Red Lip
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Red Lip
P Introduced Photo: Preetha P.S.
Common name: Red Lip, Lilly Pilly, Kelat oil
Botanical name: Syzygium myrtifolium    Family: Myrtaceae (Bottlebrush family)
Synonyms: Eugenia myrtifolia Roxb., Syzygium campanulatum

Red Lip is a cultivated shrub or a tree with a dense bushy crown, up to 20 m tall. Its opposite, stalked leaves have leaf blades that are elliptic to lanceshaped, about 7.5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Young leaves emerge reddish, turning red-brown then green. Its powder-puff-like flowers are cream to white in colour, borne on a branched inflorescence, up to 4 cm long. Its spherical to ellipsoid fruits are dark purple or black berries, about 9 mm wide. It grows in lowland primary and secondary forests, in coastal forests, near freshwater swamps and along riverbanks. Red Lip is native to Bangladesh to W. & Central Malesia, widely cultivated as a garden plant, commonly as a hedge, elsewhere.

Identification credit: Preetha P.S. Photographed in Kollam, Kerala.

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