Posts Tagged ‘Daintree flora’
The Bumpy Satin Ash is one of the most exciting and spectacular primitive flowering trees in the tropical rainforest of the Daintree. It is currently forming buds and should be fully in bloom towards the end of July. This conforms with our estimated time of arrival, about 6 months after a cyclone. Cyclone Oswald hammered the Cooper Creek Valley at the end of January 2013 causing the “Green Cauldron“ effect.
Strangler Figs dominate the skyline of the rainforest creating rounded domes that tower over other big trees. Figs (ficus species) are deciduous and shed their leaves to give nourishment to the large number of plants that reside under their umbrellas. When the new leaves emerge around August-September, the domes become golden, the crowning glory of the rainforest.
Pink Princess or Pink Flowered Doughwood or Corkwood (Melicope elleryana) is currently flowering out of its branches in the Daintree Rainforest. This successional species of rainforest tree grows to around 25-metres tall with a base diameter of 60 cm. The trunk has a white, corky appearance, with a tendency to slightly buttress at the base. This tree is the favoured food plant for the spectacular Ulysses butterfly (Papilio ulysses).
Porcelain Fruit or Yellow Heart (Fragrea cambagei) flowers are strewn along our rainforest trails as this beautiful understorey tree gives promise of lots of fascinating porcelain fruits or Pink Jitta. The trumpet-shaped flowers are creamy yellow and open to receive the pollinator, which has yet to be identified. The spent flowers drop down onto the forest floor from the developing fruit and some perfectly smooth, round green fruit about 2cms in diameter have formed already. There is no indication at this stage, of what is occurring inside the fruit.
Wars have been fought over nutmeg from Indonesia’s Banda Islands, formerly known as the ‘Spice Islands’. The aromatic fruit is used in flavouring meat dishes, sweets, such as baked custards, rice, junket, and in mulled wine. In the seventeenth century the Dutch captured Banda Island and enslaved the Islanders to control the nutmeg and mace trade. English and Dutch fought for possession of the Islands where nutmeg is grown, and the Portuguese also tried to get into the lucrative trade.