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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Stenocarpus sinuatus - Firewheel Tree

The Firewheel tree is an evergreen tree from Australia growing narrowly to 30-35' by 15' in our area, with distinct leaves and flowers arranged in a pinwheel. Not common at all in SC. Root suckers on the one we have.

Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, highly variable size and shape, 6-15" long with entire margins or deeply lobed, margins consistently undulated, tough, leathery, glossy dark green. Young fast growing stems develop juvenile leaves, which are deeply lobed, and have a bronze color when emerging.

Adult foliage show entire margins.

Individual flowers are 1-1-1/2" long, red to reddish orange. Inflorescences are about 3" in diameter with 6-20 flowers arranged like a pinwheel and borne below the stem at the base of a leaf petiole. Flowers sporadically mid to late summer. You are better off googling for good pictures…. the flowers are often pretty high up the tree.

Fruit is a cylindrical follicle 2-4" long, light brown to tan.

Bark is smooth gray colored. Younger stems are brown, thick.

Misidentification: Pretty distinct and rare here...


Santa Cruz
City Hall, inner courtyard.

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