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Quintinia sieberi

Older trees of Possumwood, which may be 20 m high, can be recognized in the forest by their rough, knobbly-brown bark, with longitudinal fissures, often speckled with a pale-green lichen. This is one of the rainforest trees that germinates on the trunks of treeferns, the roots gradually making their way to the ground. Quite often, as in the Robertson Nature Reserve, large Possumwoods can be found with the trunk of an old treefern still attached.

Young ones can be distinguished by their red-brown stems and pinkish-red new foliage. The leaves are alternate, firm, almost oval, but with a fine point at the tip. There is a very fine, clear line along the smooth leaf edge. The leaf stalk is up to 2 cin long and often pinkish-red.

The white, 5-petalled flowers are fairly small but, in October, the sprays at the ends of the branches are clearly visible from quite a distance. The fruit is a small, round capsule with fine seed. This tree can be propagated from cuttings or seed sown on a special substrate and lightly covered, taking 3-8 weeks to germinate. This is a very ornamental species which could be grown more widely.

Distribution: Mount Budawang (NSW) to Springbrook (Qld).