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Leaf characteristics are explained by detailed descriptions and enlarged photos of samples are shown by selecting thumbnail images. The natural distribution range and features such as; habit, bark, flower and/or fruit useful in identification are given for every specimen listed on the web page below. This free resource aims to build up the awareness to the high conservation value Australian remaining rainforest areas deserve. Species in the following genera are listed in groups on our web pages: Australian Fig trees (Ficus spp.), Eucalypts (Eucalyptus spp.), Grevilleas (Grevillea spp.) and Syzygium species (Lilly Pilly, Satinash), listed below on this page. Otherwise all native Australian tree species are listed in alphabetical order.
Small-leaved Plum Myrtle Pilidiostigma rhytispermum
This species is very similar in appearance to its close relative the the Plum Myrtle Pilidiostigma glabrum (Page 8). It is a shrub or small tree under 10m in height and found as an under-storey species within subtropical rainforests (Picture 1). Bark is a reddish brown in colour and has a typical scaly texture (2). Beautiful flowers measuring up to 15 mm in diameter feature pure white petals and numerous stamens topped by yellow anthers. Solitary flowers are supported by a primary (single) stalk (peduncle) emerging from leaf axils and appear over spring (3). The fruit is a fleshy berry turning from green to a very dark, shiny purple colour with maturity. It is up to 20 mm long and mostly obovoid (pear-shaped), with the remains of the calyx showing at the top, and contains between 2 to 8 small seeds (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 5 cm long, elliptic to slightly obovate in shape with entire margins, hairy when young, mainly hairless when mature, mid-green, rather dull on top, lighter green beneath. Leaf apex is rounded, base shape is cuneate (5). Distribution: Southern Qld.
See Leaf Characteristics and Flower Identification Page for information on botanical definitions and concepts.
How to recognise Australian tree families and genera.
A practical field guide to the identification of native species. More than 200 full colour photographs and detailed descriptions explaining leaf, bark, flower, fruit and other tree characteristics.
New Holland Publishers
Format: Paperback with PVC
Pages: 128 pp.
Size: 13 cm wide x 18 cm high
Small-leaved Spurge Phyllanthus microcladus Other names: Small-leaved Phyllanthus
The Small-leaved Spurge or Small-leaved Phyllanthus is a multi-stemmed shrub up to 3m tall and occurs in subtropical and drier forms of rainforests (Photo 1 ). Stems and older branches are covered in spines up to 25 mm long. Bark is firm, rather smooth with small fissures and grey to light brown in colour (2). The globe-shaped fruit (a capsule) is up to 5 mm in diameter and a vivid pinkish red in colour when fully mature. Capsules ripen in late autumn and are supported by stalks up to 2 cm long (3). Very small simple leaves are borne on stems, branches and twigs over the whole shrub. They are arranged in small clusters of 5 to 6, mostly in an alternate way. Leaves are up to 15 mm long, obovate to oblanceolate in shape with entire margins and have a whitish, pale green underside (Photos 4 & 5). Distribution: Uncommon from NSW north-coast to central Qld.
Small-leaved Tamarind Diploglottis campbellii
Mature trees reach a height of up to 25m and develop a fluted trunk supporting a dense canopy. It is a rare species with a small distribution range originating in subtropical rainforests (Image 1 & 2). Bark is coloured dark brown and becomes rough and fissured at the base of older trees (3). The attractive and edible fruit (a capsule) is up to 80 mm wide and divided into 2 or 3 segments (lobes). Each lobe contains a single seed covered in a fleshy, bright orange-red aril (4). Pinnate compound leaves feature 4 to 8 leaflets, which are; up to 15 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with wavy margins, hairless, dark green, very glossy on top, paler but also shiny below with a smooth and soft texture. Leaflet apex is acute, base shape is cuneate and sometimes asymmetric. Venation is prominent on both surfaces (5). Distribution: From northern NSW to southern Qld.
