Saturday, July 3, 2010

Bitterbark at the Bunyas

Alstonia constricta
I found this tree growing on the hill called “Little Mowbullan” in the Bunya Mountains. I didn’t know what it was, at first, because its leaves are unusually large, and the foliage unusually dense, for the species. It is one of a group of particularly attractive little bitterbarks.
As you can see, the weeping wavy-edged foliage is very pretty, and the whole made an attractive little shade tree. This is one of the smaller trees in the group. The oldest had a trunk diameter of about 20 or 25cm, and the canopy was about 4m across.
The grey trunk on the older trees was very attractive, looking rather “corky” - but actually very hard.
Flower buds were forming, but we shouldn’t expect the sweet-smelling flowers until midsummer.
For more on this species see Dec 2009.


Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia

The Native Plants Qld (Kingaroy & District SGAP) group had an ID meeting today and helped me to ID these that I have 3 of growing in the road verge at my place at Kingaroy. They are around 4m tall and quite healthy though at the moment there is a grub that has webbed the top of some branches but that I am told is normal for this time of year and I won't bother doing anything about it.

Frank S.

Patricia Gardner said...

Hi Frank.
Good to hear from you.
Like you, I would expect that the webbing grub is something that they would get over. Just another event in the life of a plant that is pulling its weight as part of an ecology!
The resultant tip pruning might even be good for the eventual shape of the tree, causing it to branch more and make a shadier canopy.