Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Syzygium xerampelinum B.Hyland

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves, buds and a flower. © A. Ford.
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Fruit, many views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Fruit [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
Habit, flower & bud, anther, fruit, seedling. © CSIRO

Hyland, B.P.M. (1983) Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series 9: 136. Type: A.K. Irvine 974: State Forest Reserve 675, Mulgrave Logging Area, 8.x.1974 (holotypus QRS).

Common name

Mulgrave Satinash; Satinash, Mulgrave


Generally a small tree seldom exceeding 25 cm dbh but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Prop roots and coppice shoots may be present at the base.


Oil dots visible with a lens if not visible to the naked eye. Leaf blades about 8.2-10.8 x 3.1-4.2 cm. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Sometimes two intramarginal veins visible.


Inflorescence frequently 3-7-flowered, bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 6-11 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 4.5-7 mm diam., calyx lobes slightly dimorphic, broadly triangular, but somewhat rounded at the apex, about 2-3 mm long, +/- horizontal at anthesis. Petals +/- orbicular, truncate at the base, about 4-5 mm diam., oil dots visible, more than 200 per petal. Outer staminal filaments about 10-20 mm long, glandular, anthers about 0.8-1.1 x 0.6-0.9 mm, one large gland terminal, near the back of the anther, plus about 4-6 smaller glands lower down. Ovules about 12-25 per locule, placentas central, ovules radiating, ascending. Style about 17-32 mm long, approximating or exceeding the stamens.


Fruits globular to ovoid, attaining about 11-18 mm diam, excavated at the apex, calyx lobes persistent, appearing somewhat fleshy, about 2-3 mm long, pericarp succulent. Seed solitary, sometimes two, attaining about 11 mm diam., testa very thin, adhering slightly to the pericarp, but more closely attached to the rugose surface of the otherwise uniformly textured, petiolate, cotyledons. Cotyledons purple. Radicle variable, apical, lateral or basal, cotyledonary stipules present.


Cataphylls about 1 or 2 pairs. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, apex acuminate, base cuneate, glabrous; oil dots numerous; stem 4-angled or shortly 4-winged. Seed germination time 21 to 47 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, restricted to the area between Cooktown and Innisfail. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 540 m. Grows as an understory tree in lowland and upland rain forest, often found growing as a rheophyte.

Natural History & Notes

This species never produces millable logs and has no commercial value. Wood specific gravity 0.78. Hyland (1983).

RFK Code
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