help id tree with lots of pinkish purplish berries

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by cauzomb, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    I was thinking its pepper, but I really have no clue. The berries look like pepper, and the seed is a pee like seed with an outer skin the same color as the berry skin.. The tree is loaded, I'm wondering if there is any use in the kitchen. Check out the picture.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2004
  2. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    anyone have any ideas?


    hello?

    its 25-30 feet tall, full leaves, never realy drops them all, leaves are pointed on both ends, waxy and symetrical, pairing off the branch/twig. The berry clusters come out just after the leaves do. I think the tree is about 30 years old, maybe more. most of the leaves are 2 1/2 inches long. the berries vary from 3/4 inch to 1/4 inch in diameter.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Where is this plant growing (ie, what part of the world)?
     
  4. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    I'm on the west coast, in california. I doubt that it is native.
     
  5. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    HAH, make that "PEA" like, sorry.
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I think I have it. Syzygium paniculatum, commonly known in North America as the brush cherry, but more colourfully known in its native Australia as the magenta cherry or, even more imaginatively, the magenta lilly pilly. If it isn't this plant, then it is a close relative (another Syzygium or a Eugenia). My one qualm is that the leaves in your photograph don't appear to be as glossy as 80% of the images I've been able to locate for this plant, so that is a bit of my uncertainty. Also, this plant has a number of cultivars (cultivated "improvements" over the species, such as psyllid-resistance), so it may be one of those.

    References:

    Syzygium paniculatum (PDF format) from the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service. As an aside, they curiously claim that the plant is native to Florida in the PDF, which it isn't - but the rest of the information seems good to me.

    Syzygium paniculatum from the Rumbara Environmental Education Centre in New South Wales, Australia - with accompanying photograph. This site claims that it was the first Australian fruit eaten by the British explorers.

    Photograph of Syzygium paniculatum from the Australia National Botanical Garden site.
     
  7. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    Sysygium paniculatum.

    I'm satisfied that it is actualy Syzygium paniculatum. It is exactly like the last photo listed in daylight. The photo I attached was taken in difused light, that's why there's no definate reflections. I Wonder how we got it here in California.....
    Another forum lister said they had the same in Arkansas, except it was cut down a long time ago to put in a road, sad! Thanks for your help.
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I should point out what I used in Google to help puzzle this one out. I searched for:

    "purple fruit" California landscape

    I reasoned that there had to be a site about California landscape plants that discussed fruit characteristics - so it was necessary to know the location of where the plant was growing, whether native or not (this was after many other inconclusive searches).
     
  9. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    my searches.

    I got a couple pictures of the big tree here. It realy is very big!
     

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  10. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    a closer look at the base

    pic of the lower branches with the main trunk.
     

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  11. parkhurstohana

    parkhurstohana Member

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    So is it edible?



    I am assuming that the fruits are edible, am I correct?

    It is a beautiful tree - any idea how to proprogate it since it is a fruit tree and the only one near. I want one!

    :)
     
  12. cauzomb

    cauzomb Member

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    I took some samples and some windfalls, I'll try to get some started.
     
  13. looks like lily pilly

    if it is lilly pilly you can eat the berries and it makes beautiful jam... It has a taste of tropical flavour crossed with apple and feels bit foamy
     
  14. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I just want to remind everyone to be absolutely positive about a plants identification before eating any part of it.
     
  15. Marcrstna

    Marcrstna Member

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    Lovely colors

    And that is one BIG tree!
     



  16. It does look like a lilli pilli 'Syzygium australe' is the most common in cultivation here in Australia. That's what it looks like to me.

    To propogate just plant the fruit whole staight of the tree. Plant a dozen and you should get 1 or 2 come up.

    Not just good for jam, wine as well ;)
     
  17. djones49

    djones49 Member

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    My suggestion is that it might be a Bay Laurel.
     
  18. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sorry, definitely not Bay Laurel - that has black fruit, not pink.
     
  19. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Just a note - the spice, pepper, is actually the berries of a vine, Piper nigrum. It's not a tree. (I spent my early years growing up in a pepper plantation!)
     

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