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Also known as Australian Teak, this is a rainforest tree. The species ranges from New South Wales to Queensland in Australia, and it was only that I came across the fruit (immature and mature) that I recognised the tree. The fruit is a woody capsule covered with short blunt prickles, splitting into 5 boat shaped valves. Ripe Apr - Nov. Often used in floral arrangements. White flowers in panicles Aug - Feb. Flowers attract Orchard Swallowtail butterflies, bees, wasps, moths, honeyeaters and fruit and blossom bats. High branches provide nesting and resting sites for birds. The Orchard Swallowtail (Papilio aegeus aegeus) lays its eggs on the leaves, upon which the caterpillars feed, and go through stages until they form a chrysalis and then emerge as a butterfly. This is a valuable rainforest tree, and also much sort-after in the timber industry, hence its demise in this region. In many places, all that remains are small pockets of dry rainforest like Welk Remnant.
Usually tall trees to 40m in dry rainforest (complex microphyll closed forest) extending into eucalypt forest. This spotting was at Welk Remnant at Mount Berryman, near Laidley SEQ. Vine forest on rich volcanic soil.
There were two large dogs on a property directly across the track from the entrance to Welk Remnant, and the whole time my friends and I were there (at least an hour), these dogs didn't stop barking. Not once! I looked at google street view, wondering if the dogs were there, and sure enough, there they are, running along the fence line. It gave me such a good laugh.
Spotted on May 1, 2016
Submitted on May 1, 2016