Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable as Syzygium paniculatum
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery Plan Magenta Lilly Pilly Syzygium paniculatum. NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, 2012) [Recovery Plan] as Syzygium paniculatum.
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Syzygium paniculatum.
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Syzygium paniculatum Threatened Species Information (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2001r) [Information Sheet].
NSW:Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines - Syzygium paniculatum (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 2001s) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list) as Syzygium paniculatum
Scientific name Syzygium paniculatum [20307]
Family Myrtaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Gaertner
Infraspecies author  
Reference De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum 1: 167, t. 33 (Dec. 1788).
Other names Eugenia paniculata [22204]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Other illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Syzygium paniculatum

Common name: Magenta Lilly Pilly, Magenta Cherry, Pocket-less Brush Cherry, Scrub Cherry, Creek Lilly Pilly, Brush Cherry

Conventionally accepted as Syzygium paniculatum Gaernt (CHAH 2005).

This rainforest species can form a tree to 15 m tall, but is generally 3–8 m high and shrubby in form. The stem is without conspicuous buttresses. The bark is flaky to almost tessellated, with the outer blaze cream, pale brown or pink, and fibrous in texture leaves are lanceolate to obovate, 4.5–10 cm long. Leaves are generally dark green and glabrous (smooth) on the upper surface and paler underneath. The flowers are creamy white and form at the end of each branch and the fruit is a magenta or occasionally white, pink or purple berry, spherical to ovoid (egg-shaped) and 15–25 mm diameter, and contain a single seed (Benson & McDougall 1998; DECC 2005; Floyd 1989; Hyland 1983; NSW TSSC 2008).

Endemic to New South Wales (NSW), this species has been recorded in widely scattered small populations along the NSW coast from Booti Booti (near Forster) in the north to Conjola State Forest (near Jervis Bay) in the south (Floyd 1989; Mills 1996; Payne 1991; Quinn et al. 1995). There are unconfirmed historical records of the species from the Hawkesbury region, the Blue Mountains and Manly (DECC 2005). The species has also been identified in surveys of the Wallarah Peninsula area, east of Lake Macquarie on the north coast of NSW. Individuals were found in an open forest community within a riparian area (Conacher Travers 2006). This species is also extensively cultivated for the ornamental garden/plant market (NSW NPWS 2001s).

The extent of occurrence is approximately 15 000 km² (Mackenzie & Keith 2008, cited in NSW TSSC 2008) and the area of occupancy is estimated to be approximately 180–210 km² (Mackenzie & Keith 2008, cited in NSW TSSC 2008).

The species distribution would be considered fragmented as suitable habitat is rare throughout the species range, having been largely cleared for coastal development (NSW NPWS 2001s).

The total population is estimated to be between 760–2600 mature plants (NSW TSSC 2008). These figures are based on data for thirty of the known populations which have been surveyed with a total of approximately 530–1320 plants (DECC 2007, Mackenzie & Keith 2008, cited in NSW TSSC 2008), and estimates for the other known populations. The total number of mature individuals is likely to be at the lower end of the estimated range (NSW TSSC 2008).

These comprise a total of 43 known subpopulations, in addition to six unconfirmed records, from the Sydney Basin Bioregion, and the NSW North Coast Bioregion. The three largest subpopulations on the Central Coast, two of which occur on private land, account for nearly three-quarters of the total known extant population (DECC 2007, cited in NSW TSSC 2008).

In the Lower Hunter and Central Coast, the Magenta Lilly Pilly has been recorded at (Payne 1997, NSW NPWS 2001s):

  • Munmorah State Recreation Area
  • Wyrrabalong National Park (NP)
  • Canton Beach
  • North Entrance
  • Budgewoi
  • Bulahdelah
  • Seal Rocks
  • Heazlett Park North Avoca
  • Wamberal Lagoon Nature Reserve (NR)
  • Deep Creek near Mardi Dam
  • Olney State Forest
  • Hardys Bay near Gosford
  • Norah Head
  • Yarramalong Valley.

In the Sydney Metropolitan area there are records from (DECC 2007, cited in NSW TSSC 2008):

  • Girrahween Park (Cantebury)
  • Capt. Cook Drive, Kurnell (Towra Point NR).

The South Coast populations of the species are a disjunct occurrence, with no records between Towra Point and Jervis Bay (Mills 1996). Populations in the Jervis Bay area are recorded at (NSW NPWS 2001r):

  • St Georges Basin
  • Booderee NP (Cth)
  • Jervis Bay NP (NSW)
  • Beecroft Peninsula
  • Cabbage Tree Point
  • Long Beach
  • Duck Hole
  • Target Beach
  • Currarong Creek
  • Conjola State Forest.

As the species is limited in numbers, and most subpopulations are isolated, it is considered that all populations would be important for the survival of the species (NSW NPWS 2001r).

