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Shade trees are important contribution to our urban landscape both introduced and locally native. As well as providing street and parkland shade or amenity these tall stately spreading trees help to define our place in Australia and the "character of our city"

Culturally Significant
Trees of Townsville's
Urban Environment


Rain Tree

Click to enlarge - Albizia saman form and flowers

The large Rain trees (Albizia saman) in Townsville are ornamental tropical American trees with bipinnate leaves and globose clusters of flowers with crimson stamens and sweet-pulp seed pods eaten by cattle.

Synonyms: Albizia saman, raintree, monkeypod, saman, zaman, zamang

Rain trees were planted to became stately shade trees.

There are many other culturally significant shade and fruit trees in Townsville and most notiably the backyard Mango will be familiar to most. This tree is known for its delicious fruit in November is also a colourful addition to our urban landscape. Flowering in winter gardens across the city, the flowers show up tinging "backyard scapes", a subtle orange or rust colour.

Click to enlarge - Mango tree in flower , Winter morning

Of interest is that there are three other native Albizia species growing in Townsville. Only two are considered to be locally native (Albizia canescens - Townsville siris, and Albizia procera - Forest siris) and a third (Albizia lebbeck - Indian sirus) though native to northern Cape York and Arnhem Land is not considered to be native to Townsville. Albizias' are excellent cabinet timbers and the foliage is great in droughts for cattle fodder. These are two reasons why the local native Albizia's (and especially Albizia canescens) are now uncommon to rare in the Townsville area (specimens being found along Ross River and tributaries and at Serpentine Lagoon).

The Terminalia sericocarpa has been locally named the Townsville Native Rain Tree as it is similarly a stately tree to Albizia saman from a distance. The Townsville native rain tree is found growing to 30 metres along Stuart Creek and in the monsoon vine thickets on Magnetic Island and at Many Peaks Range in the Town Common. The native coastal beach almond (Terminalia catappa) is also a significant signature tree of beaches and streetscape with large leaves providing shade and colourful and bright winter leaf prior to shedding its leaves.

Beach Almond branches
Click to enlarge - Beach Almond branches

For information on culturally significant plants of Townsville's Traditional Owners see the information on the Aboriginal Plant Trail at the Town Common and Mundy Creek Aboriginal Bush tucker poster (Mundy Creek Natureway).

Beach almond tree and Pandanus

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