Homalanthus nutans (syn: Omalanthus populifolius) Bleeding heart

Bleeding heart trees are fast-growing forest pioneers and are favoured in forest regeneration. They are in the Euphorbiaceae family, one of the most diverse flora groups in the plant kingdom.

Its hard-shelled seeds lie dormant in the soil until strong sunlight reaches them. They then sprout upwards, racing to form rainforest canopy. The bleeding heart grows up to several metres a year quickly providing both shade and ideal growing conditions for the slower growing rainforest species.

Its name refers to the large heart-shaped leaves which turn a deep and rich blood-red colour before falling to the ground. Keep an eye out for these trees on the track where other, larger trees have fallen over.