Cycas media stands out among our fire-tolerant native species, being one of the quickest to refoliate in a scorched area. These cycads can put on new leaves in spectacular fashion after a dry season bushfire, as shown in the image above, taken recently at Clevedon.
The images below, taken in previous years, show the appearance of Cycas media after a few months of rainfall.
Although slow-growing, Cycas media can be an attractive and hardy garden feature plant. Be aware that all parts of the plant are considered poisonous. For more details see our Cycas media species page.
Amidst the dry bush around Townsville at this time of year, the large golden-yellow flowers of Cochlospermum gillivraei stand out on its temporarily bare branches.
This small deciduous trees grows naturally on rocky slopes like Cape Cleveland, Castle Hill and Magnetic Island. It has proved hardy and fast-growing in sunny, well-drained local gardens and revegetation sites.
After pollination, large green fruit develop, slowly turning brown and eventually splitting to release seeds embedded in a mass of fine fibres, known as ‘kapok’.
In times past, fibre from our native kapok trees would have been useful for soft padding and for fire-lighting.
A somewhat similar but much larger Central American tree, Ceiba pentandra, provides commercial kapok that was widely used for stuffing mattresses, cushions and even life-jackets until synthetic fibre products became available.
NPQ Townsville meets at 7pm on the second Wednesday of the month, February to November, in Annandale Community Centre. Visitors interested in native plants are welcome to attend these meetings. At the meetings we confirm details of our next excursion, usually scheduled for the following Sunday.