Family: Rutaceae

Named after Matthew Flinders who first circumnavigated Australia, this genus of tropical, evergreen trees is mostly indigenous to Australia. These trees have pinnate leaves, dotted with the oil glands that are characteristic of the Rutaceae family, and mostly very showy terminal sprays of smallish flowers. The fruits are often interesting, from large, woody and boat-shaped, to the star-shaped variety of F. australis. This genus is unlikely to he available outside its native countries.


F. australis, crow's ash or Australian teak, mostly native to Queensland, may grow to 40 m (130 ft), though much less in cultiva­tion. Valued for its durable timber, it is also widely used as a street or park tree. The orna­mental, star-shaped woody fruits are used in dried arrangements.

F. brayleyana, Queens-land maple, is a tall forest tree yielding one of the world's best quality cabinet timbers.

F. maculosa, leopard wood, from the inland regions of Queensland and northern New South Wales, is a twisted, bushy, prickly shrub in its juvenile phase, maturing to a symmetrical small tree, with a fine, straight, slender trunk. It has distinctive, mottled bark and simple, deli­cate foliage which forms a fairly open crown.


Except in the tropics and subtrop­ics, this genus would have to be grown in a warm, humid greenhouse or conservatory, using suitable large pots or tubs. Propagation is from the large seeds which are sown as soon as ripe, and they need bottom heat to germinate.


Tropical and subtropical.

Fittonia      Forsythia