We hope that each of you, our readers, will enjoy and appreciate this article we present about these 3 Awesome Trees of Australia. It was certainly our pleasure to gather the information for you. May it provide you with both education and increased awareness.
Certainly, these few species listed herein represent only a portion of the wonders found in this amazing region. It’s our belief, though, that they serve as excellent representations of the wonders found here. Check out some of our other articles for similar marvels.
Kentia Palm Facts
- Leading off this article about these 3 Awesome Trees of Australia is the amazing variety of flora known as the Kentia Palm.
- This gorgeous variety of tree is most frequently referred to by the common name that we use here. It also holds claim to a unique status. It also has several other common names by which some refer to it, usally applied in various parts of the world.
- That’s because it’s also sometimes referred to by either the term of palm court palm or thatch palm. Professional researchers, however, typically refer to it by its scientific name. That’s the somewhat difficult to pronounce term of Howea forsteriana.
- The Italian naturalist, Odoardo Beccari made the first known official recognition of this tree as a separate and distinct species. He gave the plant its name in honor of the father and son team of naturalists, Johann Reinhold Forster and Georg Forster.
- This work of Nature gained great popularity as an ornamental plant during the Victorian Era. That popularity holds true even today. Due to that, more specimens of the palm tree likely exist outside of its natural range than appear in that range today.
- For the moment, the IUCN lists the fabulous Kentia Palm as Vulnerable. That status appears on the organization’s published Red List of Threatened Species. That’s because, while it’s widely distributed as an ornamental, in its native range it faces threats.
- Given its natural range, the threat of habitat loss remains one ever-present danger. It’s cultivated in that natural range, for its seeds, for the trade. Thankfully, that’s regulated, though. The extent of its range, however, makes it vulnerable to climate change.
Kentia Palm Physical Description
The beautiful Kentia Palm draws the attention of those who see it due to factors other than sheer size. That’s because it’s only a moderate-sized variety, compared to its many relatives. Yet, physical size alone isn’t always the most impressive feature of any species.
In its case, though, that’s not an important aspect of its visual appeal. This marvelous work of evolution attains a maximum known height of only about 33 ft (10 m). The spread of its many palms, however, frequently reaches as much as 20 ft (6 m) in total width.
In contrast, the trunk generally remains relatively quite slender. This further appears dark green while young, and slowlsy changes to brown over time. This feature of the tree also manifest numerous brown rings, resulting from the shedding of earlier palms.
Typically, around 36 of the impressive fronds appear atop the tree. These develop in a feather-shape, and range from 7 – 10 ft (2.1 – 3.0 m). This foliage also develops at the end of slender stems, themselves as much as 4 ft (1.3 m) in length. This makes for a striking crown.
This same foliage also presents its own striking color contrast. That’s because the leaves of the Kentia Palm present 2 different shades. The upper surface develops as a dark green in color. The lower side, meanwhile, presents a significantly lighter shade of green.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Monocots
- Order: Arecales
- Family: Arecaceae
- Genus: Howea
- Species: H. forsteriana
Kentia Palm Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
In the wild, the remarkable Kentia Palm faces dangers due to the nature of its habitat range. That holds true due to the fact that this wonder of Nature evolved as endemic to a highly limited portion of the globe. That’s because it only appears on 2 islands naturally.
Those 2 realtively small islands form part of what today we know as the fascinating country of Australia. Both locations actually lie at great distances from the mainland, however. This perhaps accounts for why the amazing tree does not appear on the continent itself.
In both locations, however, the species displays a fascinating, and highly helpful, adaptability. Due to that characteristic, it appears in virtually all parts of both islands. It also thrives in a wide range of temperatures, so it appears at both lower and higher altitudes.
It remains a comparatively slow-growing species, however. The small, oval-shaped fruit, as a result, rarely appears before an individual specimen reaches the age of 15 years. Once this process begins, however, the blooms and fruit generally develop every year.
Either in its native range, or the many parts of the world it’s been transplanted to, it shows its adaptability to different conditions. It does, though, have its preferences. It adapts well to regions of full, direct sunlight, but nevertheless clearly prefers shade or partial shade.
