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Eugenia sprengelii
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Tribe: Myrteae
Genus: Eugenia
P.Micheli ex L.
Type species
Eugenia uniflora

Over 1,100; see list of Eugenia species

    • Calomyrtus Blume nom. inval.
    • Calophylloides Smeathman ex DC.
    • Calyptrogenia Burret
    • Catinga Aubl.
    • Chloromyrtus Pierre
    • Emurtia Raf.
    • Epleienda Raf.
    • Eplejenda Post & Kuntze
    • Greggia Gaertn. nom. illeg.
    • Hexachlamys O.Berg
    • Hottea Urb.
    • Jossinia Comm. ex DC.
    • Meteoromyrtus Gamble
    • Monimiastrum J.Guého & A.J.Scott
    • Myrcialeucus Rojas
    • Myrtopsis O.Hoffm.
    • Olynthia Lindl.
    • Stenocalyx O.Berg
    • Stereocaryum Burret

Eugenia is a genus of flowering plants in the myrtle family Myrtaceae. It has a worldwide, although highly uneven, distribution in tropical and subtropical regions. The bulk of the approximately 1,100 species occur in the New World tropics, especially in the eastern Brazil's northern Andes, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Forest (coastal forests). Other centers of diversity include New Caledonia and Madagascar. Many species in the Old World have received a new classification into the genus Syzygium.[3]

All species are woody evergreen trees and shrubs. Several are grown as ornamental plants for their attractive glossy foliage, and a few produce edible fruit that are eaten fresh or used in jams and jellies.


The genus was named in honor of Prince Eugene of Savoy.[4]

Many species new to science have been and are in the process of being described from these regions. For example, 37 new species of Eugenia have been described from Mesoamerica in the past few years.[when?] At least 20 new species are currently[when?] being described from New Caledonia, and approximately the same number of species new to science may occur in Madagascar.[citation needed] Despite the enormous ecological importance of the myrtle family in Australia (e.g. Eucalyptus, Corymbia, Angophora, Melaleuca, Callistemon, Rhodamnia, Gossia), only one species of Eugenia, E. reinwardtiana, occurs on that continent. The genus also is represented in Africa south of the Sahara, but it is relatively species-poor on that continent. In the past some botanists[which?] included the morphologically similar Old World genus Syzygium in Eugenia, but research by Rudolf Schmid in the early 1970s convinced most botanists that the genera are easily separable. Research by van Wyk and colleagues in South Africa suggests the genus may comprise at least two major lineages, recognizable by anatomical and other features.[citation needed]

Molecular phylogenetic studies have changed the historical circumscription of the genus. Many species formerly placed in Eugenia have been moved to Syzygium.[5] Two others have been reassigned to Pimenta.[6] The Caribbean genera Hottea, Calyptrogenia and Pseudanamomis were shown to be embedded in Eugenia.[7] The monotypic Indian genus Meteoromyrtus was also found to be part of Eugenia.[8]


Selected species include:


Eugenia species are sometimes used as food plants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genera Aenetus (including A. splendens) and Endoclita (including E. damor and E. malabaricus). Aenetus species burrow horizontally into the trunk then vertically down. Other Lepidoptera larvae which feed on Eugenia include Eupseudosoma aberrans and the snowy eupseudosoma.


  1. ^ "WCSP". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  2. ^ "Eugenia P.Micheli ex L.". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  3. ^ "Login | Merriam-Webster Unabridged".
  4. ^ Stearn, W. T. (2004). Botanical Latin. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press.
  5. ^ Wrigley, John W.; Fagg, Murray A. (2003). Australian native plants: cultivation, use in landscaping and propagation (Fifth ed.).
  6. ^ "The All-spice Genus Pimenta (Myrtaceae) from Hispaniola One New Species, Pimenta berciliae, Two New Combinations and Taxonomic Notes". 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  7. ^ Flickinger, Jonathan A.; Jestrow, Brett; Oviedo Prieto, Ramona; Santiago-Valentín, Eugenio; Sustache-Sustache, José; Jiménez-Rodríguez, Francisco; Campbell, Keron C. St. E. & Francisco-Ortega, Javier (2020). "A phylogenetic survey of Myrtaceae in the Greater Antilles with nomenclatural changes for some endemic species". Taxon. 69 (3): 448–480. doi:10.1002/tax.12263. S2CID 225866702.
  8. ^ Wilson, P.G. & Heslewood, M.M. (2016). "Phylogenetic position of Meteoromyrtus (Myrtaceae)". Telopea. 19: 45–55. doi:10.7751/telopea10389.