The Gossia bidwillii (Scrub Python tree or Ironwood) has to be one of my favourites. When it rains the colour of the tree trunk is vibrant and glistening. We are always making new discoveries on the property and Bob and I discovered some very established Python trees on a new track Brett and Simon have been cutting that will be open for guests soon.
The Gossia bidwillii belongs to the Myrtaceae, gum family. It is named after Wayne Goss (former Premier of Queensland) and John Carne (English Botanist 1815 – 1853). The trunk is almost like a camouflage pattern and the bark very smooth and cool to touch with blotched markings like a python. Leaves are almost round, smooth and shiny, with a strong, somewhat cinnamon smell when crushed. The tree also has beautiful scented white flowers and little edible black berries (diameter 6mm) that are sweet and favoured by native birds and ripen from January to May.
The Scrub Python tree generally grows in drier parts of the rain forest and subtropical rainforest and can be found in coastal districts and ranges north of the Hunter Valley. It can grow up to 18m tall and we have a variety of sizes growing at Booyong.
The timber is very hard with close grains and used commonly for mallets, shelves and turnery.
It is difficult to establish from cuttings though can be propagated by seed. It grows well in fertile soil with good drainage.
Be sure to look out for this gorgeous tree as you’re exploring the rainforest when you visit next!