Friday, September 17, 2010

Hairy Birds Eye

Alectryon tomentosum
Family: SAPINDACEAEMy little tree is going to be a mass of flowers this year.
The flowers aren’t much to look at, but there are masses of them this year, so I'm expecting a great display of fruits to come in summer.
The tree is grown from seed, and only 11 years old, so I am interested to see how quickly it has reached the fruiting stage of its life. It has produced just a little fruit for a couple of years now, but this will be its first mass display.
I am interested that it is beginning what will probably be its major annual flowering at the same time as having the last of last season’s fruit on the tree. These were produced very late. Like so many of our Australian trees, Alectryons are opportunists, likely to flower at quite different times each year according to the rainfall offered by our erratic climate. The same tree also had fruit on it last May.

I love the way the little fruits open up - the red aril swelling to burst open the seed capsule and push at the little green cap until it falls off, to reveal a beady black "eye".

For more about this plant see May 2010

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