Bleeding heart, native poplar
Homalanthus populifolius, Fam. Euphorbiaceae
Shrub or small bushy tree to approximately 6m with grey brown smooth bark; large, more or less heart shaped leaves, a few old bright red leaves are often persistent. Also known as Homalanthus nutans, previously known as Omalanthus nutans and before that Omalanthus populifolius.
|Form or habit:||Shrub, Small tree|
Simple, alternate, entire, soft, smooth, heart shaped to triangular or broadly ovate, 5-20cm long. Green above, grey green below; distinct venation below. Two glands at the base of the leaf; petioles slender and up to 9cm long, sometimes the stalk will be attached to the lower surface rather than the lead margin.
|Flower description:||Terminal racemes, 2-10cm long, of green yellow flowers. Male flowers occur in small clusters and occupy most of the raceme while a small number of female flowers occur in the base of some racemes. July to December.|
|Fruit description:||Blue purple capsules, 6-9mm long, two lobed. Seed covered by a fleshy yellow aril. November to January.|
|Distribution||Queensland, New South Wales, New Guinea, Melanesia, Africa|
|Food source for:||Fruit eaten by the brown cockoo dove, Lewin's hoeyeater, olive backed oriole and silvereye. Larval food plant of the Caloptillia octopunctata and Coscinocera hercules moths.|
|Toxicity:||No toxicity known.|
|Origin:||Australia, New Guinea, Melanesia and Africa|
|Notes:||Quick growing. Suitable for most soil types and will tolerate a sunny or shady position. Germinates from fresh seed and strikes easily from cuttings. Timber soft, white and not durable. In the Ingham district fresh leaves were crushed and used by Aborigines and Chinese miners to stop bleeding. In Indonesia, the bark and leaves were boiled together to produce a black dye.|
|Information sources:||Melzer R. & Plumb J. (2007) Plants of Capricornia.|