Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stenocarpus sinuatus, Firewheel Tree

Flowers of the Firewheel Tree  
Stenocarpus sinuatus
This remarkable tree from the rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales has become a well known garden specimen tree and is one of the flowering beauties of February.
 In 1929, the artist Margaret Preston was inspired by the stylized flower, which echoed the art deco movement of the time, to complete a wood engraving entitled 'Wheel Flower' now part of the collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The tree can be slow to establish in colder climates and may need some frost protection while small. Flowering may not start until the tree is at least ten years old but the large glossy leaves are quite decorative and the shape of the tree is compact and formal so it has much to recommend it.

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