Syzygium paniculatum (Eugenia p.). BRUSH CHERRY. New South Wales, Queensland
MYRTACEAE (Myrtle family)

An
erect narrow tree thickly clothed with glossy opposite leaves about 2 inches long with a good reddish color at first. The white flowers have petals but, as with other members of the family, such as Eucalyptus and Tristania, their main effect depends on the stamens. However, the fruit is quite different being a fleshy red “cherry,” which is perhaps thirst quenching but has no particular flavor. Large specimens can be seen at the northeast and southeast corners of Varian Physics; on the right side of the entrance to Bechtel International Center; and in many other locations. Two really big ones, each about 2 feet in diameter, are at 619 Mayfield Avenue. The lillypilly (Acmena smithii) is a related plant with pale-colored fruit from a similar rainforest environment and has pleasant crunchy flesh (but not much).

Syzygy, the only word in the dictionary with three y's and no other vowels, describes an astronomical situation of three celestial bodies in alignment, as occurs at the time of an eclipse. The language of botany presumably refers to the Greek meaning 'yoked together.' But what are yoked together?

Illustration: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Illustrations (links open new windows): gallery, shaped individuals in outer quad

Additions/Revisions:

Name derivation, genus | species: Greek 'yoked together' | paniculata/paniculatum/paniculatus: with the flowers in panicles

Related material:

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family
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