The red lilly-pilly is also known as the smooth-bark rose apple. Its conservation status is ‘vulnerable’ and there are only three mature trees in the reserve.
This small tree stands at 11m tall and grows spectacular flowers that emit a sweet honey scent. One of its known pollinators is the richmond birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia).
If you are visiting Mary Cairncross Reserve between August and December you may see its small, edible, pear-shaped berries. Keep an eye out for these glossy-red fruit, vibrant amongst the green foliage. Leaves are oval shaped up to 15cm long and grow on the tree sparsely in comparison to other rainforest species.
The red lilly-pilly distribution is only found between northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland. Much of their original range has been extensively cleared. The reserve is critical as habitat for this vulnerable species.