Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium tierneyanum (F.Muell.) T.G.Hartley & L.M.Perry

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, many views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit, three views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and fruit. © B. Gray
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Hartley, T.G. & Perry, L.M. (1973) Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 54: 200.

Common name

River Cherry; Bamaga Satinash; Creek Satinash; Satinash, Bamaga; Satinash, Creek; Water cherry; Watergum; Cherry, River


Generally a poorly formed tree.


Oil dots rather small but quite numerous, brownish when viewed with a lens. Leaf blades about 8.9-18.6 x 3-6.9 cm. Intramarginal vein often somewhat obscure, sometimes two intramarginal veins present.


Inflorescence borne on the twigs below or back from the leaves, never terminal, bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 5-10 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 4-6 mm diam., calyx lobes hemispherical, dimorphic, inner lobes larger, about 3-3.5 mm long. Petals +/- orbicular, concave, about 5-9 mm diam., oil dots numerous, about 180-200 or more per petal. Outer staminal filaments about 8-20 mm long, sparsely glandular, anthers about 0.8-1.1 x 0.7-0.9 mm, one gland terminal, near the back of the anther while additional smaller glands are sometimes visible lower down on the anther. Ovules about 15-25 per locule, placentas central, ovules radiating, ascending. Style about 10-20 mm long, approximating the stamens.


Fruits globular, attaining about 20 mm diam., slightly excavated at the apex, calyx lobes persistent, about 3 mm long. Seed solitary, about 5-8 mm diam., testa closely adhering to the rugose surface of the cotyledons and slightly adhering to the succulent pericarp, cotyledons green or purplish when fresh, uniformly textured except for the peripheral layer, conspicuously petiolate, stipules present. Radicle lateral or basal.


Cataphylls 1 pair. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly elliptic, apex acuminate, base attenuate, glabrous; oil dots numerous, easily seen with a lens. Seed germination time 18 to 33 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 450 m. Usually grows in rain forest or gallery forest along creeks and watercourses. Often grows as a rheophyte. Also occurs in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Natural History & Notes

Fallen fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

A large spreading tree becoming popular as shade tree in parkland.

This species occasionally produces millable logs and the sawn timber is marketed as Bamaga Satinash. Wood specific gravity 0.69-0.74. The fruits are edible bit of no commercial value. Hyland (1983).

Jambosa tierneyana (F.Muell.) Diels, Botanische Jahrbucher 57 : 389(1972). Eugenia tierneyana F.Muell., Fragm. 5: 14(1865), Type: Queensland, Dalrymple Creek, J. Dallachy, syn: MEL, iso: NSW. Syzygium floribundum Lauterb. & K.Schum., Fl. Deutsche Schutzgebiete Sudsee : 476(1901). Eugenia theodori-wolfii Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 477(1928), Type: Russell River, K. Domin 7348; holo: PR.
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