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Cunjevoi lily, aka elephant-eared cunjevoi, is a species native to rainforests of eastern Australia, and this is the first time I have ever seen the plants flowering, or at least fruiting. I was a bit late for some and too early for others, but you get the idea. The summer flowers are a perfumed, greenish-cream colour that is similar to an arum lily, and red fruits follow the flowering. The seeds are not unlike corn kernels, but perhaps the fleshy fruit was eaten by birds or simply dropped off? These plants can be found growing as an understory plant along rainforest margins and in riparian areas along waterways, especially in places where there is a gap in the canopy to allow light in. Alocasia may grow to a height of 1.5 metres. This species is poisonous to humans and is a known cause of toddler deaths. It also poses a real danger to animals like cats and dogs. However, this is an important host plant for the caterpillars of at least four species of Hawk Moth as well as the Crow Moth (Cruria donowani). The fruit can also be eaten safely by birds which then disperse the seeds. NB: Other than both being Australian natives, cunjevoi (the plant) bears no resemblance to cunjevoi (the marine animal).
This spotting was in a moist, well-shaded gully amongst dense undergrowth in the Cumberland State Forest, in Sydney's northwest. Larger trees such as blackbutts, red gums and blue gums, overshadowed the entire area. Here's some park info: https://www.forestrycorporation.com.au/v... Alocasia brisbanensis is endemic to the warmer coastal and inland-coastal areas of Australia's east coast, from just south of Sydney in the Illawarra region all the way up to far north Queensland. However, it has now been naturalised in some areas of both Victoria as well as in Western Australia where it’s considered a minor environmental weed. It has also naturalised in New Zealand.
This reference provides a wealth of information on this plant, including: habitat, flowering and fruiting, poisoning, and indigenous uses by aboriginal Australians. https://dengarden.com/gardening/Cunjevoi...
Spotted on Mar 27, 2019
Submitted on Apr 4, 2019
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