Syzygium australe (MYRTACEAE) Scrub Cherry

Plants to Plant

This commonly planted native is known as Scrub Cherry, Brush Cherry, Creek Cherry, Creek Lilly Pilly, and Creek Satinash or just Lilly Pilly. It is very similar to Syzygium paniculatum which you can tell apart by looking at fresh seed. S. paniculatum is polyembryonic, its seeds have quite obvious separate embryos that come part easily if you press them between your thumb and fingers. S. australe has a single large roundish seed. The fruit can be roundish, or elongated. It grows naturally in along freshwater streams especially along western suburbs creeks in Brisbane (such as Rafting Ground Reserve, Gold Creek and Enoggera Creek). Flowers are white in December to March. Fruit is ripe in December to May. It is edible, though quite tart. Germinate from seed, which germinates readily after a month. Fruit was eaten raw by Aborigines. Attracts birds to the garden. A common species throughout the Brisbane region. The fruit is eaten by Wompoo Fruit-dove, Satin Bowerbird, Australasian Figbird. Syzygium from Greek syzygos yoked together, joined or paired, referring to the paired leaves and branchlets of a Jamacian species.

Photo: Robert Whyte