Syzygium smithii

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 Acmena smithii subsp. var.  Lillypilly
Syzygium smithii 2.jpg
Habit: tree
Height: to
Width: to
60ft 35ft
Height: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 60 ft
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 35 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Bloom: early summer, mid summer, late summer
Exposure: sun
Features: flowers
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 9 to 12
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: white
Myrtaceae > Acmena smithii var. ,

Syzygium smithii (formerly Acmena smithii) is a summer flowering evergreen tree, belonging to the myrtle family Myrtaceae.[1] It is commonly planted as shrubs or hedgerows. It features rough woody bark, cream and green smooth waxy leaves with flushes of pink new growth and pink to mauve edible berries. It shares the common name "Lilly Pilly" with several other plants. Unpruned it will grow about 3–5 m (10–15 ft) tall in the garden.

Syzygium smithii 's name dates from its 1789 description as Eugenia smithii by French botanist Jean Louis Marie Poiret,[2] its specific name honouring James Edward Smith,[3] who had described it two years earlier as E. elliptica. The name was unusable due to that combination having been used for another species.[4] It gained its current binomial name in 1893 when reclassified in the genus Syzygium by German botanist Franz Josef Niedenzu,[5] but was for many years widely known as Acmena smithii.

Common names include lilly pilly, coast satinash, Eungella gum, and in the timber trade, lilipilli satinash.[3]

Syzygium smithii grows as a tree to 20 m (60 ft) high by 5–15 m (15–50 ft) wide, with a trunk attaining a diameter of 70 cm (2 ft). The largest tree was recorded at Dingo Creek Flora Reserve, south of Tenterfield, being 30 m (98 ft) tall and a trunk 60 cm (2 ft) wide.[6]

The trunk is sometimes buttressed. The bark is brown and scaled and flakes off easily. Its dark green shiny leaves are arranged oppositely on the stems, and are lanceolate or ovate and measure 2–10 cm (1–4 in) by 1–3 cm wide. The cream-white flowers appear from October to March, occurring in panicles at the end of small branches. Berries follow on, appearing from May to August, and are oval or globular and measure 0.8 to 2 cm in diameter, and range from white to maroon in colour. They are mildly acid, and have been described as somewhat lacking in taste.[3][7]

A distinctive narrow leaved form with thin leaves 3–6 cm long is found along rainforest riverbanks from Sydney northwards through Queensland,[3] and a small leaved form with leaves measuring 1.6–6 cm found in dryer rainforests from Colo Heights near Sydney north to the Bunya Mountains.[3]

Syzygium smithii is widely grown in cultivation as a specimen tree.[7] Of the several species grown in cultivation, S. smithii is one of the more resistant to attacks by psyllids.[8][9]



Pests and diseases


A number of forms have been selected for cultivation , including the following:

  • 'Allyn Magic', a compact form of S. smithii var. minor with greyed-orange new foliage bred by Noel Jupp of East Gresford, New South Wales.[10]
  • 'Elizabeth Isaacs' (also known as 'Variegata'), a slightly smaller cultivar that has new growth flushes with a combination of pink, green, cream and cream-margined leaves.[11]
  • 'Hedgemaster' is a compact shrubby form reaching a metre (3 ft) tall and 0.5 m wide. It has a bushy dense habit and small leaves, and can be used in topiary or formal hedging. It was propagated and licenced under Plant Breeders' Rights by TV presenter Don Burke.[12]



  1. "Taxon: Syzygium smithii (Poir.) Nied.". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area. Retrieved on 2010-05-05.
  2. Template:APNI
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Floyd, A.G., Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, Inkata Press 2008, ISBN 9780958943673 pp. 265–66
  4. Template:APNI
  5. Template:APNI
  6. Floyd, A.G., Australian Rainforests in NSW, volume 2, Surrey Beatty & Sons 1990, ISBN 0949324329 page 176
  7. 7.0 7.1 Eliot RW, Jones DL, Blake T (1985). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Vol. 2. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. pp. 139–40. ISBN 0-85091-143-5. 
  8. Burke, Don (2001). "Best Lilly Pilly Varieties". Burke's Backyard website. CTC Productions. Retrieved on 10 May 2010.
  9. Walters, Brian (December 2008). "Acmena smithii". Australian Native Plants Society website. Australian Native Plants Society. Retrieved on 10 May 2010.
  10. Plant Varieies Journal 16 (2): 10–11. 2003. 
  11. Rowell, Raymond J. (1980). Ornamental Flowering Trees in Australia. Australia: AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd. p. 40. ISBN 058950178X. 
  12. Stewart, Angus (2001). Gardening on the Wild Side. Sydney: ABC Books. p. 159. ISBN 0-7333-0791-4. 

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