A brush box tree in full blossom
A brush box tree in full blossom
A close up photo of the above tree
A close up photo of the above tree

Lophostemon confertus (formerly known as Tristania conferta) is an evergreen tree native to Australia. Common names include brush box, Queensland box, etc. Its natural range in Australia is from north-east New South Wales to coastal Queensland.

Brush box has a denser foliage and hence provides more shade than eucalyptus. It is also disease and pest resistant. Brush box is commonly used as a street tree in cities like Sydney. It can also tolerate drought and poor drainage. Brush box can survive lopping and pruning well to accommodate overhead power lines.

A brush box grows naturally and healthy. It has a peeling bark in the upper branches.
A brush box grows naturally and healthily. It has a peeling bark in the upper branches.
A brush box has been pruned and grew out long branches without leaves to accommodate power-lines.
A brush box has been pruned and grew out long branches without leaves to accommodate power-lines.
Another brush box has been pruned and grew out long branches without leaves to accommodate power-lines.
Another brush box has been pruned and grew out long branches without leaves to accommodate power-lines.
The bark of the tree trunk
The bark of the tree trunk

 

The bark peels off from the branches
The bark peels off from the branches

The leaves are glossy and simple. They alternate on mature branches, crowded together in groups of about 3-5 at the ends of branchlets. The leaves may reach 13 cm long.

The flowers are borne profusely among new foliage at the branch tips in late spring and summer. They are creamy-white with 5 petals and numerous stamens fused into 5 bundles. The flowers are fragrant.

Creamy-white flower with 5 petals and 5 feathery stamens.
Creamy-white flower with 5 petals and 5 feathery stamens.
A small grasshopper visiting the flower
A small grasshopper visiting the flower
Stamens as seen under the microscope
Stamens as seen under the microscope
3 carpels can be seen in the transverse section of the ovary
Transverse section showing the 3-locular ovary

The flowers are followed by round seed pods, rather like the gum nuts borne by Eucalyptus. These hang on the branches all year.

P1020043 (1062x1280)
Round seed pods, rather like the gum nuts

 

 

Bibliography :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lophostemon_confertus

http://www.boethingtreeland.com/tristania-conferta-lophostemon.html

 

 

 

 

 

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