Syzygium myrtifolium Walp.

Etymology Genus Jointed (Syzygos), referring to its paired leaves
Species Having leaves (folium) like those in the Myrtus (Myrti) genus
Family Myrtaceae
Synonyms Syzygium campanulatum Korth., Eugenia oleina Wight
Common Names Red Lip, Kelat Oil
Status Native: Presumed Extinct
Form Tree, very commonly pruned to a shrub
Native Distribution Indochina (Myanmar, Thailand) and Malesia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines)


The young leaves of Syzygium myrtifolium are often either yellow or orange. The leaves are elliptic and the intermarginal veins runs very closely to the leaf margins. Because of its dense foliage from the bottom to the top, they are very commonly planted very closely to form hedges for visual or sound blockage. It is also frequently pruned as a low shrub.

Interesting Facts:

The Red Lip is naturally found near coastal areas (Kochummen, 1978). However, while native, it is presumed to be nationally extinct in Singapore. Small saplings of this species can sometimes be found wild but these are likely to originate from the massive cultivated stocks planted all over the island.

Syzygium myrtifolium is frequently planted close together so that it form a thick hedge.

An individual tree about 7 meters tall.

Leaf underside; zooming in on the intermarginal veins.

The young leaves are often orange-yellow.

Flowers are small (1.5 cm) and fluffy.

The fruits are black berries.

A cultivar showing dark red young leaves.


Kochummen KM. (1978) Myrtaceae. Tree Flora of Malaya, 3: 169-254.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-02-23 / Modified: 2017-12-25