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Flowers and Fruit

Adaptations also occur in flowers and fruits. Many amazing relationships exist between rainforest plants and their pollinators.

In some cases, the structure, colour, smell, flowering time and appearance of flowers can be shaped by evolution to attract very specific animal species to pollinate them. In other cases, plants attract a wide range of animals from insects to bats, birds and arboreal (tree-climbing) mammals to move their pollen around.

Some animals can move easily from the forest floor to the canopy along vines and lianas, clambering across trunks and stems, on what is (from their perspective) a wooded network of roads and highways crisscrossing the canopy! However, most pollinators fly. In response to the very different habits of animals some trees develop all or some of their flowers and fruits on their branches or even on their trunks. This is known as ramiflory (flowering on branches) and cauliflory (flowering on main stem).

Low flying bats and birds, and climbing animals are attracted to feast on nectar or pollen and this leads to pollination. When fruits form the same pollinator or other animals are attracted to the fruits, resulting in seed dispersal.

Hard Aspen, Acronychia laevis - Kim Hamilton

Brown Booyony, Argryodendron trifoliatum - Karen Sommerville

Narrow-leaved Gardenia, Atractocarpus chartaceus - Kim Hamilton

Native Gardenia, Atractocarpus fitzalanii - Kim Hamilton

Cassia Pea, Cassia brewsteri - Kim Hamilton

Hairy Clerodendrum, Clerodendrum tomentosum - Kim Hamilton

Narrow-leaved Palm Lily, Cordyline congesta - Kim Hamilton

Brown Silky Oak, Darlingia darlingiana - Kim Hamilton

Davidson's Plum, Davidsonia pruriens dissected fruit & seed - Karen Sommerville

Black Plum, Diospyros australis - Kim Hamilton

Blue Quandong, Elaeocarpus grandis - Kim Hamilton

Tamana, Elaeodendron curtipendulum - Kim Hamilton

White Tamarind, Elattostachys xylocarpa - Kim Hamilton

Bolwarra, Eupomatia laurina - Kim Hamilton

Glycosmis, Glycosmis trifoliata - Kim Hamilton

White Beech, Gmelina leichhardtii - Kim Hamilton

Tulipwood, Harpullia pendula - Kim Hamilton

Native Frangipani, Hymenosporum flavum - Kim Hamilton

White Cedar, Melia azedarach - Kim Hamilton

Lime Berry, Micromelum minutum - Zoe-Joy Newby

Screw Pine, Pandanus tectorius Kim Hamilton

Native Passionfruit, Passiflora herbertiana - Lotte Von Ricter

Deep Yellow Wood, Rhodosphaera rhodanthema - Kim Hamilton

Kangaroo Apple, Solanum aviculare - Kim Hamilton

Firewheel Tree, Stenocarpus sinuatus - Kim Hamilton

Red Cedar, Toona ciliata - Kim Hamilton

Cauliflory - buds emerging directly from the trunk - Zoe-Joy Newby

Cauliflorous flowers - Maurizio Rossetto

Cauliflorous fruits - Maurizio Rossetto