Toona ciliata (Meliaceae)

Toona ciliata

Toona ciliata is the famed Red Cedar of Queensland timbers, and understandably so. It is a grand rainforest tree and one can easily envision avenues of Red Cedars in Cairns. What a touch of grandiosity this would have imbued the city with? It would also not be an exaggeration to say that the history of Cairns is has the Red Cedar as part of its foundational pillars.

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Flowers of the Red cedar

Toona ciliata
The dehiscent capsules of Red Cedar resemble mahogany fruits which are from the same family.

Toona ciliata

In the rainforest this tree can quite easily be recognized by it’s somewhat flaky reddish-brown bark. The leaves are compound and as a vein pattern that is quite easy to recognize once known. Specifically, the Red Cedar resembles Ribbonwood (Euroschinus falcatus) quite closely, but the bark details differ and the leaves of Red Cedar does not have the mango-ish smell of Ribbonwood.

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About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Habitat - Rain forest, Iconic Plants, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs, Meliaceae (Mahogany family), Useful plants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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