Xanthostemon chrysanthus (F.Muell.) Benth.

Etymology Genus Yellow stamens
Species Golden flower
Family Myrtaceae
Synonyms Metrosideros chrysantha F.Muell.
Common Names Golden Penda, Golden Myrtle
Status Exotic: Cultivated Only
Form Tree
Native Distribution Northeastern Australia

Diagnostics:

A small tree with elliptic dark green leaves that are arranged in spirals. The young leaves at the terminal are often light green in color. The tree form is very consistent and makes it rather identifiable from afar. Once it flowers, the golden yellow flowers are unmistakable.


Interesting Facts:

Introduced to Singapore in 1982 (NParks, 2009), the Golden Penda have since been popping up all over the city. While ranked the 8th most commonly cultivated tree in both streetscapes and parks maintained by NParks (Tan et al., 2009), I suspect with good cause that this should be placed within the top five most abundantly cultivated tree in Singapore if all trees managed by other greenery stakeholders, like the Housing and Development Board were added.

There were various reasons for its popularity. It is fast growing and easy to maintain: being sunlight loving; grows well in wet conditions and also tolerant to dry weather; does not shed its leaves (NParks, 2009). The aesthetics portion was also well fulfilled as its flowering brings about a burst of golden yellow; the effect further enhanced by its long yellow stamens. To accentuate my point, Wee Y. C. even described it as an "extremely attractive ornamental tree" (Wee, 2003)!

The flowers always appear to be buzzing with bees collecting nectar. While I have not personally seen it, many records have also documented nectar-feeding birds and butterflies visiting the flowers.


Tree form with dark green leaves arrange in whorls.

Leaf underside.

The 'Golden Yellow Stamens' as adeptly named.

Young fruits.

Riped fruits as brown capsules that splits into four halves.


References

NParks. (2009) Trees of Our Garden City: A Guide to the Common Trees of Singapore. 2nd Edition. National Parks Board, Singapore. 382 pp.
Tan PY, B Yeo, WX Yip & HS Lua. (2009) Carbon Storage and Sequestration by Urban Trees in Singapore. Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology, National Parks Board, Singapore. 14 pp.Wee YC. (2003) Tropical Trees and Shrubs: A Selection for Urban Planting. Sun Tree Publishing, USA. 392 pp.




Author: Jake
Posted: 2012-10-06 / Modified: 2018-01-17