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Syzygium buxifolium Hooker & Arnott

Family Name: Myrtaceae
Synonyms: Eugenia microphylla, Syzygium microphyllum, Eugenia sinensis
Common Name: Boxleaf Eugenia, Fish-Scale Bush, 赤楠, 小叶赤楠, 鱼鳞木
Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Herb or Spice Suitable for Bonsai Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Leaves Shrub Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub, Tree (Shrubby (1m-5m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Compact
Maximum Height 4.5 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 3 m to 4.5 m


Native Distribution China, Taiwan, Southern Japan, Vietnam
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Temperate Forest, Grassland / Savannah/ Scrubland)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Woody shrub or small tree, up to 4.5 m height. Compact and densely-branched.
Foliage Leaves small, narrow, blunt tipped, veins inconspicuous, dark green; young leaves reddish.
Stems Reddish-brown, slightly 4 or 6-angled when young.
Flowers Powderpuff, in terminal few-flowered cymes, 4 inconspicuous small white petals which fall off as flower opens, numerous white filaments with yellow anthers.
Fruits Globuse berries, ripen from green to red to shiny purplish-black, 7 - 10mm across, with fleshy pulp and single large seed.
Cultivation Prefers open, well-drained but moisture-retaining soils. Takes pruning well.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Syzygium' derived from 'syzygos' (Greek for 'joined'), alluding to the opposite paired leaves. Species epithet 'buxifolium' means "box-leafed", describing the fine-textured foliage which resembles that of Buxus species (Box).
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Food (Herb and Spice)
[Others]: Juicy ripe fruits are edible, and also used to make wine. Roots used to treat asthma, scalds and injuries, and strengthen spleen.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Bonsai, Flowerbed / Border, Hedge / Screening, Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden, Formal Garden
SGMP Treatment
Plant & Rootzone Preference or Tolerance Remarks Prefers open, well-drained but moisture-retaining soils

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Pruning Takes pruning well. May be pruned frequently.
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Red
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Thin
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Reddish bark on young stems
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Symmetry Radial
Flower Size - Remarks Small, 1cm across
Inflorescence Type Cyme
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Opening Time Time-Independent
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Black, Purple
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Berry

Image Repository



Master ID 962
Species ID 2256
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 15 February 2022.