Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium cormiflorum (F.Muell.) B.Hyland

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Cauliflorous flowers and buds. © B. Gray
Fruit, side views and cross sections. © W. T. Cooper
Cauliflorous buds. © CSIRO
Habit, flower & bud, anther, fruit, seedling. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Hyland, B.P.M. (1983) Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 68.

Common name

White Apple; Apple, White; Apple, Wild; Wild Apple; Watergum; Satinash, Bumpy; Ramiflorus Satinash; Cairns Satinash; Bumpy Satinash


Stem variable, bumpy on the cauliflorous form but +/- normal on the ramiflorous form.


About 6-12 pairs of main lateral veins uniformly curved throughout their length but intramarginal veins absent. Leaf blades about 6-21 x 2.5-11.5 cm. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Petioles about 0.5-1.8 cm long, grooved on the upper surface.


Bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Flowers sessile or shortly pedicellate, calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 7-15 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 9-16 mm diam., calyx lobes rounded, dimorphic, concave, inner lobes larger, about 6-11 mm long. Petals clawed, concave, about 8-15 mm diam., oil dots numerous, generally more than 100 per petal, sometimes difficult to distinguish. Outer staminal filaments about 15-30 mm long, anthers about 1.1-2.3 x 0.6-1.4 mm, gland absent or not visible. Ovules about 15-30 per locule, placentas central, ovules radiating, ascending. Style about 18-35 mm long, approximating the stamens.


Fruit borne on the trunk and larger branches; globular to ovoid, often somewhat irregular, about 30-60 mm diam., calyx lobes persistent, about 5-9 mm long. Seed solitary, rarely two, attaining about 25-32 mm diam., testa adhering slightly to the succulent pericarp but adhering much more strongly to the rugose surface of the cotyledons by peg-like intrusions from the testa. Cotyledons uniformly textured except for the peripheral layer. Radicle central-lateral.


Cataphylls about 2-4 pairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate or ovate-elliptic, apex acuminate, base cuneate or obtuse, glabrous, intramarginal vein absent, lateral veins form loops inside the margin of the leaf blade; oil dots small, numerous. Seed germination time 10 to 77 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1100 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites and also in some of the drier, more seasonal rain forests.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit and flowers eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

This tree is cultivated for the mass flowering that occurs on the trunk and sometimes the lower branches. The large flowers attract several bird and bat species and are followed by large cream or pinkish fruits.

Wood specific gravity 0.77-0.95. Hyland (1983).

Eugenia cormiflora F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographie Australie 5: 32(1865), Type: Rockingham Bay, Dalrymple Gap, J. Dallachy, holo: MEL. Eugenia hislopii F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 5(5): 483(1899), Type: Near Cooktown, R. Hislop in W. E. Roth, holo: BRI.
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