Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Syzygium polyanthum
(Wight) Walp., Myrtaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES

Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Indian bayleaf, Indonesian bayleaf

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A medium-sized tree up to 30 m tall with dense crown, bole up to 60 cm in diameter; bark surface fissured and scaly, grey. Leaves opposite, simple, glabrous; petiole up to 12 mm long; blade oblong-elliptical, narrowly elliptical or lanceolate, 5-16 cm x 2.5-7 cm, with 6-11 pairs of secondary veins distinct below and a distinct intramarginal vein, dotted with minute oil glands, petiole up to 12 mm long. Inflorescence a panicle, 2-8 cm long, usually arising below the leaves, sometimes axillary, but trees flower very profusely; flowers sessile, bisexual, regular, fragrant, white, in threes on ultimate branchlets of the panicle; calyx cup-shaped, about 4 mm long, with 4 broad persistent lobes; petals 4, free, 2.5-3.5 mm long, white; stamens numerous, arranged in 4 groups, about 3 mm long; disk quadrangular, orange-yellow. Fruit a 1-seeded berry, depressed globose to globose, up to 12 mm in diameter, dark red to purplish-black when ripe"  (AgroForestryTree Database).

Habitat/ecology:  "Widely distributed and locally common as understorey tree in lowland primary and secondary forests, also in thickets, bamboo forest and teak plantations, in Java up to 1000 m, in Sabah up to 1200 m, and in Thailand up to 1300 m altitude"  (AgroForestryTree Database).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Indochina, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia (GRIN).


Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore (Republic of) native
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 84)
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Branches break off easily during strong winds  (AgroForestryTree Database).

Additional information:
Species information from AgroForestryTree Database.

Additional online information about Syzygium polyanthum is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Syzygium polyanthum as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Syzygium polyanthum may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).


Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

International Center for Research in Agroforestry. 2013. AgroForestryTree database: a tree species reference and selection guide (online resource). World Agroforestry Centre.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 24 APR 2010 and was last updated on 27 APR 2010.