Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium wilsonii subsp. epigaeum Craven & Biffin

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and flowers. © B. Gray
Immature fruit. © B. Gray

Craven, L.A. & Biffin, E. (2005) Blumea 50(1): 159-160. Type: Ford 4359, Australia, Queensland, National Park Reserve 904, Wooroonooran, Coolamon Creek, c. 700 m S of Towalla Mine, c. 18 km SE of Malanda, 15 July 2004.

Common name

Powderpuff Lilly-Pilly; Lilly-pilly, Powderpuff


Shrub or tree to 9 m tall.


Leaf blades rather thick and leathery, about 7-19.4 x 2-6 cm; apex acuminate, base rounded or cordate, petioles about 0.2-0.7 cm long. Midrib conspicuously raised on the upper surface.


Inflorescence terminal and in the upper axils, bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Flowers pink. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 7.5-13.5 x 3-4.5 mm, calyx lobes rounded, about 1.5-2.5 mm long. Petals orbicular, about 2.5-3.5 mm diam., oil dots visible, comparatively large, about 50-100 or more per petal. Receptacle cylindrical with the stamens attached to the upper part of the inner surface. Outer staminal filaments pink, about 10-18 mm long, anthers about 0.6-0.8 x 035-0.4 mm, gland terminal, on the back of the anther. Ovules about 16-22 per locule, placentas axile, ovules transverse, horizontal. Style about 12-19 mm long, approximating the stamens.


Fruits cream or white when ripe, obovoid or globular, excavated at the apex, attaining about 13-20 x 9-16 mm, calyx lobes persistent at the apex, lobes about 1-1.5 mm long. Seed solitary, about 8 mm diam., testa adhering slightly to the pericarp but free from the smooth but glandular surface of the uniformly textured purple cotyledons. Radicle lateral, cotyledonary stipules not visible.


Cataphylls about 1 or 2 pairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade narrowly lanceolate to elliptic or obovate, 10-16 lateral veins; apex acuminate, base obtuse or almost cordate, oil dots rather sparse, visible with a lens. Petioles dark, transversely wrinkled or pustular. Stem 4-angled and narrowly winged. Seed germination time 38 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from about 610 to 720 m. Grows as an understory plant in undisturbed lowland and upland rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

The main difference between this subspecies and subspecies wilsonii is the mode of germination, epigeal in this subspecies.

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