Acmena smithii (Common lilly pilly)

Acmena smithii- Lilly pilly
Acmena smithii- Lilly pilly

Some people will now know acmena smithii as syzygium smithii but we still label it acmena (more so because that’s how we buy the labels). Anyway its the most common of the lilly pilly’s in cultivation, hence the name common lilly pilly.

Common lilly pilly is a fantastic Australian, evergreen tree (some say it’s a large shrub). Right or wrong we call it a tree. If left unpruned it will grow to about 8m with a 3m spread. It produces lots of dense foliage. The new growth is red or pink before turning a deep, glossy green. In summer it produces heaps of tiny, white, fluffy flowers in large clusters. These are followed by edible mauve berries.

Acmena or Syzgium smithii makes one of the best privacy screens. We find it very resilient to psyllids. It also makes a wonderful specimen tree. Being evergreen it provides year round interest, particularly in winter when it’s covered in mauve berries.

Common lilly pilly does well in a wide range of soils. It will even tolerate quite wet conditions for parts of the year. Being a rainforest plant it likes to be kept moist in summer at least until it’s well established. Even though it’s a rainforest plant it can be grown in full sun in our cooler climates. It also can tolerate a bit of frost. We get quite extensive frosts here in West Gippsland and it doesn’t faze our established trees and hedges. Young plants should be protected though. The frost will burn the new growth if severe, the older growth is usually unaffected.

We propagate and grow our acmena smithii via seed that we collect from our own plants. These are grown outdoors at our wholesale nursery located in Drouin, West Gippsland. If you would like to buy acmena (syzigium) smithii click the button below to check current availability and pricing. We commonly grow these in 140mm, 200mm and 250mm pots.