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Uses

Toxic parts

The immature seed is poisonous, though mature seeds are harmless[1][2]. Another report says that the raw seed is poisonous and needs treatment to render it edible[3].

Edible uses

Notes

Seed - cooked[4][5][6][7]. The fresh raw seed contains high levels of saponins[8] and can be harmful[9][10]. The cooked seed tastes like a sweet chestnut[11]. It probably requires considerable leeching before it is safe to eat[12]. The Australian aborigines finely sliced the seeds and soaked them in running water for 10 days before roasting them and grinding them into a powder[3]. This powder could be stored for later use[3]. The seeds are about 3 - 4.5cm wide and are carried in pods 10 - 25cm long and containing 3 - 5 seeds[3][13].

Material uses

The seeds have a high saponin content[8]. Although the report does not elaborate, the saponins could probably be used as a soap substitute[K]. Wood - durable, resists decay, hard, heavy, polishes well, has a high resistance to the passage of electric current. Used in construction, cabinet making, carving etc[6][12][14][1].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The seed yields compounds called castanospermine that are under investigation as HIV inhibitors and might be useful in the treatment of AIDS[15][8][13]. The seedpods are astringent[2].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - we have no details on this species but would recommend sowing it in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe (if you can get hold of ripe seed!). Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours in warm water and sow in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual deep pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on for at least the first winter in a greenhouse before planting out in the summer. Give the plants some protection from winter cold for their first year or two outdoors.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Castanospermum australe. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a very well-drained[13] but moist high-grade soil and a very sunny position when grown in areas cooler than its natural climate[1][15].

The plant only tolerates short-lived light frosts[15]. One report says that it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c in its native range but is less hardy elsewhere[15] whilst another report says that it succeeds in areas that are cooler than its natural range[1]. A third report says that it succeeds outdoors in south Cornwall[4]. The crushed leaves smell like cucumbers[3]. Flowers are produced on the old wood[13]. The flowers are rich in nectar and are pollinated by parrots in the wild[13].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[15].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Castanospermum australe. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Castanospermum australe.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Castanospermum australe
Genus
Castanospermum
Family
Leguminosae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
9
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    18 x 8 meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Holliday. I. and Hill. R. A Field Guide to Australian Trees. Frederick Muller Ltd. ISBN 0-85179-627-3 (1974-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.5 Low. T. Wild Food Plants of Australia. Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14383-8 (1989-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Harrison. S. Wallis. M. Masefield. G. The Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press (1975-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Howes. F. N. Nuts. Faber (1948-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.3 Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia. Fontana ISBN 0-00-634436-4 (1976-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.513.6 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (1998-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Useful Wild Plants in Australia. William Collins Pty Ltd. Sidney ISBN 0-00-216441-8 (1981-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.215.315.415.515.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

    "image:Castanospermum australe 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Castanospermum australe"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyLeguminosae +
    Belongs to genusCastanospermum +
    Functions asNitrogen fixer +
    Has binomial nameCastanospermum australe +
    Has common nameMoreton Bay Chestnut +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partSeed +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeBirds +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone9 +
    Has imageCastanospermum australe 1.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useWood +
    Has mature height18 +
    Has mature width8 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAstringent + and Miscellany +
    Has primary imageCastanospermum australe 1.jpg +
    Has search namecastanospermum australe + and moreton bay chestnut +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameCastanospermum australe +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Castanospermum australe +, Castanospermum australe +, Castanospermum australe + and Castanospermum australe +