Aceratium ferrugineum – an ornamental rainforest plant

Here are some images from Peter Olde, of Aceratium ferrugineum, a beautiful rainforest plant growing in his and Margaret’s Oakdale garden. 

Called Rusty Carrabeen or Flamingo Bells, it is often a multistemmed plant growing to about 10m (although mature trees can reach 30m), with aerial roots from the trunk. Young shoots have rust coloured hairs. It’s endemic to NE Queensland and grows in a restricted range of mountain rainforest on the Mount Carbine Tableland between Black Mountain and Mt Spurgeon, and on Mt Lewis. 

Belonging to the Elaeocarpaceae family, they have bell shaped orangey-pink flowers and produce bunches of yellow–orange–red, oval shaped fruits measuring 30 mm–45 mm × 18 mm–28 mm Their fibrous ripe flesh smells like ripe watermelon. 

Although not yet well known, the trees have some popularity in cultivation, for example in Brisbane.


DL Jones, 1986, Ornamental Rainforest Plants Australia