Plant of the month – Homalanthus nutans

Homalanthus nutans –  BLEEDING HEART TREE

Homalanthus (Pronounced Oh-ma-LAN-thus) refers to the Greek word homalso meaning smooth and Anthos-flower while nutans means nodding.

Homalanthus nutans is a lovely small tree to 6m with an attractive spreading canopy up to 4m.  In its natural habitat, along forest edges, it is known as a pioneer plant because it grows fast and protects slower growing species harbouring under the eye-catching large heart-shaped leaves that turn deep red with age. 

Tiny cream flowers in spring are followed by an abundance of purplish fruit December to March, attracting birds like Brown Cuckoo-dove, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Silver-eye, Olive backed Oriole, and Mistletoe Bird.

Bleeding Heart tree is adaptable and will grow fast in full sun or filtered light. It makes a lovely shade tree with its attractive spreading branches similar to a Poinciana tree (but smaller). It is also an excellent pioneer species for revegetation projects rehabilitating rainforest, eucalypt or Melaleuca forest.

Information courtesy of Coolum Community Native Nursery

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