Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ivorywood at Anduramba

Siphonodon australis
I saw this pretty tree on red soil at Anduramba a few weeks ago.

Having only ever seen the species growing in scrub, I was interested to see how it shaped up as a plant grown in the open, in a paddock which it shares with cattle.
It is certainly a pretty specimen, especially laden as it is with its aromatic fruit.

This plant is probably very old, despite its small size. The species is slow-growing at the best of times. It was probably not much smaller than this when the original scrub was cleared from around it, a century or more ago. Like so many dry rainforest trees, it would have the ability to survive happily, but make little growth in a rather harsh habitat like this.
Ivorywood is one of our disappearing trees, easily cleared, and taking several human lifetimes to replace.
We all love big trees, but should remember to value those which are not naturally very large. Action groups wanting to save “significant trees” are sometimes found fighting tooth and nail to save 30-year-old gumtrees, while letting ancient treasures like this disappear without a word of protest.

For more about this plant, see Dec 2009

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