sydney sandstones, in gullies of remnant depauperate rainforest.

This site is new to me; I'm just beginning to grasp the beauty and breadth of your collection.Thank you.