Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium cryptophlebium (F.Muell.) Craven & Biffin

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Flower and buds. © Barry Jago
Fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit, two views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Craven, L.A. & Biffin, E. (2005) Blumea 50(1): 159.

Common name

Plum Satinash; Powderpuff Lillipilli; Satinash, Plum; Watergum


Sometimes with scroll marks on sections of the trunk, i.e. a series of curved parallel lines.


Petiole short, slightly channelled on the upper surface, black or purple in colour. Leaf blades about 5.5-16.8 x 1.3-5 cm, petioles about 3-5 mm long. Midrib conspicuously raised on the upper surface. Lateral veins scarcely visible on the upper surface. A few oil dots may be visible with a lens near the midrib.


Bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 5-8.5 x 2-4.5 mm, calyx lobes +/- rounded, about 0.5-1.5 mm long. Petals +/- orbicular, about 2-3 mm diam., oil dots visible, comparatively large, about 10-90 per petal. Outer staminal filaments about 5-11 mm long, sometimes glandular, anthers about 0.5-0.7 x 0.5-0.7 mm, gland terminal, near the back of the anther and up to three or four smaller subsidiary glands sometimes present, lower down on the back of the anther. Ovules about 10-25 per locule, placentas axile, ovules transverse, +/- horizontal. Style about 5-12.5 mm long, approximating the stamens.


Fruits broadly obovoid to globular, excavated at the apex, attaining about 8-12 mm diam., calyx lobes persistent, about 1-1.5 mm long, pericarp succulent. Seed solitary, about 5-7 mm diam., testa adhering slightly to the pericarp but free from the smooth but glandular surface of the uniformly textured cotyledons. Radicle basal or lateral, cotyledons purple when fresh, cotyledonary stipules present, but small and inconspicuous.


Cataphylls absent or sometimes 1 pair. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly ovate, apex acuminate, base cuneate or obtuse, glabrous; oil dots very sparse although a few can usually be found along the midrib; stems 4-angled or shortly 4-winged. Seed germination time 23 to 92 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1550 m. Grows in well developed rain forest, usually but not always, as an understory tree.

Natural History & Notes

A small tree in cultivation, popular for its flushes of new growth and the cream flowers which attract birds.

This subspecies occasionally produces millable logs and the timber is marketed as Plum Satinash, a useful structural timber. Wood specific gravity 0.78-0.81. Hyland (1983).

Syzygium wilsonii subsp. cryptophlebium (F.Muell.) B.Hyland, Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 135(1983). Eugenia cryptophlebia F.Muell., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae 9: 144(1875), Type: Rockingham Bay, J. Dallachy, holo: MEL; iso: MEL. Eugenia rhadinanthera S.Moore, Journal of Botany 55: 303(1917), Type: Kuranda, L. S. Gibbs 6350, iso; NSW. Eugenia sordida F.M.Bailey, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock. Botany Bulletin 5: 15(1892), Type: Bellenden-Ker, about 4,700 ft. alt., Exped. 1889. Eugenia macoorai F.M.Bailey, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock. Botany Bulletin 5: 15(1892), Type: Near the summit of the south Peak of Bellenden-Ker, Exped. 1889.
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