Tristaniopsis laurina is commonly known as Water Gum or Kanooka. It is native to Australia, belongs to the Myrtaceae family, and is related to the eucalypts. It usually grows near the eastern coastline along the banks of streams, where the trunks and branches tend to be shaped in the direction of the current and give an indication of the flood height.
Tristaniopsis laurina has a slow rate of growth, and usually reaches 10 m tall. The tree is multi-branched, and may be pruned to maintain a compact shape. It can grow to be 30 m height in native habitats.
Flowers and fruits
The flowers are bright yellow and have a distinctive odour. They usually bloom in the late spring or early summer. They attract bees which feed on the nectar and pollen. The individual flowers are about 10 mm in diameter with five pale green sepals, five small, yellow and rounded petals, and numerous stamens united in five groups and a style.
The fruit finally develops into a woody capsule which is globular in shape and 6-8 mm in diameter.
Leaves and stem
The leaves are glossy green in appearance, paler on the under surface and slightly hairy underneath. They are usually 8 to 15 cm long, 2 to 3 cm wide, oblanceolate in shape and alternately arranged.
(oblanceolate: the reverse of lanceolate, with the widest point at one-third of the leaf from the apex and tapering toward the base.)
The trunk is smooth with patches of scaly bark, shaded in brown and grey hues. The bark becomes scaly as the tree matures.