We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Brush Cherry?

By M. Haskins
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are two tree species that are commonly called brush cherry: Syzygium paniculatum and Syzygium australe. Both species belong to the Myrtaceae family of plants and are evergreen trees native to eastern Australia's rain forests. Both are also grown as garden plants and are similar in appearance, with glossy, dark green, oval-shaped leaves; white flowers growing in clusters; and edible fruit that usually is red in color. These two types of trees previously were classified as a single species under the name Eugenia australis, but botanists have revised this and now classify them as two separate species.

Most commonly, the term "brush cherry" refers to different varieties of the species Syzygium paniculatum, a popular garden plant not only in its native Australia but also in North America, especially in areas with a relatively warm climate, such as Florida and California. It is a plant known by many names, including its old Latin name, Eugenia myrtifolia. In Australia, it is sometimes called a magenta lilly pilly or magenta cherry, and in the United States, it is sometimes referred to as a Monterey Bay.

This type of brush cherry tree grows to a height of about 35 feet (10 m) in the Australian rain forest, but in a garden setting, it can quite easily be trimmed to smaller sizes. These trees can be used as topiary plants or as garden shrubs, they can be grown as hedges or screens, or they can be allowed to grow to their full size. Smaller varieties are available as potted plants, and some can even be used as bonsai trees, growing barely more than 12 inches (30 cm) tall. This versatility when it comes to size is one reason for the popularity of this particular cherry.

The other brush cherry species, Syzygium australe, is a common garden plant in Australia, where it is also called a scrub cherry. In the wild, it can grow up to 80 feet (25 m) tall, but it usually is much smaller when cultivated. Some varieties grow only about 7 feet (2 m) tall. Trees of this species are commonly grown as hedges and shrubs in Australian gardens.

Both species of brush cherry trees prefer to grow in partial sun or partial shade and in rich, consistently moist soil. They grow best in warmer climates, preferably in temperate to subtropical temperatures. The fruit produced by both kinds of brush cherry trees is round, cherry-sized and usually dark red, but it can be pink, purple or even black. It can be eaten fresh or made into jam, and the flavor is reminiscent of sour apples.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By bagley79 — On Jun 06, 2012

Does anyone know if a cherry bonsai tree produces fruit or is this just more for ornamental purposes? I love bonsai trees and think a cherry bonsai tree would be beautiful, but really don't want to bother with any fruit.

I am looking for something in the shape of a bonsai tree, that has the fragrance of the flowers but not the messiness of the fruit.

I also wonder if you get fruit when you plant the topiary cherry trees. I have always enjoyed the ornamental look of these trees, but really don't know much about them or how to take care of them.

By myharley — On Jun 05, 2012

I love cherries and planted a dwarf cherry tree a few years ago. There were several reasons why I chose a dwarf tree over a regular sized one.

With most cherry trees like a brush cherry, it can take as long as ten years after being planted before you will have any fruit. With the dwarf variety, I had fruit after just three years.

That can still seem like a long time when you are waiting for your own fresh cherries, but it was worth the wait. The dwarf trees are also easier to prune and manage because they don't grow nearly as tall.

I have been so pleased with this tree, that I am going to plant another one this year so I have more than one cherry tree producing fruit.

By julies — On Jun 05, 2012

I don't much about the different kinds of cherry trees, but have a couple of them on my property that produce cherries every year.

I live in the Midwest where we have cold winters, so these must not be brush cherry trees. I know that some people will have special landscaping with cherry trees. I have seen many of these in a weeping variety that really look pretty in the spring.

I can usually get some good cherries from the trees on my property. I will always make a fresh cherry crisp, and freeze the rest of them to use later in the year.

By SarahSon — On Jun 04, 2012

My grandparents live in California and have a row of Monterey Bay brush cherry trees on one side of their property. There was a long row of these that separated their property from their neighbor.

If we were there when the cherries were ripe, we loved to pick them and my grandma would make desserts and jam with them.

Eating a piece of her cherry pie fresh from the oven, with cherries you helped pick was a real treat. Any time I eat a piece of cherry pie, I am reminded of picking the cherries from her trees.

I remember how surprised I was the first time I ate one from fresh from the tree. It wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be and found they were much better after some kind of sweetener was added to them!

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.