Being found in rainforest, coastal areas and wetlands, the Red Beech is an exceedingly common tree. Common but with majestic blossoms! This tree is best appreciated in the morning when the glorious yellow blossoms open. The fruits are equally wondrous, being bright scarlet with the contrasting white pulp surrounding the brown seeds. The pulp and seeds are edible. I tried it but it didn’t seem to have much taste.
Once this tree comes of age it is unlikely that one will encounter this tree without at least a hint of a flower or fruit. In the unlikely case of coming across an individual with no flowers, this tree can easily be recognized by the distinctively winged leaf stalk. The bark is also very distinctively papery and reddish-brown and stands out in the swampy habitat it normally occurs in. Moreover, it is the only native species of Dillenia in Queensland. A very different looking relative, the Elephant Apple (Dillenia indica) is commonly planted as a wayside tree in Cairns and the white flowered Dillenia philippensis in gardens. I have also seen what I believe is Dillenia suffruticosa, an southeast-asian species planted in Cattana Wetlands.