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Queensland Firewheel Tree

Queensland FirewheelName:
Queensland Firewheel Tree

Botanical name:
Stenocarpus sinuatus

The Queensland firewheel tree is one of a small genus of evergreen trees belonging to the Protea family. A native of northern NSW and Queensland, this tree grows successfully along the east coast of Australia, as far south as Melbourne.

It grows to a height of 20 m or more, with a single conical trunk which broadens with age. The lower branches tend to be horizontal but ascending towards the apex. It is a very well-known ornamental tree and a popular choice for home gardeners, responding well to the high humidity in the Sydney area.

The green, lobed leaves are similar to those of maple trees, featuring five main veins which are yellowish-green and prominent on the underside of the leaf.

One of this tree’s most outstanding features is its distinct autumn foliage–a highlight of the autumn season.

Its leaves change colour, ranging from yellow, orange, ruby-red and crimson. The timing of the colour change and the variation in hue differ from tree to tree, adding an unpredictable feature to the seasonal display.

Its profuse bright red and orange flowers create a spectacular display from summer to autumn. Shaped like the spokes of a wheel before they open, these symmetrical blossoms may be up to 10 cm in diameter and are highly attractive.

Where can they be seen in the Parklands:
The best place to view the Queensland firewheel tree within Centennial Parklands is in Frog Hollow, between the Café and Busbys Pond. Planted in a stand beside the sandstone water culvert, these mature trees were originally planted in commemoration of the past presidents of Rotary.