This week in the rainforest.
By Hans Van Veluwen
A striking looking tree in flower at the moment is the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) with its myriad of bright yellow flowers. One of the more colourful native trees of our rainforest and a succesful introduction to landscaping right throughout the new shire.
In fact this tree was adopted as the floral emblem of Cairns City in the early eighties as well as the theme plant for Expo 88 in Brisbane. Related to eucalypts and bottlebrushes it makes a great fast growing screen plant that loves pruning and attracts nectar feeding birds. Also planted up extensively in public areas along our roads and footpaths in this part of our shire.
For those wishing to see one there is a wonderful specimen growing outside the courthouse in Mossman. A true treasure from our rainforests.
One of the more glorious spectacles that happens at this time of the year is the abundant water coming over the Bloomfield Falls. Do check the road conditions before visiting this area as this time of the the year as this is definitely a 4WD excursion, there are numerous creek crossings and slippery steep hills.
There are a few Tour Companies operating out of Port Douglas that visit these falls when the conditions permit. In flower there at the moment is the Bloomfield Penda (Xanthostemon verticillatus) a slightly smaller cousin to the Golden Penda and it's flowers are very similar but coloured white instead of yellow.