Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium fibrosum (F.M.Bailey) T.G.Hartley & L.M.Perry

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves, flowers and buds. © B. Gray
Fruit and leaves. © CSIRO
Fruit, four views and cross sections. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Hartley, T.G. & Perry, L.M. (1973) Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 54: 201.

Common name

Apple, Small Red; Small Red Apple; Satinash, Fibrous; Satinash, Bamaga Fibrous; Bamaga Fibrous Satinash; Apricot Satinash; Satinash, Apricot; Fibrous Satinash


Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Leaf blades about 6.3-10.8 x 2.9-5.2 cm, petioles about 0.4-0.9 cm long. Oil dots numerous. Midrib depressed on the upper surface at least towards the base of the leaf blade. Leaf blade much paler on the underside. Veins not very obvious on either the upper or lower surfaces.


Bracts often present at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 5-9 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 3-5 mm diam., calyx lobes +/- uniform, triangular to narrowly triangular, about 4-5 mm long. Petals spathulate, lanceolate or +/- orbicular, about 6-7 x 2-3 mm when spathulate, slightly wider when orbicular, oil dots visible, about 30-50 per petal. Outer staminal filaments about 15-25 mm long, anthers about 1 x 0.7 mm, gland terminal, reasonably conspicuous. Ovules 10-18 per locule, placentas central, ovules radiating, ascending. Style about 18-30 mm, approximating the stamens.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, about 10-16 x 18-21 mm, calyx lobes persistent, about 4-5 mm long, pericarp fleshy, slightly fibrous. Seeds solitary, about 10 x 12 mm along the longer diameter, testa adhering to the pericarp but free from the smooth surface of the uniformly textured, shortly petiolate cotyledons. Radicle basal, cotyledonary stipules present but not obvious.


Cataphylls about 3-5 pairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex acuminate, base attenuate, glabrous; oil dots easily visible with a lens. Seed germination time 36 to 70 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 450 m. Grows as an understory tree in well developed rain forest, particularly the drier, more seasonal rain forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in New Guinea and the Aru Islands.

Natural History & Notes

This species has excellent potential and is slowly gaining a place in horticulture. Selected forms produce masses of cream to yellow or brownish flowers which attract birds followed by bright pink or red fruits in profusion.

This species has no commercial value and does not grow large enough to produce useful logs. Wood specific gravity 0.81. The fruits are edible and have been used to make jam and tarts but not in commercial quantities. Hyland (1983).

Eugenia fibrosa F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 2: 662(1900), Type: Somerset, where I first saw it in flower, F. M Bailey, June, 1897.; holo: BRI.
RFK Code
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