Castanospermum australe, Black Bean, Moreton Bay Chestnut

Castanospermum australe

Black Bean, Moreton Bay Chestnut
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Origin: Australia
Big tree taller than 20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterYellow, orange flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowersOrnamental foliagePlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
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This is a handsome tree with glossy dark green pinnate leaves and low spreading branches when grown in the open. During October - November, it bears sprays of red and yellow pea-shaped flowers 1"-2" long, which are partly hidden by the dense foliage. The nectar produced by the flowers attracts birds, bats and butterflies. Propagation of this species is from fresh seed. Black Bean also makes an ideal indoor plant. The leaves and seeds are toxic to livestock. The Black Bean has also proved valuable as a timber species, it's seeds have been utilized - following extensive preparation as a food by Aborigines and it contains alkaloids which have been shown to have anti-HIV and anti -cancer properties.

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