Down under in Australia we have to celebrate the silly season a little bit differently, playing in the sand instead of the snow for instance! The Christmas trees here in Western Australia are not your typical pine tree either. You can watch my adventure on YouTube or continue reading below to learn more about them and see my final page.
Western Australia Christmas Trees
The latin name is nuytsia floribunda, but they're called Christmas trees because they bloom during the holiday season from December to February and are a warm golden yellow to a deep orange so are really striking when you look across the landscape. The local Noongar from Perth call it the moodjar and they are sacred because this is where the spirits of the recently dead go. The trees are only found in the southwest of Western Australia.
The trees are hemiparisitic meaning that they will feed off the host but can also photosynthesise if necessary, and in fact they're the largest parasitic plant in the world. They do this by attacking the roots of surrounding plants and then suck the sap.
I noticed they seem to have a green stem where the narrow, flat leaves shoot from. The leaves feel quite rubbery and remind me of succulents. With the flowers I notice many fine tendrils, and the unopened flowers start off green and then turn yellow as they age.