This species is found in rainforest on sandy soils or stabilised Quaternary sand dunes at low altitudes in coastal areas (Floyd 1989; Hyland 1983; Payne 1991). Rainforests are often remnant stands of littoral or gallery rainforest (Payne 1997). Species have been recorded in association with the Magenta Lilly Pilly include the Alphitonia excelsa, Acmena smithii, Cryptocarya glaucescens, Toona ciliata, Eucalyptus saligna, Ficus fraseri, Syzygium oleosum, Acmena smithii, Cassine australe, F. obliqua, Glochidion ferdinandi, Endiandra sieberi, Synoum glandulosum, Podocarpus elatus, Notelaea longifolia, Guioa semiglauca and Pittosporum undulatum (NSW NPWS 2001a).

The Magenta Lilly Pilly is thought to tolerate wet and dry conditions on sands (Payne 1991).

This species flowers December to March, with fruit ripe from March to May, occasionally to September (Floyd 1989; Hyland 1983). There appears to be two distinct 'flushes' of flowering in the species instead of continuous flowering, and bud development appears to take approximately one month (Payne 1991). Some predation on the flower buds has been noted (Payne 1997), including birds such as White-headed Pigeons (Payne 1991) and native mammals, such as possums. The consumption of the fruit by these animals is likely to assist in seed dispersal, in addition to periodic inundation of creeks in riparian areas where the species grows, which is also likely to aid in seed dispersal (NSW NPWS 2001s). Pollination occurs via the introduced Honey Bee, the Native Hawkmoth, Honeyeaters and Butterflies, though the species can also self-pollinate (Payne 1997).

Fire may be a regenerative mechanism, most likely low intensity fires (NSW NPWS 2001s; Payne 1991). At one site studied by Payne (1991), many of the Magenta Lilly Pilly trees have coppiced stems with the original main stem being burnt out.

No recruitment was observed by Payne (1997) in isolated 'paddock trees' of S. paniculatum, or in riparian habitats subject to grazing.

The Magenta Lilly Pilly is morphologically similar to the more common S. australe with the leaves of S. australe being generally more elliptic and the Magenta Lilly Pilly fruit being a deeper magenta colour than the reddish-pink fruit of S. australe (Harden 1992, cited in NSW NPWS 2001b).

Identified Threats

Identified threats to the Magenta Lilly Pilly include high frequency/ intensity fires, habitat loss and fragmentation (resulting from development), vegetation clearing, grazing in close proximity to creek lines causing root damage, prevention of seedling establishment and erosion and weed invasion from common coastal weeds.

These common weeds include Lantana (Lantana camara), Creeping Lantana (Lantana montevidensis), Bitou Bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp Rotaundata), Indian Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica), Small-leaved Privet (Ligustrum sinense), Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and Asparagus Fern (Asparagus spp.).

Potential Threat

Water extraction from creeks and sea level rises for populations close to coastal areas are identified as potential threats (NSW TSSC 2008).

The NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC 2005) and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS 2001s) identify the following threat abatement actions:

  • Protect known sites from fire; ensure that personnel planning and undertaking hazard reduction burns are able to identify the species and are aware of its habitat.
  • Reduce or remove heavy grazing by domestic stock in areas of known or potential habitat.
  • Undertake weed control, but avoid spraying weeds close to Magenta Lilly Pilly plants to ensure they are not affected by posion.
  • Protect known habitat areas from clearing and disturbance to minimize habitat loss.
  • Maintain and improve habitat connectivity within populations, in particular, the rehabilitation and management of riparian corridors and littoral rainforest remnants.

No threats data available.

Benson, D. & L. McDougall (1998). Ecology of Sydney plant species: Part 6 Dicotyledon family Myrtaceae. Cunninghamia. 5(4):809-987. Sydney: NSW Royal Botanic Gardens.

Conacher Travers Environmental Consultants (Conacher Travers) (2006). Ecological Site Report Coastal and Northern Sectors, Wallarah Peninsula.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2005). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from:

Floyd, A.G. (1989). Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia. Melbourne: Inkata Press.

Hyland, B.P.M. (1983). A Revision of Syzygium and Allied Genera (Myrtaceae) in Australia. Australian Journal of Botany Supplementary Series. 9:1-164.

Mills, K. (1996). Illawarra Vegetation Studies: Littoral Rainforest in Southern NSW, Inventory, Characteristics and Management. Occasional Papers on the Vegetation of the Illawarra Region.

NSW DECC (2005). Threatened Species Profile- Syzgium paniculatum. Available online: Viewed 12 June 2010. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 12-Jun-2010].

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2001r). Syzygium paniculatum Threatened Species Information. [Online]. Available from:

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2001s). Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines - Syzygium paniculatum. [Online]. Available from:

NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee (NSW TSSC) (2008). Syzygium paniculatum - proposed endangered species listing. Preliminary determination. DECC. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 12-Jun-2010].

Payne, R. (1997). The Distribution and Reproductive Ecology of Syzygium paniculatum and Syzygium australe (Myrtaceae) in the Gosford-Wyong Region. Ph.D. Thesis. Unpublished.

Payne, R.J. (1991). New findings of the rare tree Syzygium paniculatum (Myrtaceae) in the Wyong area, New South Wales. Cunninghamia. 2(3):495-498.

Quinn, F., J.B. Williams, C.L. Gross & J. Bruhl (1995). Report on rare and threatened plants of north-eastern New South Wales. Armidale: University of New England.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Syzygium paniculatum in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:53:42 +1000.