February 10, 2020

Two Beautiful Trees

Golden Penda, Xanthostemon chrycanthus
Image by Tatters
Two flowering trees that are relatively unknown to American gardeners are the Golden Penda, Xanthostemon chrycanthus, and the Golden Bouquet Tree, Deplanchea tetraphylla. These Australian natives come from tropical Queensland and can be grown in South Florida and Hawaii. In South Florida, at least, many other Australian plants that are popular in Hawaii and California are impossible to grow due to soil type or heavy summer rainfall coupled with heat and high humidity.
Golden Penda grows in primary and secondary rainforest. Sometimes a fairly large tree in habitat, it seldom grows larger than 40 feet in cultivation. It’s thought that sudden drops in temperature, however slight, can initiate flowering. Well grown garden and street plantings tend to frequently bloom, making the species quite desirable for display. Many creatures are attracted to the flowers, including insects, nectar-feeding birds and marsupials.
Rainbow Lorikeet on Golden Penda
Image by Annettenoosa
Lorikeet on Golden Bouquet, Deplanchea tetraphylla
Image by Russell Cumming
Golden Bouquet grows in coastal forests and at the edge of rainforests in Queensland, New Guinea, and the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia. It’s a medium-sized, somewhat gaunt-looking tree with large leaves and coarse bark. 
Golden Bouquet
Image by melbournian
The yellow blossoms, produced in spectacular terminal corymbs, are structurally designed to accommodate bird pollinators.  They drip large quantities of nectar that attracts lorikeets and other birds. Wallabies like to consume the fallen flowers. 
Image by Russell Cumming
Image by Guy Verkroost

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