Strangler fig: This fig germinates high in a host tree after being deposited there by a bird or bat or possum. It then sends roots way down to the ground that look like vines. Examples of this can be seen near the carpark.
Over the years as these roots grow strong they choke the host tree to death. The host tree eventually rots away and the fig is left standing on its own.
Cypress Pine: This pine is common around the cabins and carpark. The timber is aromatic when burnt or cut and is extremely resistant to white ant and makes great flooring timber. Before aborigines came to Australia much of the continent was dominated by native pines like the Cypress, Huon, Hoop and Bunya.
Xanthorea: It is no longer politically correct to call this plant a Black Boy, with the term "Grass tree" now commonly used. These tree/shrubs grow only an inch a year and the big ones are the wise old men of the forest.
Bunya: This pine is a fair way from its natural home, north west of Brisbane in the Bunya Mountains. It may have been brought here by aborigines who enjoyed the big fat nut full of fats and carbohydrates.
They used to hold a triennial festival in the Bunya Mountains until the turn of the century when the white man began to log the trees for their timber. They fruit in November, and the fruit is the size of a football.
Cabin with Bunya pines nearbyIf you are in Cabins 1 or 2 you may be fortunate enough to be awoken by a loud bang in the middle of the night as the fruit falls and look forward to a delicious breakfast. The best recipe I have seen is a Bunya Nut pesto.
Candle nut: This tree is also introduced from northern Queensland. The nuts are edible after treatment of some sort, but are very waxy. When dried they will burn for several minutes making them useful on occasions to aboriginals and early white bushmen as a sort of flashlight.
Bangalow Palm: This palm is the most common local palm and is a very attractive palm. It lives for many years.The fruit is a food for many native creatures and the aborigines would cut out the growing tip and eat it like a cabbage. This would kill the young plant but in those days there was no shortage.
Walking stick Palm: This is a small palm (5-6 feet). It is a bush tucker plant as it is believed that aboriginal people would eat the red berries. The name emanates from its use by wounded soldiers in New Guinea in the second world war.
Birdsnest fern: The resort's specimens are very large. They like the shade and protection from the wind. The large leaves gather in all the rain and leaf litter they need to survive even high in the canopy where they like to grow.
Staghorn: Once again these epiphytes grow way up high where they gather their nutrients. They don't flower often but their display is spectacular when they do.
Old Mans Whiskers: A bit like mistletoe this plant seems to extract all its nutrients from thin air. Very fragile this only grows where in protected conditions.
Nature Notes originally written by Murray Carter.