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Leslie R. Landrum, except as noted

[Subshrub] shrub, tree, trunk bark smooth or scaly; glands 0 or embedded in epidermis. Leaf: opposite or alternate, persistent, generally glandular when young. Inflorescence: generally axillary, raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, parts in 4s, 5s, generally ± white; hypanthium exceeding ovary or not; stamens generally many; ovary [rarely superior to] inferior, 2–5(18)-chambered; placentas axillary, just below top, or basal, ovules few to many, generally in 2–many series. Fruit: berry, capsule, nut. Seed: 1–many; coat membranous to ± leathery or hard, bony; embryo starchy or oily (of great taxonomic importance).
100 genera, ± 3500 species: many species tropical America, Australasia, fewer Africa, southern Asia; economically important for timber (Eucalyptus), spices (Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & L.M. Perry, cloves; Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr., allspice), edible fruits (Psidium guajava L., guava; Acca sellowiana (O. Berg) Burret, pineapple guava), many orns (Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, several other genera). [McVaugh 1968 Taxon 17:354–418] Apparently of Gondwanan origins; tropics, subtropics, Mediterranean climates. Chamelaucium uncinatum Schauer, Luma apiculata (DC.) Burret, Melaleuca citrina (Curtis) Dum.Cours., Myrtus communis L., Syzygium australe (Link) B. Hyland are waifs. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [McVaugh 1968 Taxon 17:354–418; Wilson et al. 2005 Plant Syst Evol 251:3–19]

Key to Myrtaceae


F.R. Barrie & Leslie R. Landrum

Shrub, tree, generally glabrous. Leaf: opposite, persistent, papery or leathery. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or raceme, terminal, axillary, sometimes on older stems. Flower: calyx lobes, petals 4 [(5)]; hypanthium prolonged above ovary, base often long-acuminate; ovaries chambers generally 2, each few–many-ovuled. Fruit: berry. Seed: 1–2(5), seed coat membranous; embryos sometimes many, distorted; cotyledons separate, thick, planoconvex.
± 500 species: old world tropics. (Greek: joined, from paired structures of some species) [Hyland 1983 Austral J Bot Suppl Ser 9:1–164]

S. australe (Link) B. Hyland SCRUB CHERRY
Stem: branchlets weakly compressed, 4-winged or -ribbed near tips, wings merging in pairs to form pocket near next lower node; older branches smooth, ± cylindric, bark tan, flaking. Leaf: blade obovate or elliptic, 3–9 cm, 1.2–3.2 cm wide, 2.2–2.8 × longer than wide; base ± narrowly wedge-shaped; apex acute or abruptly acuminate, with mucro. Inflorescence: terminal and in upper leaf axils, cyme, axis 10–15 mm; flowers 3–7; bracts falling before flowers open, leaving prominent scar. Flower: bud 6–10 mm, club-shaped; bracteoles ephemeral; calyx lobes 4, in subequal pairs, 2–3 mm, 2–4 mm wide, ovate, margins scarious, apex bluntly acute to rounded; petals round, 3–5 mm diam, white, margins scarious, tip rounded; stamens 100–150; styles 7–24 mm. Fruit: 14–23 mm, ± spheric or elliptic, red or purple. Seed: generally 1, spheric; cotyledons >> embryonic stem.
Rare in disturbed urban riparian areas; < 50 m. South Coast (San Diego Co.); southeastern Australia. [Eugenia australis Link] Often cultivated in California; sometimes confused with Syzygium paniculatum Gaertn. (winged or ribbed branchlets 0, twig pockets 0; seed often with many embryos), also commonly cultivated, but evidently not escaped, in California. [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Syzygium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Syzygium australe Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.