General Description:

Lithomyrtus is a small genus of 11 species, mainly confined to tropical areas of Australia but one species (L.obtusa) is also found in New Guinea.  The plants range from shrubs to small trees. The genus is in the subfamily Myrtoideae which consists of Myrtaceae with fleshy fruits.

Lithomyrtus obtusa has undergone several name changes. Originally classified as Fenzlia obtusa, it was transferred to the genus Myrtella in 1978 and subsequently it, and several other Myrtella species, were re-classified into the genus Lithomyrtus.

Beach Myrtella is a shrub 1 and 2 metres in height. Leaves are between 15 and 25 mm long by 5 to 15 mm wide.  They are green on the upper surface and hairy underneath, with a rounded or blunt apex.  Pink flowers about 15 mm diameter with prominent stamens may be observed between summer and late winter.  Flowers are followed by globular, fleshy fruit about 7mm in diameter.

The plant is suited to well drained soils in tropical and sub-tropical gardens.  It may be worth trying further south in frost-free areas.  A sunny or semi-shaded position is preferred.

Propagation from seed is reported to be difficult, but cuttings of firm, current season’s growth should strike quite easily.

Plant profile image

Lithomyrtus obtusa
Photo: Murray Fagg – Australian National Botanic Gardens

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