Caesalpinia ferrea (CAESALPINACEAE) Leopard Tree

Weeds to Whack

Tree to 15 m from Brazil. It was a popular street tree until The Gap storm in 2008. The review of street trees following the storm saw it deleted from the list.  While expected to be weedy it had not previously been recorded as a problem. In surveys in 2007 we found quite a few seedlings and saplings present along the creek, many more than previously thought. It seems to be well and truly naturalised along the creek. The largest was about 2.5-3 metres tall, but still had not reached the flowering stage. It is spreading by seed falling into the creek and being spread by floods. Sheds its bark in large flakes, leaving a patchy grey and white effect on the trunk.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Flowers

Caesalpinia is the name of a genus of controversial size (different publications include between 70 and 165 species), consisting of tropical and subtropical woody plants. It is named after the botanist Andrea Cesalpino.

Photo: Robert Whyte