Smooth-barked Apple Angophora costata Other names: Sydney Red Gum
Found in a large range of different habitats the Smooth-barked Apple or Sydney Red Gum can attain a height of 25m or more under favourable conditions. In exposed or rocky sites it has a short and twisted trunk less than 10m high (Photo 1). Bark after shedding in large patches is orange to pink in colour turning grey with age, newly exposed areas have a hard and smooth texture (2). The hard and nearly woody fruit is on average 15 mm long and about 12 mm in diameter, and features normally 5 sharp ridges, which extend past the rim level (3). Simple and mostly oppositely arranged adult leaves are; between 8 to 10 cm long, lanceolate in shape with entire margins, sometimes curved, dark green, semi glossy on top, paler beneath, strong and firm in texture. Apex is acute ending in a fine point; base shape is cuneate or more rounded and can be asymmetric. Mid-vein is prominent on both leaf surfaces, numerous straight lateral veins are faint (4 & 5). Distribution: In coastal areas from the south coast to the mid-north coast of NSW.
Southern Marara Vesselowskya rubifolia Other Names: Mountain Marara
The preferred habitat of this attractive shrub or small tree are cool temperate rainforests growing at altitudes of up 1500m. The distinctive foliage has a resemblance to the Blackberry and is a good initial identification feature (1). Bark, if not obscured by lichen and mosses, is dark brown in colour, firm in texture with small irregular ridges (2). Small cream and reddish pink coloured flowers are borne on racemes up to 8 cm long. Flowering period is over spring (3). The emerging leaf buds are enveloped in ovate shaped and hairy stipules up to 15 mm long (4). Palmate compound leaves consist of 5 leaflets, with the central one reaching 12 cm in length. The two basal leaves, which are not present all the time, are only up to 2.5 cm long. Leaflets are; elliptic to lance-shaped with finely serrated margins, sparsely hairy, dark green on top and paler green beneath. Veins are raised on lower leaf surface and densely covered in long fine brown hair (5). Distribution: Mid-north coast of NSW at higher elevations.
Southern Salwood Acacia disparrima Other names: Hickory Wattle
This Acacia species is very similar in appearance to the Brown Salwood Acacia aulacocarpa, and was formerly classified as Acacia aulacocarpa var. macrocarpa. It prefers wetter locations along stream banks or occurs on margins of rainforests and in wet tall eucalypt dominated forests. Depending on conditions it can be a tall shrub or a small tree up to 12m in high (1). Bark on the lower trunk is rough, fissured in texture and brown, weathering to grey, in colour (2). Pale yellow coloured flowers form a cylindrical spike up to 7 cm in length and bloom in summer and autumn (3). The woody and twisted pod is up to 10 cm long and shows distinctive raised veins on the outside surface. These veins are more delicate, i.e. not as wide and prominently raised as these of the Brown Salwood A. aulacocarpa. The woody pod is a good identification feature as it will last for a considerable time on the tree after opening or can be found on the ground beneath (4). Leaves of Acacias, Wattle trees are referred to as phyllodes. Phyllodes with an alternate arrangement are; up to 12 cm long, mostly sickle-shaped (falcate) with entire margins, greyish mid-green in colour, hairless, rather thick and strong in texture. A large number of longitudinal veins are visible with up to 5 showing more pronounced. Distribution: Northern NSW to North Qld.
To find related species go to: Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Southern Sassafras Atherosperma moschatum Other names: Black Sassafras
This tree prefers moist habitats and is often a dominant species in cool temperate rainforests. The name Sassafras relates to the spicy nutmeg like scent emitted when a leaf is crushed or the bark is rubbed. It is a medium sized tree, mostly with a straight trunk and conical shape, able to reach 25m in height (1). Bark is grey to light brown in colour and has a firm texture. It is covered in small blisters (lenticels) and shows fine vertical and more pronounced horizontal ridges (2). The image shows floral buds of solitary flowers arising from leaf axils over the winter months (3). New shoots and young branches are covered in fine hair. Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are spaced at regular intervals (2-ranked). There are variations in leaf margins, from nearly entire to irregular and sharply toothed. Leaves are; up to 8 cm long, elliptic to lanceolate (lance-shaped), light green on top, paler beneath and sometimes whitish due to a covering of fine hair. Petiole (leaf stalk) is up to 8 mm long and hairy (4 & 5). Distribution: Tasmania (widespread), Victoria and in NSW at higher altitudes.
