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Biology

For around two weeks in spring, the bleedwood tree bears abundant pretty, little flowers, at the same time as the new leaf buds begin to shoot (3) (6). By winter, the long drooping leaves have gone and the bleedwood tree is adorned with hundreds of its distinctive pods (3) (7). The paper-like wing of the pod enables it, and the one or two seeds within, to be carried on the wind away from the parent tree (4) (7). The hard, spiny centre of the pod does not split open on its own and thus requires physical abrasion or other mechanisms for it to open and allow the seeds to germinate (7). Exposure to moderate levels of fire has also been shown to assist in the breaking down of the woody pod, and therefore facilitate germination (8). Bleedwood trees are reproductively mature and produce pods (fruit) at 15 to 20 years of age (5), and continue to produce fruit until they die (6).

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Source: ARKive

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