Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & Perry

Lilly Pilly

Accepted name: Syzygium smithii

An evergreen, broad-crowned tree to about 20 m tall but usually much smaller. Leaves narrowly elliptic, 5-8 cm long, 2-4 cm wide with a tapering point, the margin often wavy, hairless and leathery, dark green above, paler beneath, veins indistinct. Leaf stalk 4-5 mm long. Flower clusters 3, each about 10 cm long. Flowers with sepals and petals 4. Stamens pinkish white, 3-6 mm long; mostly Oct- Jan. Fruit fleshy, globose or slightly flattened, 1.5-2 cm wide, white to purplish and containing 1 seed, the kernel 'wriggly' in section. Eugenia smithii Poir.

A rainforest tree, rather variable in habit and characteristics

This is the most commonly cultivated species in the genus; other species grown in warm districts are the red-fruited A. brachyandra (Maiden &Betche) Merr. & Perr., Red Apple (Cobun-bun), from NSW and Qld syn. Acmena australis (C. Moore) L. Johnson, and A. hemilampra (F.M. Bail.) Merrill &Perry, Broad-leaved Lilly Pilly, also from NSWand Qld.

Eugenia uniflora L., Surinam or Brazilian Cherry, from tropical America is cultivated in warmer districts. The genus is distinguished by the hairy flower buds and vegetative buds, and the species by the 8-grooved yellow to red edible fruits.

Qld, NSW, Vic, the natural distribution extending from N Qld to Wilsons Promontory in Vic.

Fruit with a ruminate ('wriggly') appearance in section; leaf veins indistinct.

VIC: Albert Park (St Vincents Gds,many); Ballarat (185 Sturt St); Balwyn (Maranoa Gds, entrance); Caulfield (Park); Melbourne (Royal Bot. Gds, old hedge inside D Gate).

A 'Hedgemaster' Dwarf, compact seedling selection with small leaves. Selected c. 1994, Don Burke. PVJ 9(2)28.

Other cultivars listed include 'Aussie Copper', A 'Bullock Creek' PVJ 11(3)23, 'Lilyput', 'Mini Pilly', 'Minor' and 'Prostrata'.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Myrtaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Acmena smithii 'Elizabeth Isaacs'

This cultivar commemorates the daughter of Victorian nurseryman, Cyril Isaacs. The new foliage is cream, pink and green and the habit generally smaller than the species. Occasionally the leaves are wholly pink or cream or have an irregular cream margin. ['Variegata'] Specimens vic: Geelong (Bot. Gds).