This Lilli Pilli is called Powder Puff Lilli Pilli (Syzygium wilsonii) There are so many different way that Lilli Pilli is spelt – Lilli PIlly, Lilly Pilly but I have always known the bush to be called a Lilli Pilli. When I thought about doing a Life of a Lilli Pilli flower post, I didn’t count on it raining nearly every day, so photography was a bit difficult to really showcase these wonderful flowers.
A beautiful shrub that has a weeping habit and glossy large green leaves with very attractive red-bronze new growth. Lilli Pilli are native plants to the East Coast of Australia mainly in the rainforests.
In full flower it is absolutely joyous, with dozens of big pink-red pompom flowers, followed by pure white edible (when cooked) bushtucker fruit in autumn. I don’t seem to have any fruit photos from years gone by and I can’t wait until Autumn to show you the fruit. This one is a similar fruit just a different colour from an Acmena smithii.
Let’s have a look at how these wonderful red pom poms grow. At first, the buds just seem to appear overnight as long shaped almost small clubs.
They then push outwards from the floral tube with white ends on the bottom .
The tip turn white after a few days as well
Slowly the stigma reach out from the filaments and the on the stamen the anthers turn white as they burst forth from the buds
A view from the rear of the flower showing the floral tubes
The pom pom is starting to fill out
Every day there are more filaments appearing and the buds have almost disappeared
The full flower is finally here and nearly always hang down like this. This year there have been lots of flowers
They are like a burst of sunlight or even fireworks
As the weather hasn’t been favourable for the bees either I dug out an old photo with some Stingless Native Bees enjoying the sweetness of a Lilli Pilli flower
Once the flowers are finished, the filaments drop off onto the garden leaving a quite straggly looking flower
As it has been raining I have been trying to get a few water drop photos
I have also been waiting for the Scarlet Honeyeaters to seek out the flowers. They have been in the garden but this year the Bottlebrush have been also having a bumper flowering and they seem to prefer to snack on Bottlebrush flower.
I also have some Pied Currawongs who seemed to have decided to stay around. Most years, when it cold in the mountains, the Currawongs come to my place but leave once Summer arrives. Currawongs are predators on small birds so small birds aren’t as prevalent in my garden for awhile now.
Here is an old photo as I love seeing Scarlet Honeyeaters feeding on Lilli Pilli flowers
Also for Cee’s FOTD