Syzygium ‘Cascade’

Lilly Pilly

Family: Myrtaceae

A shrub to about 4 m tall. It is a cultivated hybrid between Syzygium luehmannii (a NSW/Qld species) and Syzygium wilsonii (a northern Queensland species).

The leaves are opposite and glossy-green, with the lower surface much paler, ranging from lanceolate to elliptic, to about 10 cm long and 3 cm wide, with a long pointy (acuminate) tip. The large oil glands can be seen with a hand lens.

The flowers are produced in panicle-like clusters in the upper leaf axils and terminals and are quite conspicuous.

The staminate flowers pink in colour, which is the main attractant for this plant (the two parent species above have cream and pink-red flowers respectively), and are produced in large numbers, about 10 mm across long with stamens 15 mm long, creating a “fluffy” flowering effect.

The fruit of Syzygium is a succulent structure – closely resembling a berry or a drupe. Sometimes there is one seed (drupe) and sometimes more (berry).

In this cultivated hybrid, fruits are produced, and are pink in colour, about 2 cm in diameter.

In the garden

A very hardy shrub with an attractive canopy and overall form. It has an attractive canopy that lends to rainforest themes and shady gardens. Also, a great specimen tree in a lawn. It is a popular cultivar due to the pink flowers.

Only grows to 4 m and is slow growing.

Drought tolerant once established. Full sun to part shade.

Prune to encourage a desired shape and denser foliage. They can get leggy with gaps in the foliage if not pruned.

Attractive to birds. Likes a well-drained soil with some enrichment.

Flowers and fruits more prolifically after pruning.

It also has reddish new growth which is attractive for much of the year.

This cultivar is considered to be resistant to heavy psyllid attack. It can suffer from scale.

Propagation

Propagation from seed or soft-wood cuttings.

Other information

Syzygium – from the Greek syzygos (σύζυγος) or syzygy (σύζυγi) which means “husband” or “wife” or “spouse”, basically referring to “joined”. It refers to some species having leaf bases joined together (some Caribbean species) which were named before Australian species.

‘Cascade’ – is the registered cultivar name.

https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/syzygium-cascade-lilly-pilly/

https://www.alpinenurseries.com.au/plant-library/syzygium-cascade/

By Dan Clarke