Fontainea venosa ‘Southern Blushwood’ (plant)
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Fontainea venosa is a shrub or tree growing to 18 m tall. A member of the Euphorbiaceae family native to SE Qld. The white perfumed male and female flowers occur on separate plants. Classified as a vulnerable species in QLD due to land clearing, weed competition and a general lack of governmental leadership from all sides of politics on the protection of our valuable native flora.
The genus Fontainea comprises 9 currently recognised species occurring in Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and PNG. Commonly they are known as Blushwood. A compound, EBC-46, from seed extract or other plant parts of these species potential cancer destroying properties in current research and recently published studies. The experimental drug shows promising early results in pre-clinical trials in animal models. EBC-46 is now known as Tigilanol tiglate. The main species used is F. picrosperma which grows on the Atherton Tablelands in FNQ. It is however not as cold hardy as F. venosa and some other species.
When cut, the stem will exude or bleed a reddish coloured sap and is a good ID factor for the species.
Care and Cultivation of Fontainea venosa
Fontainea venosa likes a full sun position and well-drained soil. Will respond well to regular watering over the warmer months. Slow growing but hardy. Grows in areas receiving 1000-1100mm annual rainfall.
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