Wednesday, June 10, 2009

#109-365 Foreign

This is a native Australian Tree called a Black Bean Tree, or A Moreton Bay Chestnut. ( for those that like follow up this site has so much information - which I hope to paraphrase in part below). Explanation on the theme, I am assuming that not many of you have seen this flower before, hence foreign to you. Like I have stated before, until this Challenge, I had most probably seen but never enquired about flowers or plants in the world around me now I do, so, Foreign to my knowledge base.

This bloom is one of quite a number I shot (The best in MHO) and the actual flower was about 15-20 feet above my head, and I had to use the zoom lens to get a good shot of it, see the link above to get an idea of it's size, but it is big. I was attracted by the colour primarily and had to ask what it was, the name Black Bean tree was provided by a guy building a fence nearby, so you see I go straight to knowledgeable sources. He also commented that the native bird life, Lorikeets included absolutely swarm the tree.

Back home, straight onto google (The only reason not to want to live in the past) where I read a lot of confusing facts, for insance, although I found this tree growing in a suburban street, I found out that in our rainforests it grows up to 40 or so metres (Over 120 feet). Then I read that a lot of people were using it as an indoor plant, which just seems silly to me, unless people have really large houses, or maybe the Doctor's Tardis is real. They recommended not having them within 30 feet of house foundations or water sources such as drains swimming pools etc, but that would be normal for such big trees.

I wasn't surprised to find out that the inigenous Australians use the nuts (following extensive processing to remove toxins) in their cooking because Aborigines really understand "Bush Tucker" The real Eureka moment came for me when I read that the toxins that the Aborigines work so hard to remove, have been found to have high to very high, Anti HIV and Anti Cancer properties. The plant it self can be fatal to livestock that graze upon the foliage or seed pods, but not many residents of Redcliffe have livestock in their backyards, so that isn't much of a problem here.

Apparently the timber of this tree is now valuable and sought after, but it comes with a warning to, the Queensland government provides the following warning:

If eaten, the seeds can cause severe diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and dizziness. The sawdust can cause dermatitis, eczema and nasal irritation.

Toxicity Category: 2,3,4
Warning: Seek urgent medical attention for all ingestions.

I am always fascinated when I find things I wasn't expecting and this is just another example of how this Challenge has caused us all to grow, in one way or another.







11 comments:

klsbear said...

The oranges and greens and blues together make for a very compelling photo. And you're right - we're all expanding our knowledge base with this challenge!

ellens365 said...

Another fine shot. This certainly is a learning experience and I love your detailed posts. You'll be a horticulturist before this is done!

Chesney said...

Did you slip one of those seeds in my drink?? LOL Fascinating, and you are right, I have never seen - or heard of - this tree! Thanks for enlightening us - I, for one, enjoyed it!!

EstherF said...

I love learning about trees, too. What is surprising to me is when I ask for information from a person who lives in the area, many times they don't know what the plant is.

Linda said...

This was a very interesting post. I like the perspective, but I wouldn't have imagined that they were so large.

morrdrakens365 said...

Great shot and very interesting reading along with it. I really like that we learn so much from eachothers (even if I'm a newbie :D ).

shadowsandhighlights said...

Wonderful color and composition. Love the way the orange pops against that sky. Seeing the warnings about that plant, it was probably best that it was so far away from you!

veejayr said...

Well that was worth putting on the reading glasses! Interesting background. I think you did wvery ell considering how tall this plant is - and the orange in all the green really pops!

Clara said...

That is one great picture and story. Austrailia has so many unique plants and animals.

Candyce said...

wow another lesson learned see when we go visit Australia we'll have all the important facts covered! thanks

mljrbg said...

Fabulous colors!! I love the orange and the gorgeous blue sky. Very interesting story. I do have a bit of advice for you though...don't eat it!!