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Castanospermum australe house plant.  Jack's beanstalk tree. Moreton Bay Chestnut.

Castanospermum australe house plant. Jack's beanstalk tree. Moreton Bay Chestnut.

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This unusual house plant, Castanospermum australe, is native to coastal rainforests and beaches in the east of Australia and to the Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Here in the UK it makes a great house plant and likes moist, fertile, well-drained soils within its pot.

  • It appreciates a sunny spot, although beware of leaf scorch if placed in direct sunlight.
  • In the wild, it's a large evergreen tree growing up to 40m (130 feet) tall!
  • Jack's Beanstalk tree, as it is also known, is loved for its glossy pinnate leaves which can reach 60cm (24 inches) long in the wild. It can also produce orange/yellow pea-shaped flowers in summer if it is happy in its position. These flowers are borne in clusters and are naturally partially hidden by the foliage. The flowers are hermaphrodite, with both male and female organs and they are pollinated by birds and insects.
  • It then produces pods 20cm (8 inch) long and woody, hence the name Jack's Beanstalk. These hang from the branch, containing 1-5 brown seeds 3cm (1 inch) in diameter.
  • Castanospermum australe makes an ideal indoor plant. It is sold with the ‘bean’ attached to its base. The ‘bean’ pod will naturally dry up and separate from the plant in several months and can be removed without any effect to the plant.
  • The bark is brown to grayish-brown and smells of cucumber if chopped.
  • Cultivated as a houseplant, trees in this genus can grow into small, shrubby plants. Size can be controlled by keeping the plant in a relatively small pot and shaping these plants with pruning, trimming, and training. Prune as desired to keep the lush ‘indoor forest’ look. Frequent pruning can control growth and form the Castanospermum australis into a bonsai-like short ornamental tree.
  • Can be placed outdoors during the warmer months of the  year.
  • The plant you will receive will be approx 45cm tall and will be in a 12cm plastic pot, not terracotta as shown in the picture.
  • Common name: Moreton Bay Chestnut, Blackbean, Lucky Beans, The Lucky Bean Plant, Lucky Bean Tree, Jack’s Beanstalk.
  • Please note: the seeds and leaves of this plant are toxic to pets and should not be eaten by humans or animals. 

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