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1. The Bleeding-Heart Tree
(Omalanthus populifolius)
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1. The Bleeding-Heart Tree
(Omalanthus populifolius)

The first of our rainforest trees, the Bleeding Heart Tree (Omalanthus populifolius) has heart-shaped leaves which turn bright red as they grow older and dull purple fruits in summer. It is an adaptable tree which has a wide distribution from southern NSW to New Guinea and Indonesia and will grow up to 5 meters in sun or shade.

Bleeding Heart

“Don’t be such a bleeding heart” they say.
“Don’t be so sensitive!” But I can’t help it, I’m the sensitive type. I have feelings you know?..."



Transcript

The Bleeding Heart tree: "Don’t be such a bleeding heart” they say. “Don’t be so sensitive!” But I can’t help it. I’m the sensitive type. I have feelings you know? I feel things! I feel the wind in my leaves. I feel the messages in the soil. I feel it when a tree or a plant in these gardens dies. You could call me an empath.

You could also call me Omalanthus populifolius – but Bleeding Heart Tree seems to have stuck. Not that I mind. I am a bleeding heart. I wear my heart on my leaves. See that wine palm behind me? See the shine of her leaves? The shape of her? Isn’t she just the most heart stopping tree you’ve ever seen? My leaves go red at the first sight of her – It’s so embarrassing! Sometimes I just want to make like a tree….and leave!

That was a joke. Obviously, I couldn’t leave my roots. I was planted here, in these botanical gardens, away from my family in the rainforest – I miss them terribly…but it was here that I first saw her. I send her little love messages through the soil but she never responds! It might be because she can’t understand me. I don’t speak Spanish. I can speak a bit of Italian though. "Sei molta bella!" See? Nothing. Ah well. You’ve got to keep trying I suppose."



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