Next to the Native Quince is the Black Bean Tree (Castanospermum australe) with its shiny dense canopy of compound leaves. It is a subtropical rainforest trees from northern NSW and QLD and produces bright sprays of yellowish-red pea flowers in late spring to summer, followed by fat pods of up to 20cm long. The chestnut-like seeds were a reliable food source for the Aborigines, but only after extensive preparation to remove the toxin ‘saponin’ by grounding, soaking, leaching and roasting. It’s dark walnut and highly figured timber is valued for use in cabinet and furniture production.
“Hello, my name is Bonnie, I’m a Black Bean tree, also known as a Morton Bay Chestnut. My second cousins, third cousin is featured in Bluey’s backyard, you know Bluey Bingo?”
The Black Bean tree: "Hello, my name is Bonnie, I’m a Black Bean tree, also known as a Morton Bay Chestnut. My second cousins, third cousin is featured in Bluey’s backyard, you know Bluey, Bingo? The Heelers?
I suppose you’ve heard of my pods? No, not AirPods, not coffee pods either. They’re seed pods and they’re pretty awesome to be honest. Hey! Don’t touch. Just because they’re on the ground doesn’t mean that they’re not mine. They’re special. Aboriginal people have songs about them, they even found a way to eat them in big ceremonies. But remember, they’re poisonous.
Did you meet Frog Eyes? She hates when we call her that. She’s cool. We love music, I’m an Olivia Rodrigo fan. My favourite song is ‘All I want is flowers at last’. (Humming softly)
What’s your name? Hmmm, a nice name. Have you been here in spring? I have flowers you know. I can bloom. I bloom before I pod."