Eugenia reinwardtiana

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Tropical and sub-tropical areas of coastal Queensland. Also occurs in Papua New Guinea and other tropical areas beyond Australia.
Common Name: Beach cherry or Cedar Bay cherry.
Derivation of Name: Eugenia... After Prince Eugene of Savoy (1163-1736), a general of the Habsburg Empire.
reinwardtiana... After Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt, Dutch botanist 1773-1854.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild

General Description:

Eugenia is a genus of over 1000 species occurring in tropical and subtropical rainforests. Eugenia reinwardtiana is the sole Australian member of the genus, although many species in the genera Acmena and Syzygium were once classified under Eugenia. E.reinwardtiana was previously known as E.carissioides.

Eugenia reinwardtiana
Fruit of Eugenia reinwardtiana
Photo: Keith Townsend

Eugenia reinwardtiana is a large shrub or small tree often found on beach fronts and rocky headlands of coastal Queensland. The leaves are opposite (each pair emerges from the stem at the same location but on opposing sides), oval or elliptical in shape to about 90mm long and dark green in colour. White flowers are followed by fleshy, red or orange fruits. These are ovoid to elongated in shape and can vary in size from about 7 mm diameter to over 20 mm diameter. The fruits are edible but variable in taste with some forms distinctly superior.

E.reinwardtiana is a hardy tree in most subtropical to tropical climates but it may be slow growing. It prefers rich soils and assured moisture in a sunny or shaded position.

Propagation is usually carried out from fresh seed, either by sowing the fruits whole or after removing the flesh. Germination may be slow and spasmodic. The species can also be grown from cuttings of firm, current season's growth but the formation of roots may be slow.

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