Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium wilsonii (F.Muell.) B.Hyland subsp. wilsonii

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit, side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit. © Stanley Breeden
Leaves, inflorescence and flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Hyland, B.P.M. (1983) Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 134.

Common name

Powder-puff Lillipilli; Wilson's Satinash; Powderpuff Lilly-Pilly; Lilly-pilly, Powderpuff; Lillipilli, Powder-puff; Satinash, Wilson's


Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 1-3 m tall occasionally growing to a height of 5 m.


Leaf blades rather thick and leathery, about 8.6-18.5 x 2.2-5.4 cm; apex acuminate, base rounded or cordate, petioles about 0.2-0.6 cm long. Midrib conspicuously raised on the upper surface.


Inflorescence terminal and in the upper axils, bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 7.5-13.5 x 3-4.5 mm, calyx lobes rounded, about 1.5 mm long. Petals orbicular, about 2.5-3 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 11-25 mm long, anthers about 0.8-0.9 x 0.5-0.7 mm, gland terminal, on the back of the anther. Ovules about 12-20 per locule, placentas axile, ovules transverse, horizontal. Style about 12-34 mm long, approximating the stamens.


Fruits cream or white when ripe, obovoid or globular, excavated at the apex, attaining about 10-16 mm diam., calyx lobes persistent at the apex, lobes about 1-1.5 mm long. Seed solitary, about 5-9 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 lanceolate, apex acuminate, base obtuse or almost cordate, oil dots rather sparse, visible with a lens. Petioles dark, transversely wrinkled or pustular. Seed germination time 32 to 42 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Grows as an understory plant in undisturbed lowland and upland rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

A beautiful ornamental shrub common in cultivation. Noted for its red pendant flushes of new growth, large heads of pink, red or purple flowers and the white fruits.

This subspecies is too small to produce millable logs. Wood specific gravity 0.90. Hyland (1983).

Syzygium wilsonii (F.Muell.) B.Hyland, Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 134(1983). Eugenia wilsonii F.Muell., Fragm. Phytogr. Austral. 5: 12(1865), Type: Queensland, Rockingham Bay, J. Dallachy; lecto: MEL; syn: MEL. Fide Hyland (1983). Eugenia subopposita F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 6: 2004(1902), Type: Syntypes: Queensland,Tully River, J.F. Bailey; syn ? Tully River, W.E. Roth; syn: ?.
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