Syzygium australe

Syzygium Aussie Gem as a backdrop to Kniphofia sarmentosa in winter

Mainly because I have very heavy clay soil. I don't grow many native plants in my garden but I do have some of the rainforest native plants and I find they mix in very well with my other warm-climate specimens. The cultivar of lilly pilly Syzygium australe known as 'Aussie Gem' has proved to be a very fast grower with a dense form. Its ultimate height was said to be 2-2.5 m, but it has soared to about 5 m tall! Its shiny new growth is bright red which changes to bronze as it ages and then eventually turns to glossy green. It has fluffy white flowers which are followed by purple-red berries. It is useful for clipping to form a screen or topiary shapes. It grows best in sun (or light shade) with humus-rich soil and adequate moisture in its early years and during very dry spells.

There are many new compact cultivars of Syzygium being selected these days, in varying heights, such as 'Tiny Trev', growing to 75 cm, with attractive shiny green leaves. One problem that can occur is psyllids or pimple gall, with deformed new growth and tiny lumps appearing in the leaves. Early removal by pruning may help reduce these. Scale may also occur and can be treated with white oil. Healthy plants may be less probe to these pests, and some cultivars seem to be more resistant than others.

Flowers in November.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.