Common Name: Golden Penda, River Penda, Johnstone River Penda.
Etymology: Xanthostemon: from Greek ‘xantho’ and Latin ‘stamen’, meaning yellow thread, chrysanthus: Yellow flower.
Origin: Queensland and Northern Territory.
Description: Medium to large evergreen rainforest tree to 15m but usually around 6m in cultivation. It has a dense spreading crown to 3m and showy clusters of golden flowers.
Foliage: Dark glossy green, lanceolate to elliptical, 15cm long with short petioles. New growth is reddish
Bark/Trunk: Stem is erect and branching with fibrous rough scaly bark grey to brown.
Flowers: Deep yellow, 5 petalled and 1.2cm across, occuring in dense clusters in the upper leaf axils. Flowering occurs in late winter, early spring. Flowering believed to be induced by sudden drop in temperature and can begin 2 – 3 years after been grown from seeds. It is the floral emblem in Cairns, Australia.
Fruit: Globular or depressed globular, 12-14mm diameter. Caylx persistent at the base. Seeds flat 3-4mm diameter.
Growth Requirements: Prefers full sun, sub-tropical to Tropical conditions, moist well drained soils. Can be grown in warm temperate climates but is not frost tolerant.
Uses: Excellent specimen tree, rainforest or tropical gardens, Australian native gardens, bird attracting, bee attracting, screen tree or windbreak.
Propagation: Can easily be propagated from seed but is slow to germinate. Usually grown from semi-hardwood cutting as they are more reliable and quicker to bloom.