Black bean tree
Castanospermum australe, Fam. Fabaceae
A medium to large tree, 10-30m high with a dense canopy and grey to brown smooth bark.
|Form or habit:||Med tree, Large Tree|
Pinnate, 30-40cm long, eight to 17 leaflets, egg shaped, oblong or oval, dark green above, paler underneath, glossy, 7-12 x 2-5cm.
|Flower description:||Pea shaped, red or red yellow, upper petal curled backwards, 3-4cm long, borne in racemes on old, leafless wood. September to November.|
|Fruit description:||Brown, rounded, woody pods, 10-25 x 4-6cm. Each containing three to five large, rounded, chestnut like seed.|
|Habitat:||Coastal dune, rainforest.|
|Distribution||Queensland, New South Wales.|
|Food source for:|
|Toxicity:||Seed regarded as poisonous, causing severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea.|
|Notes:||Slow growing when young but will respond to fertiliser. Deep, rich soils with good drainage give good results. A good shade tree, suitable as a street tree where adequate space is available. Flowers are very attractive to birds, possums and bats.|
|Information sources:||Townsend K. & the Society for Growing Australian Plant Townsville Branch Inc. (1994) Across the Top: Gardening with Australian Plants in the tropics.|