Sapindaceae

Alectryon tomentosus

Posted on Updated on

Alectryon tomentosusFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Alectryon
Common names: Hairy alectryon
ALA reference

There are a number of these small to medium sized trees growing in the reserve. They have recently produced a flush of bronze-red new growth accompanied by masses of tiny flowers. These plants are quite easy to recognize as the leaves are covered in soft brownish hairs and the leaflets, which can number from 4 to 8 (typically 8), are much smaller at the lower end. Note the absence of any petals on the flowers. The flowers seemed to be very attractive to small black honey ants that were busily collecting nectar. I’m not sure whether the ants play a role in the pollination of the flowers. The fruit is a one to three lobed hairy capsule containing up to 3 black seeds which are enclosed in a fleshy red aril. The red aril is edible.

(date)

Advertisements

Arytera divaricata

Posted on Updated on

Arytera divaricataFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Arytera
Common names: Rose tamarind, coogera
ALA reference

Anyone walking through the reserve recently would have noticed the brilliant bright pink and red leaves on the Arytera divaricata (Coogera or Rose Tamarind) trees. They are really quite spectacular at the moment. (July 2007)

Arytera foveolata

Posted on Updated on

Arytera foveolataFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Arytera
Common names: Pitted coogera
ALA reference

The trees that flowered really well in September are now covered in bright yellow/orange fruit and look quite spectacular. The hairy seedpods are splitting to reveal the black seeds that are covered in a bright red aril. (December 2010)

Following the flush of pale tawny-green new foliage, these trees have produced a small number of flowers. The flowers are mostly clustered at the very tops of the trees and consequently very difficult to see as they are small and inconspicuous. (September 2007)

After studying the Aryteras for some time I was convinced there were two different species growing here. Arytera divaricata produces bright pink to red new growth, but some had a much paler fawnish-coloured new growth. I took a specimen to the Queensland Herbarium and they confirmed that those plants were Arytera foveolata. So we have both Arytera divaricata and Arytera foveolata growing in the reserve. (August 2007)

Cupaniopsis anacardioides

Posted on Updated on

Cupaniopsis anacardioidesFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Cupaniopsis
Common names: Tuckeroo
ALA reference

This hardy small to medium sized tree is scattered through the reserve. One of the larger specimens is growing beside the firebreak on the eastern side of the reserve and there is one that has been planted as a street tree in Fort Road. The dark green glossy leaves are thick and leathery and form a dense crown. Because of its attractive appearance and hardy nature the tree is often used in horticulture for street plantings. The small greenish-yellow flowers seem to be highly attractive to our native stingless bees (Trigona carbonaria) which were flying around the flowers in swarms. (August 2007)

Cupaniopsis parvifolia

Posted on Updated on

Cupaniopsis parvifoliaFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Cupaniopsis
Common names: Small-leaved tuckeroo
ALA reference

The tree which flowered so well a few months ago has produced a bumper crop of fruit. The fruit contain three black seeds which are covered in a bright orange aril. The seeds seem to be much loved by fig birds which I hope will provide good seed dispersal. Every morning there are several scrub turkeys under the tree greedily devouring any fallen seeds. (November 2007)

This tree was once considered to be a variety of Cupaniopsis anacardioides but is now recognised as a distinct species. While its leaves and flowers are very similar to C. anacardioides they are considerably smaller but the tree itself is generally taller and less spreading. It is reasonably common in the reserve and some trees like the one in the northeast corner are absolutely smothered in bloom. The flowers are very popular with the native stingless bees (Trigona carbonaria). (September 2007)

Guioa semiglauca

Posted on Updated on

Guioa semiglaucaFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Guioa
Common names: Guioa
ALA reference

I’ve only found one specimen of this species in the Reserve. It is still quite young (about 6 metres high) and 2008 may have been its first flowering. The compound leaves have typically 4 to 6 leaflets that are dark dull green on top and greyish green below. Mature trees produce masses of flowers which are very attractive to bees and other insects. (October 2008)

Jagera pseudorhus

Posted on Updated on

Jagera pseudorhusFamily: Sapindaceae
Genus: Jagera
Common name: Foam bark, foambark
ALA reference

The January storms felled this medium sized multi-trunked Jagera pseudorhus. I suspect that it was brought down by falling wattle trees rather than directly by the storm. It is now lying flat on the ground but so far has refused to die. The leaves in the crown of the tree are still green and growing strongly presumably supported by the roots that are still in the ground. I am really intrigued by the new shoots that are appearing on one of the exposed roots that now points vertically upwards. Is it possible that this root could eventually become the trunk of the regenerated tree? Only time will tell so watch this space. (October 2013)

I was really impressed by the intense colour of the young fruit developing on the Jagera pseudorhus. The hairs on the ripe fruit can cause skin irritation. This tree is very common right across the reserve. (June 2011)

The Jagera pseudorhus (Foambark) trees which flowered in April are now carrying mature fruit. These seed capsules are about 15 mm in diameter and covered in stiff irritating hairs. They contain 3 dark brown to black seeds. (July 2007)

One of the few trees which has flowered this month is the Foam Bark (Jagera pseudorhus). It is one of the more common trees in the reserve and usually produces a good crop of fruit. It will be interesting to see if that happens this year. The bark of this tree contains a high concentration of saponin, a frothing compound–hence the tree’s common name. This was used by the Australian aborigines as a fish poison. (April 2007)