Try growing: your own rainforest

Thanks to some local plant propagators going on an extended holiday, we have 'inherited' a selection of homegrown rainforest plants. Most of them will be comfortable in relatively exposed areas, and many are fairly small in size, so suitable for suburban gardens.

Here are a few of the plants we're looking forward to planting out, and that could work well in many gardens in the Illawarra:
Whalebone tree (Streblus brunonianus) 
Whalebone tree (Streblus brunonianus) is an excellent small tree for an indigenous Illawarra garden. It will grow up to 15m tall, but is often shorter, and has a relatively narrow shape. Whalebone tree fruits are attractive to many birds, including Lewin's honeyeater, and the amazing green catbird.They can cope with a bit of sun.
This is Guioa (Guioa semiglauca) - or I think it is from checking the leaves! - a small pretty tree that is widespread across the Illawarra. It grows to 6-8m  high in gardens.
Native tamarind (Diploglottis cunninghamii) is tall but fairly narrow, so could fit into a suburban garden if carefully placed. It is a genuine tamarind, and the edible seeds have a strong sour flavour - but they would be hard to get to once the plant grows a bit!
Flintwood (Scolopia braunii)
This Flintwood (Scolopia braunii) will be on the big side when it is fully grown (up to 25m tall), and it tends to sucker a lot, so needs a lot of space. It will fit in well near the creek in the bushland behind our house, where many rainforest trees are starting to appear.

Lots of planting days coming up! Thanks Jedda!


  1. Sounds great! Maybe you could give me some advice on my Acmena Smitthi v Minor plants I planted out as a hedge maybe a year ago. I think that they are they rainforest plants too. Some have grown well, but others are really struggling. I thought that they would be suitable planted on the west side of my home. The soil is fairly heavy clay in parts. It would appear that the ones that are raised a bit higher than the natural soil level are doing the best. Do they require good drainage? Any advice on what else I could do to make them happier? Thanks again for your blog. It's so enjoyable to read :)

  2. Hi Mandy, lilly pilly do like good drainage and heavy clay can be a problem for them. We have some growing round here on clay, but with a fair bit of topsoil, and even they don't do so well.

    Once they're planted I don't know what you can do sorry! When planting in future, mounding up more friable soil to 20-30cm should give the plants a good start....