Friday, 14 December 2012

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 25 - BLACKBEAN

Castanospermum australe (Moreton Bay Chestnut or Blackbean), the only species in the genus Castanospermum, is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to the east coast of Australia in Queensland and New South Wales, and to the Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

It is a large evergreen tree growing to 40 metres tall, though commonly much smaller. The leaves are 15 centimetres long and 6–7 centimetres broad, pinnate, with 11-15 leaflets. The flowers are bicoloured red and yellow, 3–4 centimetres long, produced in racemes 6 centimetres long. The fruit is a cylindrical pod 12–20 centimetres long and 4–6 centimetres diameter, the interior divided by a spongy substance into one to five cells, each of which contains a large chestnut-like seed.

The seeds are poisonous, but become edible when carefully prepared by pounding into flour, leaching with water, and roasting. The timber, which somewhat resembles walnut, is soft, fine-grained, and takes a good polish, but is not durable.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
At the University of Melbourne's Cussonia Court: The tree on the left is a blackbean tree, that on the right is a cussonia.






7 comments:

  1. What fascinating trees! And, needless to say, I've never seen them before, but you captures are the next best thing, Nick! Such colorful blossoms!! Beautiful! Enjoy your weekend!!

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  2. wowowowo!!!!!i wonder if you ca n it that nut on the last photo!!Beautiful flowers!!i like very much♥

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  3. What an adventure ! Thank you for teaching me something that I did not know. Please have a good weekend ahead.

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  4. The blooms are absolutely beautiful.

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  5. What an interesting tree. Those flowers are gorgeous.

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  6. Hi Nick,
    So interesting and unique to me.

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