Thursday, 22 August 2013

Post 116 More on the Aphananthe

I continued to be bemused by the different shape of the leaves I collected when looking for the Native Elm of the last post.

The leaves on the right are clearly a different shape and possibly too different to be the same species as the 4 confirmed Apananthe philippinensis leaves on the left. The philippinensis leaves are heavier, rougher in texture and the serrations have a real little spike on them like a holly. The leaves on the right are lanceolate (come to a point), softer and the serrations do not have the same sharp spikes.

So some more searching and I found that there are three species of Aphananthe; philippinensis, aspera and cuspidata. A. aspera comes from China, Japan, Korea and Viet-nam and shares many of the macro features of philippinensis.

Here is an identifying picture of its leaves:

And then a picture of the trunk of one growing in Japan: Pretty impressive example.

 And here is another younger one from Kyoto.

This one could be a great bonsai candidate, good leaf reduction, elm like growth habit, fluted trunk etc etc.

The interesting thing is that the good Save Our Waterways folks who have done fantastic regeneration work over a long period along Enoggera Creek removing week species and rebuilding native populations, may have inadvertantly introduced a foreigner. 
I have of course done the right thing, let them know and offered to take them if they decide to dig them out!!!
If they leave them there, in close proximity to the philippinensis, it might lead to some interesting vigorous hybrids in the years ahead.

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