Strychnine Tree Strychnos arborea
This small rainforest tree species reaches a height of up to 10m and has a very compact and dense canopy (Photo 1). Bark is a dark brown colour with a rough and finely fissured texture (2). Small flowers are; conical in shape, whitish yellow in colour and up to 8 mm long (3). The fruit is a fleshy red coloured berry, reaching up to 12 mm in diameter, which ripens from late autumn into winter. It contains a single rounded seed, flattened and whitish or beige in colour (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 6 cm long, varied in shape, ranging from broadly ovate to broad elliptic with entire margins, medium glossy, smooth, mid-green on upper surface, paler green beneath with very fine hair on mid vein only. Short petiole and young stems are covered in scattered fine hair. Venation is prominent and shows 3 pronounced veins starting at the leaf base (5). Axillary spines are absent on this specimen. Distribution: Northern NSW (uncommon) to northern Qld.
See Leaf Characteristics and Flower Identification Page for explanations of botanical terms used.
Descriptions and all images copyright ©2017 by www.allcreativedesigns.com.au world wide rights reserved.
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Steelwood Sarcopteryx stipitata Other names: Corduroy
The Steelwood or Corduroy reaches a height of up to 15m and is commonly found as an under-storey species in different types of rainforests (Photo 1). Bark is steely grey in colour (other colours are caused by lichen) with a very firm texture featuring raised longitudinal ridges and bumps at the base of the trunk (mature specimen Photo 2). Small white flowers are held on upright panicles which are a vivid red in colour. Flowering occurs (depending on average temperature) from late winter to spring (3). The fruit (a capsule) is up to 2.5 cm long, three angled with flattened sides and contains 3 brown or blackish seeds (depending on maturity), which are covered in a thin yellow aril. The seed is often attacked by fruit flies (4). Pinnate compound leaves consist of up to 8 leaflets, which are: up to 11 cm long, elliptic to lanceolate in shape with entire margins, dark green, semi glossy, mostly hairless on top, mid-green, finely hairy below (mainly along centre vein), thin but firm and rough in texture. Leaflet apex is acute with a fine point, base shape is cuneate. Petiolules (leaflet stalks) are very prominent, finely hairy and up to 2 cm long. Rachis, petiole and young branches are covered in fine brown hair. Venation is very apparent with mid vein and lateral veins being raised on both leaflet surfaces giving it a slightly rough texture. Domatia are visible as small bulges in vein angles along the mid-vein (5). Distribution: NSW mid-north coast to southern Qld.
Swamp Oak Casuarina glauca Other names: Swamp She-oak, Grey Sheoak
This species is is very common on the banks of tidal waterways and in coastal swamps, where it is able to withstand prolonged flooding and can often forms dense stands. It can attain a height of up to 20m with an open crown and a slender trunk (Photo 1). Bark on the trunk of mature trees is rough and vertically furrowed, colour is a light brown to grey and lichens are often present (2). The woody cone measures up to 15 mm in length and is roughly globe-shaped. The image is showing a cone before valves are opening (inhiscent) to release numerous small winged seeds (3). Thin branchlets are a grey green in colour and up to 25 cm long. Internodes are spaced up to 15 mm apart towards the base of branchlets and decrease in length towards the tip. A lens is needed to observe 12 to 16 tiny, sharply pointed teeth-like leaves at each internode, whereas the similar Beach Casuarina (Casuarina equisetifolia) only features up to 8 leaf teeth (4 & 5). Distribution: From southern NSW to central Qld, mostly coastal, with some more isolated inland populations in the Hunter valley and around Sydney. See Flower Characteristics Page and Leaf Characteristics Page for information on botanical definitions and concepts.
Sweet Pittosporum Pittosporum undulatum
The Sweet Pittosporum Pittosporum undulatum is a very common and wide spread native tree species, which under favourable conditions can reach a height of 15m or more. It occurs in all different types of rainforests, tall open forests and frequently in regrowth areas (Photo 1). Bark on mature specimens is firm with small ridges and grey brown in colour (beneath lichens and mosses) (2). Beautiful white flowers with a yellow centre are up to 20 mm across and are very pleasantly scented. This is a reason for its extensive use in landscaping which has lead to an invasive weed declaration on the species in areas outside its natural distribution range (3). Simple leaves develop in a whorl arrangement, then turn alternate and are bright yellow at first. Leaves are; up to 15 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with undulating (wavy) margins, dark green and glossy on top, mid-green below, hairless and smooth. Apex is acute, base shape is attenuate. Petiole (leaf stalk) is up to 20 mm long. Venation is more visible on upper leaf surface with fine, raised lateral veins (Picture 4 & 5). Distribution: Vic, NSW & Qld.
