Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium sayeri (F.Muell.) B.Hyland

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Leaves, flowers and buds. © B. Gray
Fruit, three views and cross sections. © W. T. Cooper
Habit, flower & bud, anther. © CSIRO
Habit, 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: 119.

Common name

Watergum; Satinash, Pink; Pink Satinash


Usually a large well formed tree with a flaky bark.


Oil dots very large and conspicuous, visible to the naked eye from a distance of one metre or more. Leaf blades about 7.3-16.2 x 2.5-7.4 cm. Two intramarginal veins normally visible.


Inflorescence terminal on special lateral branches, generally produced inside the crown of the tree, below or back from the leaves, bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 9-16 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 5-9 mm diam., calyx lobes rounded, dimorphic, concave, inner lobes larger, about 3-5 mm long. Petals shortly clawed, +/- orbicular, about 6-8 mm diam., oil dots conspicuous, more than 100 per petal, distributed over most of the surface except the margin. Outer staminal filaments about 12-22 mm long, anthers about 1 x 1 mm, gland on the back of the anther below the apex. Ovules about 12-24 per locule, placentas central, ovules radiating, ascending, disk conspicuously raised above the staminal ring. Style about 10-19 mm long, substantially shorter than the stamens.


Fruits globular or depressed globular, attaining about 30-40 mm diam., calyx lobes persistent, about 3-4 mm long, pericarp succulent. Seed solitary, about 10-20 mm diam., testa adhering slightly to the pericarp and also to the rugose surface of the cotyledons, cotyledons +/- uniformly textured except for scattered large oil glands just under the surface. Radicle central.


Cataphylls about 2 or 3 pairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- elliptic, apex long, acuminate, base cuneate to attenuate, glabrous; oil dots large, easily seen with the naked eye. Seed germination time 20 to 24 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, widespread throughout the area. Altitudinal range from sea level to 800 m. Grows in well developed rain forest on a variety of sites. It is frequently found along creeks and watercourses but is not restricted to that habitat. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

This species produces millable logs and the timber is marketed as Pink Satinash, a useful general purpose structural timber. Wood specific gravity 0.78. The fruits are edible but not particularly palatable and of no commercial interest. Hyland (1983).

Eugenia sayeri F.Muell., Victorian Naturalist 8: 199(1892), Type: Russell River, W. Sayer, lecto: MEL; iso: MEL. Syzygium dictyophlebium Merr. & L.M.Perry, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 23: 267(1942), Type: British New Guinea: Central Division, Mafulu, Brass 5338 (type), October 1933, alt. 1250 m.
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