Macaranga tanarius (Euphorbiaceae)

Macaranga tanarius

David’s heart! I love this common name for this tree (for obvious reasons).

Other common (and very apt) names of this tree include: Parasol leaf tree, Blush Macaranga, Nasturtium tree, and Heart leaf.

Macaranga tanarius has large dinner-plate sized leaves (up to over 20cm across; thus “Parasol leaf tree”) and the stalk is very obviously attached near the center of the lower surface rather than the margin (botanically this is known as a peltate leaf). Thus the common name nasturtium tree due to this similarily in the leaf stalk insertion.

The branchlets are smooth, bluish grey with prominent leaf scars, and exudes a resin when cut.

The species is also is a pioneer shrub or bushy tree species favours regrowth environments and forest edges, but it can attain a stature of over 10 metres tall, with a stem diameter of up to 40 cm.

Macaranga tanarius

Macaranga tanarius

Found just about everywhere in the lowlands of Far North Queensland, this tree gets all the way down South into the state of New South Wales, and is also distributed widely in and Asia.

It makes for an attractive ornamental tree due to its form and large interesting leaves. Also well regarded by bush regenerators to provide shade for juvenile trees.

Might I wax lyrical to say that the “Heart of David” wishes exactly for this – to be a source of things beauty, and for the revival of the forest.


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 Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family), Habitat - Rain forest, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs, Ornamental Plants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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