The germination rate for the Kentia Palm, at least in its native area, remains low, unfortunately. That’s part of its somewhat precarious state. The plant further requires an adequate amount of rainfall, with adequate drainage, to prevent rotting of the roots.
Ghost Gum Facts
- Next up among our choices for inclusion in this compendium of 3 Awesome Trees of Australia comes the fabulous Ghost Gum.
- This remarkable variety of flora most frequently goes by the somewhat intriguing common name applied herein. It does, however, posses several other, less often used names. These include willow gum, cabbage gum, white gum, and the tropical gum.
- Professionals, such as researchers, generally refer to it by the formal scientific name, though. Much like many such terms, however, that’s rather hard fon non-professionals to pronounce. That’s due to the fact that it’s officially named the Corymbia aparrerinja.
- The first serious scientific investigation of this natural marvel took place in 1925. This occurred due to the efforts of the Australian explorer, Herbert Basedow. He collected the first samples of the species, but no formal naming of the plant took place then.
- It received its technical name due to the efforts of Ken Hill and Lawrie Johnson. This team of Australian botanists accomplishe the first formal recognition of the tree as a separate and distinct species. This scientifically noteworthy event occurred in 1995.
- For the moment, the Ghost Gum appears to be maintaining a stable population base. This further seems to hold true throughout its admittedly small zone of habitation. Presently, the IUCN lists this marvel of evolution as Least Concern on its Red List.
- The tree nevertheless should be considered as facing at least several potential threats to its existence. Habitat loss, due to human expansion, obviously forms a possible danger. Like most species, its greatest threat, though, probably comes from climate change.
Ghost Gum Physical Description
The Ghost Gum easily impresses and intrigues those fortunate enough to encounter it. It further does so for reasons that vary between individuals, though. Sheer size, however, rarely qualifies as one of those factors. That’s because it’s a moderate-sized Angiosperm.
More precisely, mature specimens of this tree attain a maximum known height of roughly 66 ft (20 m). The great majority of individuals, though, generally remain much shorter than this. The variation typically occurs due to differences in the local environmental conditions.
Its bark also develops as somewhat distinctive. This usually has a smooth texture. In color, it also displays a fascinating color scheme. This consists of either a cream-colored, off-white, or even pinkish shade. This outer covering also frequently sheds in short, thin patches.
Mature plants typically produce numerous leaves, arranged in an alternating pattern. These further possess a curved shape. Each ranges in length from 2 – 6.5 in (5 – 16.5 cm), and 0.3 – 1.25 in (0.7 – 3.2 cm) in width. This foliage also manifests a glossy green on each side.
The fascinating Ghost Gum also produces its buds in groups of either 3 or 7. These have a remarkable oval or pear-shape form. Each averages about 0.25 in (0.6 cm) in length and 0.2 in (0.5 cm) in width. When blooming occurs, these develop as a dazzling white in color.
Once the fruit appears, it usually has a slightly cylindrical shape. It remains comparatively small, however. This aspect of the flora averages roughly 0.35 – 05. in (0.9 – 1.3 cm) in length, and 0.3 – 0.35 in (0.7 – 0.9 cm) wide. The fruit also sometimes has a cup-shaped form.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylyum: Angiosperm
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Myrtales
- Family: Myrtaceae
- Genus: Corymbia
- Species: C. aparrerinja
Ghost Gum Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Not surprisingly, the amazing Ghost Gum evolved as native to a region already renowned for its many extraordinary types of flora and fauna. That’s because this particular Angiosperm developed as endemic to what now constitutes the always fascinating continent of Australia.
Yet, even there, this intriguing product of Nature only inhabits a small, specific portion of the area. The fabulous tree only makes its home in the central sections of the continent. For the moment, research indicates that it never appeared in any other sections of the region.
The specifically evolved plant further distinguishes itself from the majority of similar species in its choice of habitat. That’s true since it makes its home in environments normally hostile to most types of trees. Its nature restricts it to particularly arid portions of the continent.
Yet its restrictive requirements do not end there. It appears in hard to reach locations and inhospitable environments. These typically consist of such locations as dry creek beds, rocky slopes, and red sand flats. This only serves to restrict its expansion possibilities.
