An Eco-sustainable World
ArborealSpecies Plant

Syzygium paniculatum

Syzygium paniculatum

The magenta lilly pilly or magenta cherry, brush cherry (Syzygium paniculatum Gaertn., 1788) is an arboreal species belonging to the Myrtaceae family.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Subkingdom Tracheobionta,
Spermatophyta Superdivision,
Division Magnoliophyta,
Class Magnoliopsida,
Subclass Rosidae,
Order Myrtales,
Myrtaceae family,
Subfamily Myrtoideae,
Syzygieae tribe,
Genus Syzygium,
Species S. paniculatum.
The terms are synonymous:
– Eugenia paniculata (Gaertn.) Britten, 1899;
– Eugenia rheedioides Standl. & Steyerm., 1944.

Etymology –
The term Syzygium comes from the Greek σύζῠγος sýzygos coupled, united, paired: in reference to paired leaves.
The specific epithet paniculatum comes from panicula panicle: with panicle-shaped inflorescences.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Syzygium paniculatum is a flowering plant native to New South Wales, Australia, which has since spread to other countries.
It is also present in Italy.
Its natural habitat is that of predominantly sandy soils, in limited numbers, in subtropical coastal rainforests or stabilized dunes near the sea.

Description –
Syzygium paniculatum is a plant that grows in shrubby or tree form up to 15 (20) m in height.
The foliage consists of a dense, pyramidal crown.
The trunk can have a diameter of up to 35 cm.
The leaves are 3-9 cm long and 1.5-3 cm wide, opposite, simple and slightly obovate, tapering at the base of the leaf; they have a dark green color and are shiny on the upper side, lighter on the lower one. The young leaves are red-bronze in colour.
It has terminal cymose or panicle inflorescences with flowers with creamy white petals, about 5 mm long, and numerous white stamens, 8-15 mm long, which are the most showy part of the flower.
The fruits are globose or ovoid fleshy berries, with a diameter of 2-2.5 cm; they are magenta, red or purple in colour, rarely white and have a slightly acidic flavour.
Inside there is only one seed, usually polyembryonic.

Cultivation –
Syzygium paniculatum is an evergreen shrub or small, slow-growing tree.
The edible fruit is sometimes harvested from the wild, although it is not highly prized.
The tree is commonly grown as a hedge and ornamental.
This plant grows in warm temperate to tropical areas of Australia. This is a species that is not very resistant to the cold, withstanding temperatures down to around -3 °C.
For this reason it is a plant that can be cultivated in full sun or partial shade in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate climate zones.
It is not particularly demanding when it comes to soil and can withstand dry periods.
From a pedological point of view it prefers sandy soil, but grows in any good, well-drained soil, furthermore the plants tolerate poor soil.
It is commonly grown in eastern Australia and elsewhere.
Reproduction occurs by cutting of the year’s branch and by seed; the latter must be planted as soon as possible, having a low germination time, in a substrate with 50% coarse sand or agri-perlite, kept humid, at a temperature of 20-22 °C; germination is usually slow.

Customs and Traditions –
Syzygium paniculatum is a commonly grown plant in eastern Australia and elsewhere.
It is known by various common names including: australian brush-cherry, brush cherry, australian water-pear, magenta cherry, magenta lilly pilly, scrub cherry (English); jambinho, jambinho-roxo, jambinho-rosa, jambo-da-Austrália (Portuguese); cereza magenta (Spanish); kirschmyrte (German).
Syzygium Paniculatum is commonly confused with Syzygium australe, the brush cherry.
The 1889 book ‘The Useful Native Plants of Australia’ records that the synonym Eugenia myrtifolia had common names including shrub cherry and native myrtle. It was also specified that the red juice of the fruit of this tree is similar in its properties to that of red grapes. Contains free tartaric acid, cream of tartar, sugar and red coloring substances which are very sensitive to the action of acids and alkalis.
By fermentation a wine with a bouquet is obtained. The coloring matter, soluble in alcohol and ether-alcohol, but not in pure ether, is precipitated with lead acetate, decolorized by reducing agents, and resumes its red color upon exposure to air, just like litmus paper and the red color of the wine.
This plant is, more than anything, known for its wild, edible fruits, with a pleasantly sour, apple-like flavour, which are eaten fresh or cooked into jams.
However, more than for its fruits, which are consumed fresh or used to make jams, it is used for ornamental purposes, as an isolated specimen or in a group, for street trees and for formal and informal barriers and borders, for the beauty of the foliage and for its adaptability to be pruned into various shapes, and for this reason also used in topiary art; there are also varieties with dwarf growth and variegated leaves. It is often used in pots, variously shaped, for the decoration of patios and terraces.
Other uses include agroforestry uses.
These plants are widely used for hedging and to provide shelter from the wind even in areas outside Australia.
From an ecological point of view, this plant is in danger of extinction, with the serious risk of disappearing from the natural environment within one or two decades if current land use continues.

Preparation Method –
Syzygium paniculatum is a plant known for its wild fruit with a pleasant sour flavor similar to that of an apple. This is eaten fresh or cooked into jams.
The fruits are crunchy and very juicy, the aromatic pink-purple fruits are often eaten to quench thirst.
They have succulent, fleshy pulp with a slightly sweet flavour.
Furthermore, fermentation produces a wine with a bouquet.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

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Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and food uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; we therefore decline any responsibility for their use for healing, aesthetic or food purposes.

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