Castanospermum australe

Posted on Updated on

Castanospermum australeFamily: Fabaceae
Genus: Castanospermum
Common names: Black bean, Moreton Bay Chestnut
ALA reference

This species can grow to be a large tree attaining a height of 35 to 40 metres. It is a very attractive tree with large dark glossy green compound leaves and is has been grown extensively in parks and gardens. The bright red flowers are borne in clusters on the old wood and tend to be hidden in the foliage. They attract nectar-feeding birds. It has very large seed pods containing three to five seeds. The seeds are poisonous but were eaten by the aborigines after extensive preparation to leach out the alkaloids. The wood is considered to be one of Australia’s finest cabinet timbers.

In the Reserve there are a couple of specimens, one below the picnic area and one beside the eastern firebreak. Both are still quite young and relatively small trees. (November 2009)

Advertisements