Gossia hillii (MYRTACEAE); Scaly myrtle

Gossia hillii
Austromyrtus hillii - trunk - Graham Stephens 2002
(Prev. known as Austromyrtus hillii)

Small tree to 10m from Kangaroo River, NSW to Atherton, Nth QLD in subtropical and dry rainforest.

Leaves are up to 5cm long, simple, opposite, glossy green with oil dots and a raised midrib on top of the leaf blade.
Flowers are white and scented, usually single arising from stalks in the leaf axils from October-December.

Fruit is a black, glossy, rounded berry up 10mm diameter. Ripe January-April.
New growth is reddish and plant has a rounded, dense habit.

Fruit is edible and sweet to taste.

Propagate from fresh seed. Cuttings are slow to strike.

Fruit is eaten by birds. It is a hardy plant.

Hillii after Hill, Walter (1820 - 1904), born in Scotsdyke, Scotland died in Canobie Lea, Eight Miles Plain, Queensland. Appointed first Superintendent of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in 1855, and first Colonial Botanist of Queensland in 1859. He retained these positions until 1881. Hill undertook expeditions to Cape York (1862) and along the north-east coast to Mossman and the Daintree (1873), climbing Mt Bellenden-Ker. He developed a small herbarium and laid the basis of a botanical library. He introduced tropical fruits to Queensland.