Homage to Syzygium paniculatum aka Eugenia

Megalithic thumbs of Eugenia, seen and yes, admired at the Huntington.  New growth is bronze-red, maturing to deep green. 
Some Eugenia Psyllid (Trioza eugeniae) damage, but it isn't overly noticeable.
 

For decades, the go-to plant in Southern California for privacy hedging.  Unclipped, untopped, a billowy 30'-50' (9 - 15 meter) tree.  It can be sheared into an 18" (45 cm) wide, dense screen of any height;  the plants will sprout new growth from bare wood. 
 The sad story of the Eugenia psyllid here.  Ours show only minor damage, but have a way to go to compare with the beauties above. 
Our young unsheared hedge, behind the house:
Well established plants can forgo summer water, if winter rains are good.  Ours lived on grey water from the washing machine all summer long, and were the happier for it.  

A local example, likely planted in the 1970's, still screening like a champ:
Syzygium australe, sheared photo apitty2468_zps452ade90.jpg
Cloud-pruned, in front of an Eichler:


My all time favorite treatment, sheared as a pair of...floor lamps?
 photo tur3768.jpg 
Versatile, you must admit.  If I had the space, I'd grow and clip myself a Syzygium Stonehenge.

Comments

  1. Yes, it is recovering nicely, and, if you let it go, it has billows of fluffy whitish flowers followed by the most amazingly colored fruit, sort of a pleasant pinkish-magenta, but very difficult to photograph because they are so high up.

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    1. Flowers beloved by bees, fruit by birds, and dense foliage beloved by birds for nesting--so many things to love!

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  2. Pruning and shaping isn't usually my thing, but in the right shape and size these are amazing! In my garden (if I lived in the right climate) I'd want something tall and boxy.

    (My great-aunt was named "Eugenia" but I didn't learn that until she died. She always went by "Virginia".)

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  3. What a wonderfully versatile shrub. I bet the "sprouts from bare wood" part makes it especially appealing.

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    1. Yes, it is like So Cal's version of Yew, a plant of virtue in PNW and the UK that doesn't like our long dry hot summers.

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  4. Makes a very serviceable jam or jelly, as well, and I've stained wood using the skins. Doesn't result in the deepest, richest of pinks, like beet juice, but a nice little hint of fuchsia.

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    1. A hint of subtle color is an elegant thing.

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  5. I don't much care for manicured shrubs but I do like that cloud-pruned Eugenia. I wonder if there's a story behind the floor lamps?

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    1. If there isn't a story, there should be. :)

      A sheared shrub provides architectural form midst more nebulous shapes like salvias; Agaves do the same thing, without the shearing.

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  6. I like your softly-billowing-but-still-vertical Eugenias more than any of the clipped ones -- though the lamps are hilarious. I'm guessing the fauna would vote with me on that.

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    1. Nesting site is nesting site, especially near a feeder full of sugar water.

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  7. a megalithic thumb's down, not up, on the eugenia here. The psyllid had its way for too long with the hedge we inherited. Some people are born clippers, some aren't -- I'm solidly in the latter camp. We replaced the eugenia with box, which I get around to trimming maybe twice a year. Clipping the box and creeping fig on the back wall are probably the only tasks I really despise doing. Bravo to all the cloud pruners out there!

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