DIG­GIN’ IT

WHAT’S HAP­PEN­ING

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - GARDEN -

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.

WHAT’S NEW

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.

DON’T FOR­GET

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

SYZY­GIUM WILSONII

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