Syzygium venosum is a small branched tree that can grow up to 4 meters tall. It has a spherical trunk with a gray smooth bark, and thick branches. The leaves of the plant are sessile (attached without a stalk), elliptic, truncate, obtuse (rounded) at the tip, and twisted at the base. The leaves are bright green in colour on the top surface and pale green beneath, they are also tough and stiff. The Inflorescence is in clusters of 9 to 30 florets, which can reach 10 cm long. The flowers have circular petals, which are pendulous, and loosely attached to each other forming a pinkish calyptra (hood or lid). It produces a fleshy berry that is ellipsoid in shape and is greenish red in colour when ripe.
This species is endemic to Mauritius, it grows on mountain ridges, in places exposed to the wind with usually some isolated adult plants located in the native vegetation. The flowers are pollinated by birds and geckos and the fruits scattered by the birds.
S venosum is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List. It is very rare to find seedlings in the wild that survive the damage caused to the low strata of the flora by wild pigs. Its population is in constant decline due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species.
When viewed against the light, reticulate venation is visible in the leaves, hence the species name ‘venosum’ which comes from the Latin word 'venosus' meaning 'veined'.
The first plant sample was collected by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1789.