Thanks to John for pointing out this Heliodendron basalticum (photo above) on our recent outing beyond Hervey Range. It was another “new” species for many of us!
Heliodendron basalticum (Fabaceae) synonym Archidendropsis basaltica is an endemic Queensland species with leathery bi-pinnate leaves, sometimes deciduous in dry seasons.
This small tree grows naturally across a wide range in central Queensland. It is known by two common names, Red Lancewood and Dead Finish. The first refers to its dense, straight-grained wood with red tones. The second supposedly came from Indigenous people, who knew the drought-hardiness of this tree, saying “if dis tree die, dis country dead-finish”. Confusingly, the name Dead Finish is also used for other quite different species e.g. Acacia tetragonophylla.
Heliodendron basalticum has globular yellow flowers (photo above) and large seedpods (photo below).
Heliodendron basalticum is not commonly cultivated but a specimen has grown well in a Townsville garden, photographed as a small seedling in 2010 (first photo below) and flowering in 2018 (second and third photos below).