The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Fabaceae.

Castanospermum australe Common name(s): Australian Black Bean, Moreton Bay Chestnut. Castanospermum australe flowers
Castanospermum Genus of one species of evergreen tree from rainforest in Australia. It produces alternate, oval to lance-shaped, pinnate leaves and bears short, dence racemes of pea-like flowers.

It grows in moist, fertile, well-drained soils on terraces on the side of mountains or along the banks of rivers and streams.

During October - November, it bears sprays of red and yellow pea-shaped flowers 3-4 cm long, which are partly hidden by the dense foliage. Following flowering in March - May, large cylindrical pods measuring 12-20cm by 4-6 cm are produced. These pods split in two, revealing 3-5 large bean like seeds weighing about 30 grams.

Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Grow in a soil-based potting mix in full light, shaded from hot sun, in moderate humidity. Prefers a medium level of filtered sunlight. Tolerates short periods of of 32F (0C). Keep soil moist at all times. Drain excess water. Water sparingly in winter. Average warmth - minimum 65F in winter. Sow seed at 55-64F (13-18C) in spring. Root semi-ripe cuttings in mid- or late summer.

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