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Eugenia reinwardtiana

Eugenia is a genus of over 1000 species occurring in tropical and subtropical rainforests. Eugenia reinwardtiana is the sole Australian member of the genus, although many species in the genera Acmena and Syzygium were once classified under Eugenia. Eugenia reinwardtiana was previously known as E. carissoides.

This is a hardy choice for tropical and subtropical gardens where it is well suited to coastal positions. It prefers well-drained, friable soil and can be planted under trees in a shady spot. The fruit is edible as well as decorative, although you might have to fight the birds for it.

Unfortunately this species is susceptible to myrtle rust, a serious fungal disease that affects plants in the Myrtaceae family. Because it is a new disease to Australia, we don't yet know its full host range but at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan we have observed it on Agonis, Austomyrtus, Chamelaucium, Eucalyptus, Eugenia, Gossia, Melaleuca, Syzygium and Tristania. Myrtle rust cannot be eradicated and will continue to spread because it produces thousands of spores that are easily spread by wind, human activity and animals. Many organisations are undertaking research to discover its full host range and seek long-term solutions.

Common namebeach cherry, Cedar Bay cherry
Scientific nameEugenia reinwardtiana (Blume) DC.

Genus: After Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), a general of the Habsburg Empire 

Species: After Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt, Dutch botanist 1773-1854

DistributionPacific Islands, Indonesia, Borneo and northern Queensland.
Native habitatUsually grows as a shrub on beaches but also found as a small understory tree in beach forest, monsoon forest and drier, more seasonal rain forest.
DescriptionA shrub to small tree, 2 to 6 m in height.
Flowering/fruitingWhite flowers in spring and summer, followed by orange-red fruit.
Location in gardenIn Bed 246 in the Fruit Loop.
Garden ExplorerView Eugenia reinwardtiana on Garden Explorer