Homalanthus nutans (syn: Omalanthus populifolius)
These fast growing pioneer trees are the first step in regenerating the rainforest. Their hard shelled seeds lie dormant in the soil and germinate only when strong sunlight reaches them after the canopy is broken by a tree fall. The bleeding heart provides quick shade, creating good conditions for slower growing rainforest plants. They can grow up to several metres a year and might even fruit within 2-3 years. Their large green leaves turn a rich red just before they fall, hence the name bleeding heart. Look out for bleeding heart trees along the track where big trees have fallen over.
(Illustration by Maggie Taylor)
More precious plants . . .