Sydney Golden Wattle Acacia longifolia subsp. longifolia Other names: Golden Wattle, Sallow Wattle, Coast Wattle
In exposed coastal conditions this species may only reach 3 to 4m in height, whereas growing under an open canopy within tall Eucalypt dominated forests, it can develop into a small tree less than 10m high. It is an endemic plant with a large, natural distribution range, including coastal plains and the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. This species is also widely used for landscaping purposes, often planted along roads (Photo 1). Bark is grey to brown in colour with firm and slightly rough texture, due to flaky patches, small ridges and fissures (2). Over late winter into spring this species becomes very noticeable with abundant golden yellow coloured flower spikes appearing, which are cylindrical in shape and up to 5 cm long (3). The thin pods are rounded and reach up to 15 cm in length, changing from green to a light brown in colour when fully mature. They are straight in shape, but can curl and twist when drying up before splitting to release the seed (4). Leaves of species in the Acacia genus are referred to as phyllodes, which on the Sydney Golden Wattle are; alternatively arranged, up to 20 cm long, narrow elliptic, straight or slightly curved in shape with entire margins, hairless, dark green, dull on top, only marginally paler beneath, thick, strong and leathery in texture. Phyllode gradually narrows into a broadly rounded or pointed apex showing a fine tip (mucro), base shape is attenuate to more cuneate. Up to 4 longitudinal veins are raised and more conspicuous on both surfaces, a small gland is visible at the base (5). Distribution: SA, Vic, NSW & south-east Qld. Note: Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae has shorter and broader phyllodes. Sometimes classified as a separate species Acacia sophorae.
Species belonging to this genus are referred to as fleshy fruited Myrtles, Subfamily: MYRTOIDEAE. Except for cool temperate rainforests at high altitudes, Syzygium species exist in all rainforest types, with the highest diversity found in tropical regions. The distribution range extends from Victoria (one species; Lilly Pilly S.smithii) to northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. Species in this genus range from shrubs to tall trees forming the uppermost canopy in rainforests. Typical characteristics include; an opposite leaf arrangement, fleshy fruits with the remnant calyx present at the apex and flowers with prominent stamens. There are many cultivars in existence as many Syzygium species will readily hybridise with each other.
Brush Cherry Syzygium australe Other names: Creek Satinash
The Brush Cherry is a common widespread tree species growing in a range of different forest types and can reach a height of 25m or more. New growth in the dense foliage will flush in salmon colours (Photo 1). Bark on mature specimens is brown in colour with a rough, flaky and fissured texture at the base of the trunk (2). Gorgeous white flowers bloom over summer and are up to 2.5 cm in diameter (3). The edible fruit is; pink to red in colour, pear shaped, up to 25 mm long and matures in autumn containing a single seed. When squeezed the seed will divide into segments each capable of germinating (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 8 cm long, varied in shape from obovate to elliptic with entire margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, lighter green and shiny below, strong and firm in texture. Leaf apex is short acuminate, base shape is cuneate. Venation featuring straight lateral veins and an intramarginal vein (a vein running parallel to the leaf edge) is only faintly visible (5). Distribution: From the south coast of NSW to northern Qld.
Cassowary Satinash Syzygium graveolens
Tropical lowland rainforests are the exclusive habitat of this attractive tree able to reach a height of more than 25m. It has a restricted natural distribution range and is a food source for the Cassowary, reason for its common name (Photo 1). Bark on older trunks becomes rough and orange brown in colour, whereas bark on younger branches is rather smooth and grey (2). The abundantly produced fruit is globe-shaped with a flattened apex surrounded by a characteristic rim (immature fruit is shown). It is pinkish red in colour and reaches up to 6 cm in diameter when fully mature (3). New growth of the very ornamental foliage flushes in bright pink to salmon coloured tones. Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement (characteristic for the genus) are; up to 20 cm long, elliptic (widest at the middle) or more oblanceolate (reverse lance-shaped) with entire margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, paler green beneath, firm, very smooth and leathery in texture. The stout petiole (leaf stalk) is up to 10 mm long and grooved on the upper side. Venation is fine but clearly visible on both surfaces (4 & 5). Distribution: North Qld.
