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Blunt-leaved tulip facts for kids

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Blunt-leaved tulip
Harpullia hillii CBG.jpg
Leaves and fruits, City Botanic Gardens Brisbane
Scientific classification
Harpullia hilliiDistA9.png
Occurrence data from AVH

Harpullia hillii, commonly known as blunt-leaved tulip or oblong-leaved tulip, is a tree in the family Sapindaceae, endemic to eastern Australia. Although the species may grow to 20 metres high, most trees are less than 10 metres high. Each leaf comprises 4 to 12 leaflets, that are oblong or elliptic oblong and between 5 and 15 cm long and 2 to 6 cm wide. White flowers with petals 10–12 mm long appear in panicles that are 10–25 cm long. These are followed by orange fruit that are 25–30 mm in diameter and 12–14 mm long. The fruit, which is positioned above the persistent sepals, becomes woody with age. The glossy black seeds protrude from red arils.

The species was formally described in 1859 by Victorian government botanist Ferdinand von Mueller based on plant material collected by Walter Hill, first superintendent of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

It occurs in dry rainforest from the Burdekin River in Queensland southwards to Wauchope, New South Wales.

The species is cultivated for its dense foliage and ornamental, but inedible, berries. It prefers a partially shaded situation, protected from frost. Plants may be propagated from fresh seeds pre-soaked in water.

The larvae of the Common Pencilled-blue butterfly (Candalides absimilis) feed on the species.

Harpullia hillii was depicted, together with Mackinlaya macrosciadea, in a watercolour by botanical illustrator Ellis Rowan in 1887.

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