Syzygium wilsonii belongs to the genus of Syzygium (family Myrtaceae) containing over five hundred species, fifty occurring in Australia. Also known as the Powderpuff Lillypilly, it is perhaps one of the most attractive and versatile of the "Lillypillies", though still somewhat unknown and under-used in horticulture. The lillypillies are one of the most sought after horticultural plant groups for landscaping and gardens, apart from Syzygium also include related genera such as Acmena and Eugenia.
This species is endemic to the far north Queensland rainforests, from Ingham to Cooktown, in lowland rainforests from sea level to 600-700m, growing in relatively poor soils. S. wilsonii subsp. wilsonii is suitable for a range uses and locations from Sydney to Cairns. This species can be easily incorporated into any patio, courtyard or rainforest garden.
It is a small shrub 1-3 m tall with extremely attractive flowers and foliage with clusters of edible fruit that attracts wildlife. It has weeping branches with lanceolate reddish brown new foliage. Stiff narrow leaves to 18 cm x 5 cm, dark green and dull on upper surface and paler on underneath side of leaf. This species is the only one of the lillypillies to have red flowers. They have large, fluffy heads and flower from spring to summer. White clusters of ovoid shaped fleshy fruits.
The plant can be easily propagated from the seed once the flesh of the fruit has been removed. Use a 50:50 mix of sharp sand and peat moss in a sterile seed raising tray or pot to strike seeds. Keep moist but not damp.
Plant out in a shaded or sheltered position away from drying winds and full sun. It can also be used as a specimen shrub in a raised garden bed or against a wall. Keep the plant well mulched and composted, it also responds well to regular fertilizing encouraging new growth. This species responds well to regular tip pruning increasing the number of flowers produced. To increase the impact of the plant try to incorporate with other species such as palm lilies, native gingers, ground covers and ornamental grasses. This will help create a structured garden with differing layers of height. This species can also be used as an understorey plant for a more established rainforest garden. This species is a particularly attractive potted plant making it accessible for people with smaller gardens and courtyards.