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TREE NUMBER 6.
Mostly common in far northern Australia, Beach Calophyllum is also called Beauty Leaf because of its stiff, heavily veined leaves. The species has many other names around the Pacific Islands and Indian Ocean countries.
Once a commercial rainforest timber tree in North Queensland, the species is now valued for its high resistance to cyclones and storm surges. Mostly a riverside and coastal tree, the up to 5cm nuts can travel long distances when transported by tides and currents. The traveller seeds will, not infrequently, germinate and grow at beach and creek waterlines hundreds of kilometres from their core habitat in the Wet Tropics. The leaves and oily seeds are used in many island countries for medicinal purposes including Australia, where First Nation people treated skin ailments and body pain.
A smaller, more delicate species named Blush Touriga (Calophyllum australianum) grows in secretive locations within the Byfield rainforest north of Yeppoon. Mangosteens are in the same family.
Nectar is eaten by the brown-backed honeyeater and seeds are also dispersed by bats.
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