Syzygium oleosum (MYRTACEAE) Blue Lilly Pilly

Plants to Plant


Large shrub or small tree with rough, rusty brown bark in east coast rainforests from north Queensland to southern New South Wales. Syzygium from Greek syzygos, joined, referring to paired leaves and branchlets of a Jamacian species. Oleosum from Latin oleum, oil and the suffix osus, plenitude of, referring to the large number of oil glands on the leaves. The leaves are oval or lance-shaped from 30-120 mm long and 10-40 mm wide with conspicuous oil glands. A hardy tree for temperate to tropical climates in reasonably well-drained soils.

 Syzygium Oleosum at Glenella Street Park bushcare site. PHOTO: Anne Jones


Once established it will tolerate extended dry conditions but is at its best when assured water is available. Propagation from fresh seed, either by sowing the fruits whole or after removing the flesh. Flowers are followed by round or oval shaped fruits 10 -25 mm in diameter and purplish blue to pinkish-red in colour. The fruits are edible and usually palatable. The white flowers appear over a long period from late spring to winter.

PHOTO: Matt Tomkins