Laurelia sempervirens

This native evergreen tree , known as the Chilean Laurel, is commonly found dotting pastures. Many appear to be of great age as the center rots and hollows out leaving interesting holes and stumps.??????????

 

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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!flowers & stuff 043

 

My favorite tree on our new farm. We are clearing underneath it for a picnic spot.

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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.

 

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This tree had 2 main trunks at one time. The wood is used in the construction industry but it is soft and rots easily.??????????

 

It can grow to height of 30 meters.??????????

 

A close up of the bottom of one branch that has Mitraria vine growing all over it. In spanish, it is called botellita which is ‘little bottle” due to the shape of the flower.laurel 008

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