Species radiations have long fascinated biologists, but the contribution of adaptation to observed diversity and speciation is still an open question. Here, we explore this question using the clove genus, Syzygium, the world’s largest genus of tree species comprising approximately 1200 species. We dissect Syzygium diversity through shotgun sequencing of 182 distinct species and 58 additional as-yet unidentified taxa, and assess their genetic diversity against a chromosome-level reference genome of the sea apple, Syzygium grande. We show that Syzygium grande shares a whole genome duplication (WGD) event with other Myrtales. Genomic analyses confirm that Syzygium originated in Sahul (Australia-New Guinea), and later diversified eastward to the Hawaiian Islands and westward in multiple independent migration events. The migrations were associated with bursts of speciation events, visible by poorly resolved branches on phylogenies and networks, some of which were likely confounded by incomplete lineage sorting. Clinal genomic variation in some sublineages follows phylogenetic progression, which coupled with sympatric occurrences of distantly related species suggests that both geographic and ecological speciation have been important in the diversification of Syzygium. Together, these results point to a mixture of both neutral and adaptive drivers having contributed to the radiation of the genus.