Fabaceae (pea family) Castanospermum

Castanospermum australe Moreton Bay chestnut

Queensland, New South Wales

A tall tree with dark-green glossy pinnate leaves. The leaflets, of which there are about six pairs, are from 2 to 5 inches long and carried on short stalks of their own. The pea flowers, which are yellowish red and more than an inch long, appear in April-May and form large hard pods containing three to five chestnut-sized brown seeds, which are edible if roasted; the green pods have been reported as poisonous to cattle. The hard decorative timber is in high repute for fine cabinet work under the name black bean. There are no longer known specimens on campus.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.