The inspiring Ghost Gum produces its lovely white flowers in the summer season. It also distinguishes itself from many related species in the manner in which it achieves pollination. In its case, the action occurs via the activities of local bird species, rather than insects.
Wollemi Pine Facts
- Closing out this listing of these 3 Awesome Trees of Australia we give you the extremely rare species know as the Wollemi Pine.
- For the moment the distinctive term for this plant serves as the common name for a truly remarkable variety of coniferous tree. Meanwhile, it also bears the scientific name of Wollemia nobilis. By either name, though, it remains a fabulous species.
- Currently, this remarkable tree also constitutes the only member of its genus. That holds true due to a highly lamentable fact. That’s due to the fact that its only known related species presently remain known only through uncovered fossil records.
- Remarkably, as is quite often the case, the discovery of this incredible species of tree occurred entirely accidentally. In 1994, a hiker and botanist, named David Noble, along with two others, discovered the supposedly extinct flora.
- At that time, the intrepid trio stumbled upon the unique trees while exploring canyons in the region. The official identification of the species occurred later, of course. This happened subsequent to detailed study of several samples he took.
- The quite remarkable Wollemi Pine also appears on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There, it holds the understandable status of Critically Endangered. This status occurs due to its scant numbers and extremely vulnerable habitat.
- Quite unfortunately, the incredible find remains highly vulnerable. This currently remains especially true due to the effects of climate change. Thankfully, during the devastating wildfires in the region in 2019-2020, valiant efforts managed to preserve it.
Wollemi Pine Physical Description
Perhaps most notably, the stunning Wollemi Pine evolved in a surprising manner. This holds true due to the fact that it developed as a sincerely fascinating type of evergreen. It’s also most noteworthy for several particular attributes.
For one, the unique tree attains a highly respectable physical size. This fascinating species attains a maximum height of roughly 131 ft (40 m). However, the great majority of specimens actually average a height of approximately 82 ft (25 m).
The magnificent Wollemi Pine also has other well known qualities to distinguish it from other types of trees. Its bark develops with a distinctive knobby texture, along with a deep brown color. Its physically distinctive leaves appear as long, flat, and broad.
This fabulous foliage has the ability to attain as much as 3.1 in (8 cm) in length. These nevertheless only average 0.08 – 0.2 in (2 – 5 mm) in total width. The marvelous plant also produces both male and female seed cones, which can reach 4.7 in (12 cm) in length.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Pinopsida
- Order: Pinales
- Family: Araucariaceae
- Genus: Wollemia
- Species: W. nobilis
Wollemi Pine Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
To date, one unfortunate fact about the Wollemi Pine continues to work against this wonder of Nature. That’s the fact that the only known area in which the awesome tree appears remains limited to an extremely remote and rugged section of the world.
More precisely, this consists of a particularly rugged section of the world. More precisely, though, this forms part of what now forms the Wollemi National Park. This sits in New South Wales, which forms a part of the continent and country of Australia.
Even within this extraordinarily limited range, however, this incredible work of Nature only lives in certain very specific types of locations. In point of fact, the amazing evergreen lives only in one small section of temperate rainforest within this area.
Another factor complicates things for the tantalizing species of tree even more, though. That pertains to the conditions of its particular habitat. Remarkably, the beautiful evergreen only inhabits a group of several steep, narrow sandstone gorges.
For the moment, fewer than 100 specimens of the Wollemi Pne exist in the wild. Fortunately, however, several active preservation programs exist. These constantly monitored efforts have succeeded in propagating a number of specimens.
As a result of this ongoing effort, hope for the species survives. Several botanical gardens around the world now possess scattered individuals of this remarkable tree in their possession. A few carefully tended small groves also exist in other areas.
3 Awesome Trees of Australia
We hope that each of you completely enjoyed reading, and hopefully learning from, this article we’ve written about these 3 Awesome Trees of Australia. It’s also our hope that doing so has left you with either a new or renewed appreciation for such wonders of Nature.
Unfortunately, however, many of their kindred around the world now find themselves facing strong threats to their continued existence as a species. Many of those dangers, in fact, stem from the actions of mankind. We must do all we can to protect and preserve them all.