Acmena.JPG (43578 bytes)Acmena smithii: is a member of the Myrtaceae family and is known as Lilly Pilly. Some Syzygium species are also known by this name.
Acmena smithii is a shrub or small tree with smooth to slightly flaky bark.
The leaves are dark green, shiny, opposite, lanceolate or ovate with a long point (not prickly).
Flowers are white and carried in terminal panicles (a much-branched inflorescence). Flowering occurs from October to December.
Blooms are followed by globular, succulent fruits. Fruits may be white, pink or purple and ripen from May to August.
Both flowers and fruits are eye-catching features.
Acmena smithii is a widespread species and occurs from northern Queensland to eastern Victoria.
In New South Wales the species is found in rainforest on the coast and ranges.
There are three informal forms or races. They overlap and may be difficult to separate. There is the type form with lanceolate, ovate or elliptic leaves. Another race has small leaves and the third form has narrow leaves.
The small-leaved race is frequently cultivated.
Acmena smithii is susceptible to frost damage. We grow Lilly Pilly in containers sheltered under our patio roof.
The specimen illustrated is growing in Bouddi National Park near Gosford, north of Sydney.
Propagate from seed or cuttings. Seed needs to be sown when fresh.