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Products > Acmena smithii
Acmena smithii - Lilipily

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtles)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Syzygium smithii]
Height: 15-20 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Acmena smithii (Lilipily) An evergreen, compact,small tree that grows 15 to 20 feet tall with neat 1-2 inch long lanceolate leaves which flush out a reddish pink and mature to a dark glossy green. In summer appear the small white flowers in terminal clusters that are followed by very attractive dense clusters of flat topped round fruit that are usually a pale pink to lavender color. Fruit is edible though not particularly flavorful, and is sometimes used in jams. Plant in full sun to light shade in most any decently drained soil (tolerates wet but not waterlogged soils). Irrigate occasionally to regularly late spring to fall. Hardy to around 20 F and reportedly tolerant to ocean spray in coastal gardens. It makes an attractive small tree and can also be used as a large screening shrub. This plant is found growing naturally in the forests of eastern Australia from Queensland south into New South Wales and Victoria where it occurs from exposed maritime situations to montane rainforests. There are several interpretations of the name Acmena. One idea is that it is derived from the Greek word "Acmenae", said to be used as a name for the beautiful nymphs of Venus while others ascribe to the idea that it is from the Latin word "Acmena" which is actually one of the names used for the goddess Venus herself - either way it is likely that the intention was to note that this tree's flowers and fruit are beautiful. The specific epithet honors British botanist Sir James Edward Smith (1759-1828). Common names include lilly pilly, coast satinash and Eungella gum. We have several very nice specimens of Acmena smithii in Santa Barbara and one city block (300 West Arrellaga) has it on both sides as street trees. Our seed came from one of these trees.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Acmena smithii.