Syzygium australe is a fast growing, dense native with beautiful glossy leaves that start bronze and turn deep green.
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.
The creamy white powder puff flowers turn to edible, bright red, crisp, fleshy fruit that make a good jam or a refreshing snack eaten raw. The fruits also attract lots of birds to your garden.
These plants tend to become frost hardy once they are established.
Soil: Prefers rich, well drained soils but will survive in poorer soils as well. If you have sandy soils then just add some compost or peat moss.
It prefers a full sun or can still go well with part day shade position. Essentially the more shade it has, the slower it grows and the thinner the foliage cover. Though having said that it still makes a decent hedge with only quarter days sun.
Maintenance: Keep well mulched and feed with blood and bone every spring or a native formulated slow release fertiliser.
Trim to keep tidy after flowering.
Diseases: A hardy native that is can be prone to psyllids, in which case, spray with Confidor.
There are new varieties now on the market that have bred in a resistance to psyllids .
Other Species: This is the largest genus of lilly pillies found in Australia though there are dwarf varieties. Others include S. corynanthum, S. francisii, , S. luehmannii, S. moorei, S. oleosum, S. paniculatum.
Syzigium australe Southern Form is very popular (known as Syzigium Aussie Southern) as it grows beautifully but can be prone to psyllids if weakened or not in robust health.
Syzygium Resilience is another popular variety.
Comments: The name Syzygium comes from Greek and refers to the paired leaves of Calyptranthes suzygium, a plant from the Caribbean for which the name was first used.
This plant used to be called Eugenia before it was re-classified by botanists.
Author: Bob Saunders.