Commersonia bartramia

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Commersonia bartramiaFamily: Malvaceae
Genus: Commersonia
Common name: Brown Kurrajong
ALA reference

One species that is regenerating well in the area on the eastern side of the Reserve that was devastated in the January 2013 storms is Commersonia bartramia. We now have more than a dozen seedlings in this area even though there are no adult trees growing here now. I suspect the species was probably here before being wiped out by the cat’s claw creeper. This is a fast growing species that is excellent for colonising cleared areas on the edges of rain forests. A plant that came up in the bushland about 5 years ago is now over 5 metres tall. However leaf-eating caterpillars attack this plant mercilessly and some of the smaller seedlings have been rendered almost leafless. Some plants are relatively untouched but others have only a few small leaves remaining. Given the level of attack on some of the plants, I was surprised at how few caterpillars I could find. Maybe the birds find the caterpillars good to eat. (May 2013)

I found a couple of these plants growing near the area beside Cliveden Avenue which was partially cleared by the council of the climbing cactus. The actual plant in flower is on the nature strip on the other side of Cliveden Avenue. This plant grows into a small tree and the fruit is a capsule covered in long soft bristles up to 25mm in diameter containing small dark brown seeds. (November 2007)

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