The flowers are fragrant and bloom in late October. The flowers when pollinated form an achene which is a small, dry, one-seeded fruit ( the sunflower seed is an achene). The flowers and leaves can be brewed into tea for medicinal purposes – headaches and as a diuretic. In the fall when the achenes open the wind disperses the seeds with the aid of fine feathery filaments. Last year we had clouds of them blowing across our yard! And the Austral parakeets flock to this tree when the seeds are ripe. But don’t stand underneath or you will be showered with fluff and seedpods!
My favorite tree on our new farm. We are clearing underneath it for a picnic spot.
The tree is not just a single organism but a whole complex of living organisms. The tree is a host to mosses, lichens, grasses and vines along with insects and in this one a particularly vocal little wren.