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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - November 29, 2007

From: Brisbane, Australia
Region: Other
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of an Australian tree.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

i have a tree i cant seem to find any info on, the tree has large almost heart shaped leaves with pinkish veins running through them, its not shiney anywhere, sort of a mat finish,the edges of the leaf arent toothed but slightly wavey, it feels a bit abrasive on the underside, and it getts seeds that are about the size of a dime that are spikey, they look a bit like a diagram of a virus or a large sticker like you would get stuck in your foot.the seeds are light green and grow on a small stalk neer the end of the branch,the tree has bark that isnt to rough but not smooth either. i cant send a pic as i have no cam maybe you could send me some possible pics

ANSWER:

Our expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America. Since your flora in Australia is so different from ours and we are not at all familiar with it, we're sorry but we can't even make a guess as to the identity of your tree. I suggest that you consult your local library to see if they have a copy of Forest Trees of Australia by D. J. Boland and others, 2006, CSIRO Publishing. It is advertised as "the essential reference for observing, identifying and obtaining information on the native trees in this country. It describes and illustrates over 300 of our most important indigenous trees, which have been carefully selected for their environmental significance, their importance to the timber industry, or their prominence in our landscape."

If, however, you think your tree is a North American native and you can find a friend with a camera who will take pictures of it, you can send us the picture by following the instructions under "Plant Identification" on the Mr. Smarty Plants page.

 

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