Native Laurel


Anopterus glandulosus, commonly known as the Native Laurel, is an endemic of Tasmania. It is limited to the rainforest and wet eucalypt forest below 1200 m and is found mainly in the south and west of the state.

This handsome evergreen species is usually a shrub 2- 4m. in height but sometimes forms a tree up to 10 metres.

In habit and foliage, the Native Laurel resembles another endemic species, the Port Arthur Plum, Cenarrhenenes nitida, a member of the family Proteaceae with a more restricted distribution in rainforests. At all seasons, Anopterus glandulosus is conspicuous because of its large leaves, 7-17 cm. long and 2 – 4 cm. broad, and clustered chiefly at the ends of each of the branches; they are dark green, thick and glossy, and the margins have distant blunt teeth and glands. Large-leaved plants are uncommon in Tasmanian forests and contrast spectacularly with the surrounding vegetation.

Showy white flowers on slender pedicels are arranged in terminal racemes about as long as the leaves. The flowers are about 2 cm across and white or flushed with pink. They are present in spring and often in autumn. The fruit is a capsule, opening in two valves, which diverge above and become recurved, exposing winged seeds.

The species is beautiful and has considerable horticultural potential; it may be slow-growing but is generally easy to grow in a partially protected situation. In cultivation, it makes an attractive garden shrub and is well suited to large containers. It prefers semi-shade or cool-temperate conditions with ample water during summer. It favours free-draining soils rich in organic matter and responds to applying fertilizers or manures and mulches on the soil surface. It can be pruned annually to control its shape.

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