Fibrous Satinash Syzygium fibrosum Other names: Small Red Apple
As an understorey species within tropical rainforests this small native tree species reaches a height of up to 10m (Photo 1). Bark is a reddish brown in colour with fine longitudinal fissures (2). Numerous stamens with white, cream or pale yellow coloured filaments are the prominent feature of attractive flowers, whereas petals are rather inconspicuous. They are arranged on panicles, blossom over winter and measure up to 5 cm in diameter when fully opened (Photos 3 & 4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 10 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with entire and slightly incurved margins, hairless, smooth, dark green and glossy on top, lighter green below with a firm and rather leathery texture. Apex is short acuminate ending in a blunt point, base shape is rounded. Strong petiole (leaf stalk) is up to 10 mm long. Venation is faint overall, but mid-vein is raised on both leaf surfaces (5). Distribution: Northern Qld & NT.
Johnstone River Satinash Syzygium erythrocalyx Other names: Scarlet Satinash, Red Bud Satinash, Daintree Satinash
This beautiful small tree naturally occurs as an understorey species in tropical rainforests and rarely reaches more than 10m in height (Photo 1). Bark on the often bumpy trunk is grey to cream coloured with a rough texture due to irregular ridges and small fissures (2). Large pale yellow flowers are dominated by numerous stamens up to 4 cm long, which obscure the small and rounded petals. They are seated on top of the reddish calyx supported by a short flower stalk (pedicel) and appear along older branches (ramiflorous), from axillary buds and also on the trunk (cauliflorous). Emerging flowers and mature fruit are present over late winter and spring (3). There are variations in the colour of the fruit at full maturity, from white or pink to a scarlet red. It is bell shaped and fleshy (edible), reaching up to 6 cm in length and 4 to 5 cm in diameter. The fruit contains only one or up to 4 hard seeds, which measure up to 2.5 cm in diameter and have an irregular grooved surface.The remaining rim-shaped base of the flower (calyx) can be seen at the apex of the fruit (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are: up to 20 cm long (larger on young trees), elliptic in shape with entire (in-rolled) margins, hairless, dark green, dull on top, light green beneath, thick and firm in texture. Leaf apex is rounded, base shape is cordate or obtuse. The mid rib and prominent lateral veins are sunken to the upper and strongly raised on the lower leaf surface. The strong petiole is only a few mm long and reddish in colour. Distribution: Tropical North Qld.
Lilly Pilly Syzygium smithii [Acmena smithii] Other names: Lillipilli Satinash
This wide spread small tree species occurs within different rainforest types and wetter tall Eucalypt forests. Three different forms may be recognised; the species shown here is the small-leaved form (Photo 1). Bark is reddish brown, relatively smooth and hard in texture (2). The small fruit reaches up to 8 mm in diameter and turns a whitish pink to pale purple colour when ripe. It is produced abundantly in late summer to autumn and features a circular rim (the remaining calyx) at the apex (Photos 3 & 4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; from 1 to 5 cm long, broadly obovate to oblanceolate in shape with entire margins, hairless, semi glossy or dull, firm and smooth in texture. Leaf apex is short attenuated, base shape is cuneate. Venation is only faintly visible on both surfaces (5). Distribution: Along Australia's east coast, from Victoria to north Qld. Widely used as an ornamental species.
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Magenta Lilly Pilly Syzygium paniculatum
The beautiful Magenta Lilly Pilly is a small to medium sized tree reaching a height of more than 15m under favourable conditions. It is relatively rare in its diminishing habitat of subtropical and littoral (in proximity to the coast) rainforests (Photo 1). Bark is brown in colour, hard and rough in texture featuring numerous longitudinal fissures (2). Magenta or sometimes pink coloured fruit is up to 2 cm long and contains a single white coloured seed. Fruit flesh is edible and probably the most palatable of Syzygium species (3). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 9 cm long, mostly broad elliptic or obovate in shape with entire margins, dark green and glossy on top, paler and glossy beneath, hairless, smooth and soft in texture. Leaf apex is short acuminate, base shape is cuneate. Mid vein is raised on lower surface and angular in shape, laterals veins are more visible beneath (Photos 4 & 5). Distribution: Naturally occurring from the south coast to the mid-north coast of NSW, more wide spread as an ornamental tree.
See Flower Identification and Leaf Identification Page for information on terms used.
