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Yard Palms in the Wet Tropics of Australia


Yunder Wækraus

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A pic of a neighbor’s lipstick palms, and pics of my little yard, including the lipstick palm that’s finally starting to take off after barely growing for 3 years, and our neighborhood beach with a chunk of tree in the water from December’s massive floods. We’re in Kewarra Beach, which is just north of Cairns 

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Nice, pity about their foxies tho! Starling is a good street for palms!

 

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Wow I have seen foxtail like that but those lipstick palms are so red and so big and they appear to be in full sun wow they seem to love there home!

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Those lipstick palms are stunners. Reminds of the ones I saw in Costa Rica.

A wildlife official once told me that large trees washing down streams into the bay was very common prior to intensive human land management. If they ended up in an inshore location like that one, they would be a useful substrate for oysters, and if you see one floating offshore fishermen know that fish will seek shade and cover under the floating limbs.

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Woodville, FL

zone 8b

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From what I've seen, Northeast Australia looks like the lushest part of the continent overall — I think it even beats out the rainforests farther south on mountain slopes in Queensland and NSW. The ample "dry season" rainfall helps quite a bit with the moisture balance. Especially when you go a bit south to the super rainy "Cassowary Coast" (i.e. Babinda, Innisfail, etc).

Edited by _nevi
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22 hours ago, _nevi said:

From what I've seen, Northeast Australia looks like the lushest part of the continent overall — I think it even beats out the rainforests farther south on mountain slopes in Queensland and NSW. The ample "dry season" rainfall helps quite a bit with the moisture balance. Especially when you go a bit south to the super rainy "Cassowary Coast" (i.e. Babinda, Innisfail, etc).

Yep, it's called the "Wet Tropics" of Australia for a reason! It's most lush just south of Cairns. Babinda is often touted as the wettest town in Australia, and the rainforest around the boulders there is truly stunning. Where we live, in Cairn's Northern Beaches, is like a desert compared to Babinda, which doesn't look a bit less green and lush in the height of the so-called dry season. The forests on mountain tops are similarly lush. It's crazy how much dryer it is just a few miles inland of the rainforest belt. Mareeba looks like most of California: dry brown grass, open eucalyptus woodlands, etc., yet it's next door to Kuranda and Atherton, which are both lush and green with surrounding rainforest.

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1 hour ago, Yunder Wækraus said:

Yep, it's called the "Wet Tropics" of Australia for a reason! It's most lush just south of Cairns. Babinda is often touted as the wettest town in Australia, and the rainforest around the boulders there is truly stunning. Where we live, in Cairn's Northern Beaches, is like a desert compared to Babinda, which doesn't look a bit less green and lush in the height of the so-called dry season. The forests on mountain tops are similarly lush. It's crazy how much dryer it is just a few miles inland of the rainforest belt. Mareeba looks like most of California: dry brown grass, open eucalyptus woodlands, etc., yet it's next door to Kuranda and Atherton, which are both lush and green with surrounding rainforest.

Brisbane has a variety of micro climates too. A lot of palms that should not survive at my place because of the cold winter nights manage quite well because my winter days are much warmer than the rest of Brisbane. Around here we get dry desert like plains but the big hills and small mountains are  lush subtropical jungles. When I lived on the Darling Downs, it was a dry barren place, only good for cotton and sorghum, but a short drive to the Bunya Mts and you were in a rain forest.  I gave up trying to work out the what the 'zones' would be. They just don't apply to this state.

Peachy

 

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I came. I saw. I purchased

 

 

27.35 south.

Warm subtropical, with occasional frosts.

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On 2/25/2024 at 5:59 PM, Yunder Wækraus said:

Yep, it's called the "Wet Tropics" of Australia for a reason! It's most lush just south of Cairns. Babinda is often touted as the wettest town in Australia, and the rainforest around the boulders there is truly stunning. Where we live, in Cairn's Northern Beaches, is like a desert compared to Babinda, which doesn't look a bit less green and lush in the height of the so-called dry season. The forests on mountain tops are similarly lush. It's crazy how much dryer it is just a few miles inland of the rainforest belt. Mareeba looks like most of California: dry brown grass, open eucalyptus woodlands, etc., yet it's next door to Kuranda and Atherton, which are both lush and green with surrounding rainforest.

What is interesting about these northeastern "Wet Tropics" in Australia is that the high-rainfall climate also has a clearer "dry break" ... that still happens to be wet enough to more than satisfy "tropical rainforest classification": see the clearer "wet-dry" signal in Babinda and similar areas compared to the more even spread of Hilo in Hawaii or Quibdó in Columbia. Similar "wet-dry" rainforest climates are found in parts of Madagascar and South America.

And yes, the area is stunning — been looking at pics of Kuranda, Atherton, etc, just the tree ferns alone look stunning. The wetness of the climate likens to New Caledonian rain forests, which leads me to suspect that the Australian Wet Tropics serves a sort of "refugia" regarding the rainforests that used to be more widespread (before the "drier eucalyptus ecosystems" took over the continent).  

That said, the immediate Cairn's area still maintains a good bit of rainfall during the dry season: not bone dry to the extent of areas like Darwin.

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On 2/25/2024 at 7:39 PM, peachy said:

Brisbane has a variety of micro climates too. A lot of palms that should not survive at my place because of the cold winter nights manage quite well because my winter days are much warmer than the rest of Brisbane. Around here we get dry desert like plains but the big hills and small mountains are  lush subtropical jungles. When I lived on the Darling Downs, it was a dry barren place, only good for cotton and sorghum, but a short drive to the Bunya Mts and you were in a rain forest.  I gave up trying to work out the what the 'zones' would be. They just don't apply to this state.

Peachy

 

Yes, some of these rainforests find themselves farther south in Australia too. Elevated areas like Mt. Tamborine have them, but some lowlands in areas like Lismore have them too (i.e. "Big Scrub").

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On 2/29/2024 at 4:45 AM, _nevi said:

Yes, some of these rainforests find themselves farther south in Australia too. Elevated areas like Mt. Tamborine have them, but some lowlands in areas like Lismore have them too (i.e. "Big Scrub").

Melbourne has lovely temperate rain forests in the Dandenong Ranges and the Alpine region.  Tasmania had huge old temperate rain forests too but at the rate they are being logged they won't around in 10 years time. The Otways have lovely rain forests too.

Peachy

 

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I came. I saw. I purchased

 

 

27.35 south.

Warm subtropical, with occasional frosts.

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@peachy

What is the farthest south of the rainforests in terms of palms and other such subtropical/tropical character? 

I knew of Mt. Tamborine around Brisbane/Gold Coast, as well Big Scrub around Lismore, as both are relatively far south areas that I knew of that also contained impressive archontophoenix palm specimen (not to mention ficus species). 

Places like Tasmania do serve as refugia for "Antarctic flora", however.

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Eastern Victoria has the most southerly naturally occurring palms (Livistona) but the temperate rain forests have huge tree ferns and the gigantic mountain ash eucalypts, Tasmania included.

Peachy

 

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I came. I saw. I purchased

 

 

27.35 south.

Warm subtropical, with occasional frosts.

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@peachy

Are the southerly palms in Victoria livistona australis?

Of course, areas of Zealandia farther south do feature rhopalostylis sapida.

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