Grow your own ‘lucky’ native from Aussie Beanball Trees
You’ll be just like Jack waiting for your magic bean to crack and shoot up when you take home a seed from Aussie Beanball Trees. Grower Colleen Passlow from the South Coast of NSW says her Aussie Beanball Trees are tough, easy to grow in many conditions and are also seen as lucky to the Chinese and Taiwanese…but she had us at ‘easy to grow.’
Colleen runs the wholesale seed and plant nursery Merrywood Seeds and Plants in Bangalee, north of Nowra, which has been running for over 40 years. Specialising in growing the Aussie Beanball tree, or ‘Castanospermum australe’ as its more formally known, she takes both established trees in pots and seeds to the markets each and every Sunday.
These plants are very interesting – the seed or ‘bean’ is the main feature often placed on top of the soil or stones so that the grower can see the growing mechanism – the bean goes from yellow to green, cracks open, then the roots head down to the soil and the plant bursts forth. Colleen says this beautiful Australian native rainforest tree will grow to the size it’s potted – so it can make a beautiful centrepiece for a kitchen or dining table, or be grown in large pots on verandas or as patio screens. She says they’re popular due to their physical appearance, bean feature and the fact that they are super easy to grow tolerating full sun outdoors or low light indoors. And, did we mention they are lucky? Colleen exports many of her seeds to the Chinese and Taiwanese who believe they are good luck and bring prosperity due to the shape of the bean. Where have these ‘bean’ all our lives? Go and say hi to Colleen and check them out on your next visit to the markets.