Mulgrave Satinash Syzygium xerampelinum
Stream banks within tropical rainforests are the preferred habitat of this small tree less than 10m tall. It is an under-storey species and has the ability to withstand flooding (1). Bark is brown in colour and on older trunks is relative smooth despite fine irregular ridges, which are more prominent on younger trees (inset) (2). Gorgeous flowers dominated by stamens with white filaments and pale yellow anthers are typical for the genus. The calyx tube is about 1 cm and stamens are up to 2 cm long (3). New growth in the attractive foliage flushes in pink and salmon colours. Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 11 cm long, mostly elliptic in shape with entire margins, dark green, glossy on top, mid green beneath, hairless, strong and firm in texture. Mid rib is raised on both surfaces and intramarginal veins (a vein running parallel to the leaf edge) are visible. Distribution: Northern Qld. Note: A handsome small tree flowering and fruiting at a young age, which is suitable for landscaping in subtropical regions. See Flower Identification and Leaf Identification Page for information on terms used.
Powderpuff Lilly Pilly Syzygium wilsonii ssp. wilsonii Other names: Wilson's Satinash
This well known native shrub has its origin in tropical rainforests and as an understorey species reaches a height of up to 5m (Photo 1). Bark is a reddish brown in colour with a firm and slightly rough texture (2). New growth with a weeping (cascading) habit flushes in different tones of pink, red and purple (3). The striking powder puff shaped flower heads are a deep crimson red or dark pink in colour and can measure up to 7cm in diameter (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 20 cm long, mostly lanceolate in shape with entire and incurved margins, dark green and rather dull on top, paler beneath, hairless, firm and strong in texture. Leaf apex is acute, base shape is rounded. Petiole is very short only up to 3 mm long. Overall venation is faint, straight laterals and an intramarginal vein (a vein running parallel to the leaf edge) is more visible on upper leaf surface (5). Distribution: Tropical Qld, widely used as an ornamental shrub in frost free areas.
Purple Cherry Syzygium crebrinerve Other names: Rose Satinash
This impressive tree is up to 40m tall and often part of the highest canopy in subtropical rainforests (Photo 1). Older specimens develop large buttress roots and a solid upright trunk often covered in epiphytes, lichens and mosses. Bark is olive grey in colour and marked by fissures (cracks) and flaky patches (3). The gorgeous shiny purple fruit (a berry) is globe-shaped, if not disfigured by insect larvae, and reaches up to 25 mm in diameter. A single seed (if present) is surrounded by a flowery pulp, which is edible but rather bland (4). Simple leaves are; up to 12 cm long, broad elliptic or lanceolate (lance-shaped) with entire margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, paler green beneath, strong and firm in texture. Leaf apex gradually narrows to a fine tip, base shape is cuneate. Mid rib is sunken on top and raised on lower leaf surface. Numerous fine and straight laterals veins are visible (5). Distribution: Mid-north coast of NSW to southern Qld.
Descriptions and all images copyright ©2017 by www.allcreativedesigns.com.au world wide rights reserved.
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Red Apple Syzygium ingens Other names: Southern Satinash
Subtropical rainforests are the natural habitat of this tall tree species with the potential to reach a height of 40m (Photo 1). Older specimens develop a fluted trunk with a smooth, firm, grey and light brown coloured bark (2). The semi-fleshy fruit has a tough red skin, is globe-shaped or more obovoid (reverse egg-shaped) and up to 4 cm in diameter. It contains a large single seed embedded in a thin layer of white pulp (3). Young stems are coloured red (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; more than 20 cm long, elliptic or oblong in shape with undulating (wavy) and incurving margins, hairless, dark green, semi-glossy on top, firm and stiff in texture. Leaf apex shape is acute ending in a fine tip, base shape is cuneate (wedge-shaped) (5). Distribution: From northern NSW to southern Qld.
Riberry Syzygium luehmannii Other names: Small-leaved Lilly Pilly
This well known native tree species is being widely used in cultivation for its beautiful weeping foliage, stunning flower and fruit display. It can reach a height of more than 30m in its natural subtropical and littoral rainforest habitat, but is normally seen as a large shrub in suburban gardens (Photo 1). Bark on older specimens is rough, fissured and a reddish brown in colour towards the base of the trunk. Whereas branches feature a relative firm and smooth bark (2). Flowers with relative short white stamens are clustered in small panicles appearing at the end of young branches. Flowering times depend on climate zones and can occur over a long period throughout the year. New growth flushes in stunning pink and purple shades (3). Abundance of pinkish white to crimson red fruit (a berry) is mostly pear shaped and about 10 mm long. It contains a small single seed covered in whitish flesh (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 6 cm long, obovate or broadly lanceolate with entire and slightly incurved margins, dark green and very glossy on top, paler but also shiny beneath, hairless, smooth and rather firm in texture. Leaf apex is very long acuminate, base shape is rounded. The broad mid vein is apparent on the upper leaf surface; straight lateral veins (10 - 12 pairs) are faintly visible. Petiole is up to 5 mm long and often a yellowish green in colour (5). Distribution: From the NSW mid-north coast to tropical Qld.
