Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium papyraceum B.Hyland

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Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Fruit, various views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Leavs and fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Habit, flower, anther, fruit, seedling. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Hyland, B.P.M. (1983) Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 111. Type: B. Hyland 6390: Timber Reserve 1230, Boonjee Logging Area, 3.x.1972 (holotypus QRS).

Common name

Paperbark Satinash; Satinash, Paperbark; Watergum


Bark almost red, very thin and papery, each flake being transparent.


Oil dots quite numerous and visible with a lens if not visible to the naked eye. Leaf blades about 6.4-10.5 x 2.3-4.8 cm. Midrib grooved or depressed on the upper surface. Lateral veins scarcely visible on the upper surface. Older twigs with papery bark.


Bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Flowers perfumed with an odour like that of citronellal. Calyx tube (hypanthium) 4-angled or 4-lobed, calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 5-8 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 6-9 mm diam., calyx lobes +/- orbicular, equal, concave, about 4 mm long, horizontal soon after anthesis. Petals +/- orbicular, about 6-7 mm diam., oil dots visible, more than 100 per petal. Staminal filaments mauve to purple. Outer staminal filaments about 5-10 mm long, anthers about 0.8 x 0.7 mm, gland absent or inconspicuous. Ovules about 15-24 per locule, placentas central, ovules radiating, ascending, apex of the ovary +/- level with the staminal disk at anthesis. Style about 4-6 mm long, approximating the stamens.


Fruits globular, obovoid or turbinate, broadly and shallowly excavated at the apex, attaining about 25-30 x 25 mm, calyx lobes persistent, conspicuous, inflexed, about 4-5 mm long. Seed solitary, about 15 mm diam., testa adhering slightly to the succulent pericarp and slightly more adherent to the smooth surface of the uniformly textured, purplish cotyledons. Radicle central or lateral, cotyledonary stipules present.


Cataphylls about 2 or 3 pairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex acuminate, base attenuate, glabrous; oil dots numerous, just visible to the naked eye; sometimes with two intramarginal veins. Seed germination time 30 to 42 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ and just enters the northern part of CEQon Mt Elliot. Altitudinal range from 600-1200 m. Grows in well developed upland and mountain rain forest on a variety of sites.

Natural History & Notes

This tree does well in cultivation flowering as a small tree. Flowers are cream, pink or purple, and are followed by glowing purple fruits. The red papery bark is sought after for bark painting.

This species produces millable logs and the sawn timber is marketed as Paperbark Satinash, a useful general purpose structural timber. Wood specific gravity 0.84-0.90 Hyland (1983).

RFK Code
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