Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: brush cherry, scrub cherry, creeklilly-pilly, creeksatinash and water gum.

+ Tree Species

Syzygium australe

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

It is a rainforest tree native to eastern Australia. The species occurs in coastal regions in Queensland and New South Wales, northwards from Batemans Bay. Its altitudinal range from sea level to 1100 m and it grows as a rheophyte in fringing forest along water courses. It prefers rich soils and assured moisture.There has been considerable botanical revision of this and the related genera Acmena and Eugenia. The species formerly known as Eugenia australis is now regarded as two separate species, Syzygium australe and S.panicula. In Kampala, Brush cherry can be found along Nakasero hill road, Windsor Close, Yusuf Lule road among other places.

+ Description

Brush cherry is an evergreen shrub or small tree with flaky bark. It can reach heights of 20 meters or more in the wild, but is more likely to be in the range of 8 - 10 meters with a short, crooked bole, especially in cultivation. The stem is usually a small and poorly formed tree.

BARK: Dark brown or light green, smooth.

LEAVES: opposite, simple, rounded and bright, glossy green in color, lanceolate from 4–8 cm long. Leaf blades rather small, about 3.3-9.5 x 1.2-3.2 cm. oil dots visible with a lens if not visible to the naked eye. Oil dots rather sparsely scattered. Leafy twigs generally 4-angled or shortly 4-winged, pairs of wings running down from each petiole but amalgamating and forming a pocket or hump above the next lower pair of leaves.

FLOWERS: white and in clusters. inflorescence frequently about 3-7 flowered, bracts deciduous, absent at anthesis. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + pedicel about 3-10 mm long, calyx tube (hypanthium) about 2-6.5 mm diam., calyx lobes slightly dimorphic, concave, +/- triangular but rounded at the apex, larger lobes about 2.5-4 mm long. Petals orbicular, sometimes shortly clawed, about 3.5-5 mm diam., oil dots visible, not conspicuous, about 50-100 per petal. Outer staminal filaments about 5-15 mm long, anthers about 0.6-0.6 x 0.3-0.6 mm, gland comparatively large, terminal, near the back of the anther. Ovules about 10-30 per locule, placentas central, ovules radiating, ascending. Style about 7-24 mm long, approximating or exceeding the stamens.

FRUITS: dark pink to red, globular, oval or ellipsoid, excavated at the apex, attaining about 14-23 x 8-17 mm, calyx lobes persistent, fleshy, inflexed, about 3-4 mm long. 

+ Uses

Edible: Fruit can be eaten either raw or made into jellies.

Agroforestry: can be used for screening, can be grown as a hedge.

Provides wood which can be used for making oars, boat building, for musical instruments, tool handles, furniture components, ship building, heavy carpentry, flooring, joinery etc., and was traditionally used for making boomerangs and shields.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings.

+ Management

Fast growth, it's ideal for screens and hedges as it can be shaped.

+ Remarks

It grows foliage right down to the ground making a very good choice for hedging and also responds well to clipping therefore being perfect for medium to larger sized topiary projects. These plants tend to become frost hardy once they are established. The fruits also attract lots of birds to your garden.

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