Plants of Tropical Queensland

Drynaria rigidula – The Basket Fern is native to northeastern New South Wales, Queensland and Malaysia and often grows as a epiphyte on tree trunks – with colonies reaching widths of 6′. It has 2 types of fronds – the fertile ones are deep green and reach lengths of 2-4′ long. The shorter sterile basal leaves persist after browning and form the base basket, catching organic debris.

Callistemon polandii – The Gold-Tipped Bottlebrush is an evergreen shrub which grows 6-15′ high and 3-9′ wide, preferring part to full sun. It is native to Queensland and is found in evenly moist soils, to the point of tolerating slightly boggy conditions. It bears attractive red bottlebrush blooms tipped in gold and has an open habit which can be controlled or groomed with pruning.

Aganthis microstachya –The Bull Kauri is a distant relative of ancient conifers which were common in the Mesozoic era and is quite a rare tree – with its habitat restricted to the Atherton Tableland forests in Queensland. It bears glossy green leaflets that more closely resemble broadleaf evergreens than conifers, and has both male and female cones. Ultimate height is 120′ or more.

Elaeocarpus angustifolius (syn. E. grandis) – Known as the Blue Quandong, Blue Fig or Blue Marble Tree – this species bears metallic blue fruit that is eaten by Spectacled Flying Foxes and Cassowaries. It is a rainforest species that grows to 60′ high and bears greenish-white bell-shaped flowers with fringed petals. The glossy green, lance-shaped leaves turn red before being shed.

Cyathea cooperi (syn. Sphaeroteris cooperi) – This species is known by many common names – including the Lacy Tree Fern, Cooper’s Tree Fern and the Australian Tree Fern. It is commonly used in tropical residential and commercial landscapes due to its versatility. It has a distinctly slender trunk, lacy bright green fronds and tolerates sun as long as it has even soil moisture.

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