Thursday, July 17, 2008

Deep Yellowwood

Rhodosphaera rhodanthema
Family: ANACARDIACEAE
This plant is another mango relative.
In his comment on my “Toowoomba Trees” article, Mick included it as a suggested Camphor laurel replacement.
I couldn’t believe how fast mine grew when I first planted it. It’s now eight years old, but reached almost the size shown in the picture in only four of them, when it decided to put on the brakes. Its reputation as a slow grower, eventually reaching camphor laurel size, is clearly not based on its early years.

This fast growth does make it satisfying to grow, as a pretty, shady tree is obtained in a very short time.
Last September my tree responded to the drought with this lovely crop of flowers, and was a buzzing mass of native bees.
Despite this it produced no fruit at all. This photo is of a friend’s tree. The berries look as though someone’s been polishing them with Nugget, don’t they?

Deep yellowwoods are drought and frost hardy trees, and are rather hard to set alight. We sometimes find ourselves being told not to plant natives in bushfire-risk areas because “they are so flammable”. This is very good advice where Eucalypts are concerned - and applies rather more strongly to some very non-native trees, like pines and cypresses - but drought-hardy rainforest trees like this one are a good choice where bushfires might be a problem.

5 comments:

Sally said...

mine frosted in June 2010 but is recovering

Anonymous said...

I collected seed from a street tree in Maleny and am trying to propagate some using soaked seeds that Ive nicked at the tip. I'd love to get a few successes. So happy I found this great site. Thanks.

Patricia Gardner said...

Nice to hear from you. I wish you all the best with your seeds. They can take a long time, so be patient.
If you still have no success by next year, try whether making sure you pick fruit as soon as it looks ripe. Nobody's sure whether this really gives quicker results, but it's worth a try. Some people don't nick them at all. Some do as you've done. Some cut the bud end off with sharp side-cutters.
Best of luck.
Cheers,
Trish

Anonymous said...

Two of the 20 seeds from the street tree in Maleny have sprouted which I'm very excited about. That's only 6 weeks since planting. I hope I get some more. The seeds looked like they'd been on the tree a while btw.

Patricia Gardner said...

Great news! I've found them highly variable when it comes to germinating, and have never got the bottom of why, so I'm glad to hear yours were so quick.
I hope you find places where all your seedlings can grow to a happy old age.
Trish