River Cherry Syzygium tierneyanum
The River Cherry is a small to medium sized tree species native to tropical rainforests, where it prefers locations along or near water courses (Photo 1). Bark is papery and flaky in texture with newly exposed areas being a pinkish brown in colour (2). The fruit changes from white over pink to a deep red colour when fully mature. It is obovoid or sometimes globular (globe-shaped) and up to 25 mm long (3). Foliage has a weeping habit and young twigs are very smooth and reddish brown in colour (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 20 cm long, oblong to elliptic in shape with entire margins, hairless, scented, smooth, medium thick and rather leathery in texture. Apex is acute to long acuminate, base shape is varied from rounded to cuneate (wedge-shaped). Mid-vein is yellow on both sides, lateral veins are visible on top, but faint on underside of the leaf. Fleshy petiole is grooved on top, orange brown and up to 10 mm long. Distribution: Tropical Qld. (Used as an ornamental species)
To locate trees by botanical name or to find related species go to:Species List Botanical, which also shows all family names.
Roly Poly Satinash Syzygium unipunctatum
Up and lowland tropical rainforests are the natural habitat of this eye catching shrub or small tree up to 6m tall, which is also widely used in cultivation (Photo 1). Bark is a reddish brown in colour and except for very small longitudinal ridges has a fairly smooth and firm texture (2). New growth changes from a deep pink to a salmon colour with maturity (3). The globose (globe-shaped) fruit with a ribbed surface reaches up to 2.5 cm in diameter and turn a striking purple and indigo colour when ripening (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 11 cm long, elliptic to ovate in shape with entire margins, hairless, glossy on both surfaces, smooth and rather soft in texture. Apex is acuminate ending in a very fine point, base shape is cuneate. Mid vein is raised below and numerous straight lateral veins are faintly visible, (more so on upper leaf surface). Natural distribution: Tropical north Qld, south to Townsville.
Weeping Lilly Pilly Syzygium floribundum Other names: Weeping Satinash
This species is known for its attractive weeping foliage and abundant prolonged flowering, reasons for its popularity in cultivation. Subtropical rainforests and stream banks are preferred natural habitats of this medium sized tree up to 30m high (Photo 1). Bark at the base of the trunk is dark grey in colour, fissured and hard in texture (2). Masses of white to cream coloured flowers are borne on panicles, appearing towards the end or at the very end of young branches. Panicles are up to 20 cm long and individual flowers feature numerous stamens less than 1 cm long (3). Fruits are small green and pink coloured berries up to 15 mm in diameter. They are roughly globe-shaped with a pronounced rim (remains of the calyx) at the apex and ripen in late summer and autumn (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement are; up to 17 cm long, elliptic or lanceolate in shape with undulating (wavy) in-curved margins; hairless, glossy on upper surface; paler green beneath, strong and rather stiff in texture. Numerous straight lateral veins are visible (5). Distribution: From NSW central coast to Qld.
Wing-stemmed Cherry Syzygium alatoramulum Other names: Tinkling Satinash
This uncommon and moisture loving tree has a restricted habitat as an understorey species in tropical up- and lowland rainforests. It is a small tree less than 10m high with a dense canopy (1). Bark on the trunk of older trees is rough, scaly and reddish brown in parts, whereas other areas are smoother and pink (2). Flowers are dominated by numerous pure white stamens less than 1 cm long, as the small orb-shaped petals detach soon after opening. Flowers are borne on panicles with up to 3 individuals supported by a single stalk (3). The common name winged-stemmed cherry refers to the 4 prominent thin flanges present on the stems of young branches, which are a good identification characteristic (4). Simple leaves with an opposite arrangement, typical for the genus, are; up to 14 cm long, oblong with entire margins, hairless, dark green, glossy on top, pale green beneath, firm and strong in texture. Mid rib and lateral veins are impressed on upper and raised on lower leaf surface. A distinctive (intramarginal) vein runs around the outer edge of the leaf blade (5). Distribution: North-East Qld.