W O R D S A N D P H O T O S : Currently on Castle Hill and other rocky outcrops in the region you may come across rough barked small trees with interesting bright yellow flower buds and sickle-shaped leaves. They are Geebung or Wild Pear (Persoonia falcata). It is difficult to grow from seed, as naturally a kangaroo or large bird eats the fruit before the seed is dispersed. Interestingly the fruit does not ripen until it has fallen from the tree and only the flesh is edible.
WHAT TO PLANT
If you have a shaded spot, Plum Satinash (Syzygium wilsonii) is ideal. This species is endemic to the Far North Queensland rainforests, from Ingham to Cooktown, in lowland rainforests. Growing to between one and 3m tall with weeping branches and reddish brown new foliage, it is very attractive. The large, red and fluffy flower heads followed by clusters of white fleshy fruits are a bonus. Readily incorporated into a patio, courtyard or rainforest garden. Ensure it is placed in a shaded or sheltered position away from drying winds and full sun. Keep well mulched and composted.
Dwarf Chocolate Frangipani (Cerbera odollam Rubra) is new to the nursery trade. Apparently growing to a medium-sized shrub with very distinct chocolate-brown coloured new leaves and pretty pink and white flowers, it is in same family (Apocynaceae) as Frangipani and Oleander. While the label says “caution: harmful if eaten”, the common name for this species is Suicide Tree. Do not let this plant develop fruit, as this is the most dangerous part for your family and pets.
Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllous) is very similar in look to its close relatives Breadfruit (A. altilis), Marang (A. odoratissimus) and Chempedak (A. integer). Jackfruit is distinct in that it occurs in clusters off the main trunk and branches. As a guide the green fruit shouldn’t be eaten raw and must be cooked, otherwise they will cause an upset stomach. They are ripe when there is no discomfort handling them as the spiky skin softens as they ripen. Don’t eat many if you are not used to them because, while they are tasty, they are a laxative.
CHOCOLATE DWARF FRANGIPANI
0427 331 395
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