Common Name: Ivory Curl Flower, Ivory Curl Tree, Spotted Silky Oak.
Etymology: Buckinghamia: Described by Ferninand Von Mueller in honour of Richard Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. celsissima: From the Latin word celsus meaning high and lofty.
Origin: North eastern Queensland (more frequently in dryer rainforset areas up to 1000m). Interestingly it is one of only two plants under the Genus Buckinghamia.
Description: An evergreen tree, 15-20 meters tall (even up to 30m tall in its rainforest environment) with slender trunk and tufted crown. In an open situations it grows to around 8 metres and is more bushy with foliage often to ground level.
Foliage: Simple linear/lanceolate to elliptic/oblong. Lobed 2-5 lobes, alternate arrangement, dark green shiny leaves with pale undersides.
Bark/Trunk: Slender grey/brown.
Flowers: Terminal raceme up to 20cm long and 4-5cm across. Creamy white and fragant. Flowers from Summer to early autumn.
Fruit: Woody dehiscent follicles with 2-4 flat seeds.
Growth Requirements: Full sun with well drained soil. Give plenty of water over the summer months. Mild frost tolerance allows it to grow well in Sydney and Melbourne but struggles in Canberra.
Uses: Street tree, park specimen or rainforest gardens, bee attracting, nectar feeding birds attracting, butterfly attracting (food plant for the larval stage of the Cornelian Butterfly), screen tree or as a windbreak. It is also resistant to pests and deseases.
Propagation: Easily from fresh seed. Cutting will grow from hardened or current season’s growth.
Sources of information:
- Own notes from Tafe collage.
- Photography by Simon Schubert.