Botanical Name: Syzygium smithii
Species: S. smithii
*Eugenia smithii Poir.
*Acmena smithii (Poir.) Merr. & L.M.Perry
*Lomastelma smithii (Poir.) J.H.Willis
Common Names: Lilly pilly, Monkey apple,Riberry, Small Leaved Lilly Pilly, Cherry Satinash, Cherry Alder, or Clove Lilli Pilli.
Habitat :Lilly pilly is native to New Zealand, it is found in rainforest from the Windsor Tableland in north-east Queensland south through New South Wales and Victoria to Wilsons Promontory. Associated trees species include bangalow palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana), ironwood (Backhousia myrtifolia), black wattle (Callicoma serratifolia), sassafras, (Doryphora sassafras), blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus), pinkwood (Eucryphia moorei), sweet pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum) and kanuka (Tristaniopsis laurina). Stunted coastal plants are often associated with coast banksia (Banksia integrifolia)
Lilly pilly grows as a tree to 20 m (66 ft) high by 5–15 m (16–49 ft) wide, with a trunk attaining a diameter of 70 cm (2.3 ft). The largest tree was recorded at Dingo Creek Flora Reserve, south of Tenterfield, being 30 m (98 ft) tall and a trunk 60 cm (2.0 ft) wide.
The trunk is sometimes buttressed. The bark is brown and scaled and flakes off easily. Its dark green shiny leaves are arranged oppositely on the stems, and are lanceolate or ovate and measure 2–10 by 1–3 cm (1–4 by 0.5–1 in). The cream-white flowers appear from October to March, occurring in panicles at the end of small branches. Berries follow on, appearing from May to August, and are oval or globular with a shallow depression at the top. They measure 0.8 to 2 cm in diameter, and range from white to maroon in colour.
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Flowers are pollinated by bees
A raft of fruit from a large lilly pilly
A distinctive narrow leaved form with thin leaves 3–6 cm long is found along rainforest riverbanks from Sydney northwards through Queensland, (rheophytic race) and a small leaved form (known as the small-leaved race or var. minor) with leaves measuring 1.6–6 cm found in dryer rainforests from Colo Heights near Sydney north to the Bunya Mountains.
The fruit of this tree is known as Ribbery and it matures from December to February; being a pear shaped red berry, they grow to 13 mm long, covering a single seed, 4 mm in diameter. Flanked by the Macleay.
There are more than 50 Lilly Pilly species and each tree bears fruits that vary in color, size and flavor. The most fit for human consumption species of Lilly Pilly berries, Syzygium luehmannii, also happens to be the sweetest one.
The fruit is edible, used to make a jam that has a unique flavor and it is commonly used in other items like sauces, syrups and confectionaries. Loaded with high levels of essential oils, in order to bring the culinary attributes, it is recommended that the fruit is consumed with other ingredients. They are also added to fruit salads, savory salads, ice creams, salsas, pureed and used as a soak for meats and seafood and served flanking hard cheeses, such as cheddar, manchego and aged gouda.
Health Benefits of Lillypilly fruit:
L. Pilly was used by the native aborigines for its anti-bacterial properties. In addition, it also had great healing components present in it. Rich in vitamin C, it has good astringent properties that improve the firmness of the skin which in turn helps your skin look radiant and youthfu.
The white to pinkish brown timber is used for flooring, frames and fittings.The character “Lilly Pilly” (based on the fruit of the tree) who is an actress friend of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, was illustrated by author May Gibbs.The fruit and leaves of Syzigium smithii were featured on a 49c Australian stamp, one of a bush tucker set, in 2002. The stamp was designed by Janet Boschen and titled “Lilly-pilly”
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.