Camphor Laurel

camphor laurel in Acacia Ridge, Brisbane

Cinnamomum camphora Family: Lauraceae           Origin: China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam While the camphor laurel is an invasive weed here in Australia, in its native lands of Asia, some larger specimens of this tree are considered monuments and are very much loved by the people who live around them. In Japan, Kamou no Ohkusu is a very large and old (possibly over … [Read more...]

Broad-leaved Paperbark

paperbark gum nuts which will open to reveal seeds

Melaleuca quinquenervia Family: Myrtaceae Origin: Australia, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea Broad-leaved paperbark, or niaouli, is a medium-sized, fast-growing tree native to Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and the eastern coast of Australia–from Botany Bay to Queensland and the Northern Territory. Paperbarks have also spread to the Everglades of Florida, where it is … [Read more...]

Norfolk Island Pine

Norfolk Island pine growth form

Araucaria heterophylla Family: Araucariaceae          Origin: Norfolk Island People in climates where this tree can’t be grown outside (most notably in the US) grow what they think are Norfolk Island Pines in pots in their homes. Unfortunately, they’re usually mistaken. What is mostly available as a houseplant is actually the Cook Pine (Araucaria columnaris). But for the … [Read more...]

Canary Island Date Palm

Canary Island date palm crown

Phoenix canariensis Family: Arecaceae          Origin: Canary Islands Technically invasive but somehow is forgiven by many; the Canary Island Date Palm (a close relative of the true Date Palm) is widespread in most tropical and subtropical lands around the world. In some areas, it’s naturalized and stands solitarily, enjoyed in the landscapes and gardens of people around the … [Read more...]

Umbrella Tree

The flower of an Umbrella tree

Schefflera actinophylla Family: Araliaceae          Origin: Australia, New Guinea, and Java. Naturalised in South East Qld and other places. While this is an Australian native, the Umbrella tree or Schefflera actinophylla can end up being a nightmare in cultivation and in some applications. Knowing where to plant this beauty can help you avoid many of the common problems … [Read more...]

Lillypilly

Lillypliiy's attractive, small flowers

Syzyigium australe Family: Myrtaceae Origin: Eastern Australia A very popular and native Australian tree, this wonderful (usually) tree is grown in lots of ways. It has been bred into many cultivars suitable for many uses in the garden. Lillypilly can have a lot of names and has been misnamed many times because of the range of cultivars it comes in. Names like Brush Cherry, … [Read more...]

Cadaghi

Cadaghi tree, Brisbane

Corymbia torreliana Family: Myrtaceae          Origin: Queensland, Australia Cadaghi are yet another example of an endemic tree that enjoys taking over civilized life. Especially invasive, this tree has been banned from cultivation in many parts of the world. Despite all of its positive characteristics that it’s evolved in the wild, these same characteristics make it a very … [Read more...]

Chinese Elm

David climbing Chinese elm for removal in Brisbane

Celtis sinensis Family: Cannabaceae          Origin: China, Japan, North Korea, And Vietnam A very beautiful tree, probably one of the most ornamental of all elm species, the Chinese Elm has found an almost too happy place in Australian landscapes as it’s become highly invasive. It spreads its seed easily in the wind and is self-pollinating. Since it’s so tough, it’s been … [Read more...]

Chinese Fan Palm

Livistonia chinensis, a chinese fan palm in Calamvale, Brisbane.

Livistona chinensis Family: Arecaceae Origin: Japan, Taiwan, and southern China In most parts of the tropical world, this tree is a beautiful and unassuming addition to landscapes in parks and in conservatories, as well as home gardens. Cultivated for container use, it has also happily made its way around the world in the ground. Even though its origin is in Asia, it has … [Read more...]

Cuban Royal Palm

Cuban Royal palm trees, taken on the southside of Brisbane

Roystonea regia Family: Arecaceae Origin: Southern US, Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico, and Central America Another tall and stately palm, this time originating from the subtropical and tropical regions of the New World, Cuban Royal palm is a beautiful and adaptable tree perfect for many uses. In its native lands, it’s used for lumber and thatch, as well as a base for medicines. The … [Read more...]