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China Doll

Rademachera sinica


Radermachera sinica, commonly known as "china doll", but also "serpent tree" or "emerald tree", is an evergreen tree in the family Bignoniaceae, native to the subtropical mountain regions of southern China and Taiwan. The specific name sinica means "from China". Specific information about the species can be found at the reference links. ////////////////////// I've decided to include this spotting in my journal because it's a significant food tree in my garden, despite not being an Australian native. Sadly, I've overlooked it for many years, but then it dawned on me how important it is to the native wildlife. I've seen birds, possums, and even pythons in this tree, and it's a valuable food source for the first two, and the first two are a valuable food source for the third. It has also survived two severe droughts and a major flood event in the years that I have known it, whereas other trees, even natives, have perished. This tree also has three trunks, thanks largely to a massive storm that took out much of the tree in 2012, so what you see here is regrowth from the main trunk. Despite its delicate appearance and the fact that this species is also a very popular ornamental garden plant or pot plant, this tree is tough and is a true survivor in my yard.... much to the lorikeets delight :) PS: Particularly note the seeds and their swirling pods in photos 3 and 4. Once the lorikeets break the outer casing, the paper-like seeds go everywhere. I am continually sweeping the patio, paths and floors because of them.


Suburban backyard in inner-city Brisbane.


Wildlife antics. If the tree is fruiting, they will come! A favourite food tree of the local rainbow lorikeet population. Here's a spotting from earlier this week.... The birds are showing up at least twice a day.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

Thanks, Leuba. Life is around us all - we just need to look. People have the most screwed-up priorities. I've seen Moreton Bay, and would much prefer the poinciana. My neighbour cut down a lovely old mango tree just recently. Now she has an empty yard and I have to look at her ugly house. I think someone told her that snakes live in the tree. I'll refrain from saying anything more :-/

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 4 years ago

So much life around you - lovely to hear Neil. When we visited Wynnum for a couple of months a few years ago I was dismayed to find people chopping down beautiful Poinciana trees so they can get a glimpse of Moreton Bay. This is so nice to see....

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

Those noisy little monsters know when they're onto a good thing. Always so funny to watch :)

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 4 years ago

Lorikeets are an added bonus!!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

Thanks, Sergio. We'd probably be on par with South American cities when it comes to weird and wonderful beasties in the garden. I'm glad you like the spotting. The tree right next to this one is called a "lilli pilli", and when it's fruiting, it brings in the bats. I have a noisy yard both day and night :-/

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 4 years ago

Birds, possums and pythons in a "suburban backyard in inner-city Brisbane."? Wow! And people say that South American cities are wild!!! Just kidding, Neil. It is wonderful to have nature just through the door, isn't it? By the way, I loved both the spotting and the photos. Congrats.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

They're beautiful trees. Listen for the lorikeets, Kelly. They know where they're at.

Kelly38 4 years ago

Amazing! I’ve never seen one before!

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Feb 22, 2020
Submitted on Feb 22, 2020

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