Syzygium versteegii

Syzygium versteegii (Lauterb.) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Syzygium is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. This genus consists of approximately 1200-1800 species, and has a native range extending from Africa and Madagascar through south Asia east through the Pacific. The highest levels of diversity occur from Malaysia to northeastern Australia, where many species are very poorly known and many remain taxonomically undescribed. Most species are evergreen trees and shrubs. Some species are grown as ornamentals for their attractive glossy foliage, and some produce edible fruit that is eaten fresh or used in jams and jellies. The most economically important species, however, is the clove Syzygium aromaticum, whose unopened flower buds are an important spice. Several species of edible Syzygium are grown throughout tropical regions worldwide, and some species have become invasive in some island ecosystems. Several species of Syzygium produce fruit edible for humans, many of which are named “roses”. Fifty-two species are found in Australia and are commonly known as lillipillies, brush cherries or satinash. At the time Syzygium was confused taxonomically with the genus Eugenia (about 1000 species), but the latter genus had the highest specific diversity in the neotropics. Many species previously classed as Eugenia are now included in the genus Syzygium, although the former name may persist in horticulture. The Syzygium Working Group, an international research group, was formed in April 2016 with the aim of producing a monograph on Syzygium.
Taxonomic tree:
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Genus: Syzygium

Syzygium Versteegii
Syzygium Versteegii

Syzygium versteegii is an evergreen tree that can usually grow up to 15 meters tall but exceptionally to 35 meters. The cylindrical bole is usually straight and cylindrical, up to 45cm in diameter with buttresses up to 1 meter high. The bole is usually short, but can be unbranched for up to 20 meters.
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use of its timber and possibly also its fruit. The timber is occasionally traded


Syzygium Versteegii
Syzygium Versteegii

Syzygium versteegii (Lauterb.) Merr. & L.M.Perry

Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 23: 256 (1942)

Family: Myrtaceae

Timber Group: Occasional timber species

Field Characters: Small sub-canopy tree (up to c. 15 m high) or Large canopy tree (occasionally up to c. 35 m high); Bole cylindrical (up to c. 45 cm diam.); crooked or straight (almost bole usually short, sometimes up to 20 m long); buttresses buttresses present (buttresses up to 1 m high); spines spines absent; aerial roots aerial roots absent; stilt roots stilt roots absent; Bark white, grey, or brown, slightly rough or smooth, scaly or flaky; Subrhytidome (under-bark) green, mottled, pale red, or pale brown; less than 25 mm thick, 10.0-12.0; bark blaze consisting of one layer; faintly to non-aromatic; outer blaze pink or pale brown, markings absent, fibrous; inner blaze pink or pale brown, markings absent, fibrous; bark exudate (sap) absent; terminal buds not enclosed by leaves.

Indumentum: Complex hairs absent; stinging hairs absent; mature twig indumentum (hairs) absent.

Leaves: Leaves spaced along branches, opposite (in pairs, opposite one another on the branchlet), simple (a leaf composed of a single blade); petiole present, not winged, attached to base of leaf blade, not swollen; leaves broadest above middle or broadest at or near middle, 28.0-50.0 cm, 12.0-19.0 cm; symmetric, entire, not dissected or lobed, obtuse, venation pinnate, secondary veins open, prominent, intramarginal veins present; leaves lower surface pale green, upper surface green (sub-glossy), indumentum (hairs) absent; absent; domatia absent; stipules absent.

Flowers: Inflorescence on the trunk or branches (arising from branchlets), flowers arising from a single point, cones absent; flowers bisexual, not stalked, flowers with many planes of symmetry, 10.0-15.0 mm long, diameter large (more than10 mm diam.) (12-15 mm diam.); perianth present, with distinct sepals and petals whorls, inner perianth pink; 5, free; stamens 100, present, free of each other, free of the perianth; ovary inferior, carpels joined (when more than one), locules 2; styles solitary, 1.

Fruits: Infrutescence arising from single point, fruit 50.0-55.0 mm long, 25.0-30.0 mm diam., dark red, not spiny, fleshy, simple, indehiscent, drupe; seeds 1, much more than 10 mm long (30-40 mm long), not winged, broad (as wide as long), seed more than 10 mm diam. (c. 30 mm diam.).

Distribution: East Sepik, Madang, Morobe, Western, Gulf, Central & Northern.


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