We have some fresh new seed lines in stock now, they make great additions to the garden with their different attributes. Check them out below.
Bixa orellana - Annato / Achiote Tree / Lipstick Tree
Gorgeous pink flowers with interesting seedpods that follow!
Bixa orellana is a fast growing South American small tree to large shrub reaching up to 5m in height x 4m wide, with mid green foliage and self pollinating white to pinkish purple flowers with prominent stamens in Autumn. These are then followed by red to maroon heart shaped fruits that are covered in blunt spikes, splitting open to reveal the dark red seeds in Winter, they can fruit quite young from 2 years. It is found naturally growing in coastal and inland thickets as well as tropical forest. Best in well drained soils preferring a neutral to alkaline soil, but will succeed in almost any soil type This is a perfect choice for tropical and subtropical climates that can be used as a feature, screen, hedge or for its other properties as a dye for clothes and fabric, cosmetic as a natural lipstick, condiment or insect repellent (resultant crop not for seeds purchased). Annato is the orange to red food colouring that is made from the seeds making bright colours from yellow, deep reddish orange or red - it is estimated that 70% of natural colours are derived from it. The condiment has a floral, nutty and peppery aroma and a slightly sweet and peppery taste. Tolerates a hard prune so can be used successfully as a flowering hedge and this also improves vigour and desired shape.
Elaeocarpus grandis syn E. angustifolius - Blue Quandong / Silver Quandong / Blue Marble Tree
Brilliant blue bush tucker fruits on an attractive rainforest tree with a buttressed trunk!
This fast growing Australian native is an excellent pioneer species, reaching 5 - 6m tall within a few years, reaching up to 35m in height in its native habitat in subtropical and tropical rainforest but usually shorter in cultivation.
Found naturally growing beside rivers and creeks in subtropical and tropical QLD, northern QLD, NT and northern NSW.
It has a whitish grey bark and a straight singular buttressed trunk with vertical flattened roots around the base (even in younger specimens), a lovely open and rounded canopy of deep green leaves that turn red with age and fall from the tree. The open canopy allows light to penetrate to the shorter understorey plants below.
Cream coloured flowers are quite attractive but insignificant occurring in the Autumn, followed by spherical, brilliant blue coloured fruit in Spring to Summer which are 15 - 30mm in diameter with a thin layer of green flesh that is edible which is best when overripe otherwise it is very astringent. This has a higher vitamin C content than oranges!
Inside the fruit is a large woody seedpod (looks like a little brain!) which is very decorative and each contain up to 5 seeds.
Indigenous Australians made an edible paste from the ripe fruit, also used it for medicinal purposes, made manual tools from the timber and used the seedpods for jewellery.
It is a food tree for the Bright Cornelian Butterfly and is a popular forestry species for its highly regarded white timber.
The tree is suitable for larger gardens and parks due to the size but a worthy addition if you have the space.
Tabebuia chrysantha syn Handroanthus chrysanthus - Golden Trumpet Tree
Bright yellow flowers that occur en masse and really put on a show in late Winter and Spring!
This is a highly ornamental exotic tree that is native and has a widespread distribution from the south and eastern Mexico, along the coast of Ecuador and down to Peru.
Grows up to 24m in its native habitat but usually is smaller in cultivation, about 10 - 15m and is slow growing with grey brown bark with a single trunk.
It is a fantastic deciduous feature tree with a lovely habit, with palmate 5 lobed mid green leaves that are lightly tomentose on the upper surface, the central part of the leaf is up to 17.5cm long.
It puts on a stunning show in late Winter to Spring where the leaves fall and bright yellow fragrant trumpet shaped flowers occur en masse, these are then followed by long hairy seed pods, brownish yellow in colour containing many small light brown winged seeds.
It is best in subtropical climates in full sun and moist fertile soil, tolerates light frost and tolerates coastal conditions.
Note that it can become weedy this can be overcome by pruning the seed pods from the tree each year, also pruning after flowering is a great way to maintain a bushy habit and increase plant vigour.
Makes an excellent shade tree, lawn feature, street tree and a great avenue planting!
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