Syzygium paniculatum

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Magenta lilly pilly
Syzygium paniculatum, bloeiwyses, Tuks, b.jpg
inflorescences
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. paniculatum
Binomial name
Syzygium paniculatum
Synonyms[2]
  • Eugenia paniculata Gaertn. J.Britt. nom. illeg.
  • Eugenia rheedioides Standl. & Steyerm.

The magenta lilly pilly (Syzygium paniculatum, syn. Eugenia paniculata), also known by the common name magenta cherry, is a broad dense bushy rainforest tree native to New South Wales. It grows to a height of 15 m with trunk diameter up to 35 cm. Leaves are 3–9 cm long, opposite, simple and slightly obovate, tapering at the leaf base. The leaves are dark glossy above, and paler below. White flowers are produced in clusters. The edible fruit is usually magenta, but can be white, pink or purple.[3]

It is commonly cultivated in eastern Australia and elsewhere. Well known as an edible wild fruit with a pleasantly sour apple-like flavour. It is eaten fresh or cooked into jams.[4]

The 1889 book 'The Useful Native Plants of Australia’ records that Eugenia myrtifolia common names included "Brush Cherry" or "Native Myrtle" and that "The red juice of the fruit of this tree is similar in its properties to that of red grapes. It contains free tartaric acid, cream of tartar, sugar, and red colouring matter very sensitive to the action of acids and alkalies. By fermentation it yields wine possessing a bouquet. The colouring matter, which is soluble in alcohol and ether-alcohol, but not in pure ether, is precipitated by lead-acetate, decolourised by reducing agents, and recovers its red colour on exposure to the air, just like litmus and the red colour of wine (De Luca and Ubaldini, in Watfs' Did., vi., ist Supp., 608.)."[5]

It is commonly confused with Syzygium australe, brush cherry.[6]

fruit
very large S. paniculatum, with a trunk diameter measured at 88 cm, estimated height in excess of 30 metres, Illawarra, Australia

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Syzygium paniculatum". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  2. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  3. ^ Floyd, A.G., Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, Inkata Press 1989, ISBN 0-909605-57-2
  4. ^ "Syzygium paniculatum". Bush foods of NSW. The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  5. ^ J. H. Maiden (1889). The useful native plants of Australia : Including Tasmania 84. Turner and Henderson, Sydney.
  6. ^ Wilson. Peter G. "New South Wales Flora Online: Syzygium paniculatum". Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.

External links[edit]