Illustrations provided with permission of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
Acmena smithii- Lillypilly
Coastal areas and ranges from Victoria into Qld mainly in
rainforest or creeklines. In HSC, Community O1 (107.9ha), O2
(10.9ha), BG2 (14.0ha) & rarely larger creeklines of L (837.3ha) .
Derivation of Name:
Acmena, Greek, after “Acmene” a beautiful wood nymph.
smithii, after James Smith an English botanist.
Uncommon in general to locally common in particular habitats
across HSC. This species particular habitat, creek banks and
gullies, is highly prone to exotic weed invasion which can
consequently outcompete Lillypilly.
A small to tall tree up to 15m, often multi trunked. The trunk is
generally a rich red brown in colour with a fine rough bubbly
texture. Foliage is deep glossy green, narrow-lanceolate to broad-
ovate or elliptic; 3–11 cm long and 1–5 cm wide, larger and
broader with decreasing light exposure. White staminate fragrant
flowers are produced in spring and are followed by abundant pale
coloured fruits in autumn which are prominently displayed.
Horticultural Merit and uses:
An excellent tree for horticultural applications. Unpruned this tree
grows in an upright oval shape with a thick tight canopy and
reasonably low branching. It may occasionally achieve heights of
12 metres but is generally around the 8m mark in cultivation. It
prefers a moist soil either loam or clay and will require irrigation or
watering during the establishment period if no rainfall occurs.
Grows best in full sun to light shade, trees in full shade will be
spindly in appearance and grow tall reaching towards sunlight. In
hot humid weather the foliage may attract sooty mould.
An excellent bird attracting tree. Fruiting attracts a wide range of
fruit eating rainforest pigeons. Parrots will also feed on the fruit.
Flowers attract a wide range of insects