Common name: Western Australian Christmas Tree

Family: LORANTHACEAE

Christmas trees, Australian style. Photo: M. Seale.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Nuytsia – After Pieter Nuyts or Nuijts (1598–1655), Dutch mariner, explorer, and diplomat, who happened to be aboard the Dutch ship, Gulden Zeepaert (Golden Seahorse) in 1627, when it accidentally discovered the south western coast of Australia at Cape Leeuwin.

floribunda – (Latin) floris – flower, and abundus – abundant.

Description

Nuytsia floribunda is a fascinating plant both aesthetically and biologically. Aesthetically, this Western Australian native tree or shrub produces a dazzling display of vivid yellow/orange flowers around December, giving rise to its common name of the Western Australian Christmas Tree. 

Biologically, this species is the largest parasitic plant in the world as it attaches itself to the roots of other plants and sucks their sap. The species is related to mistletoe and is more accurately known as a hemi-parasite because, though they do feed off their hosts, they can also sustain themselves through photosynthesis.

Nuytsia floribunda is found only in the south-west of Western Australia from Kalbarri National Park on the north-west coast to Cape Le Grande on the south-east coast.

Horticultural tips

  • The seeds are relatively easy to germinate with a small growing host plant in the same pot.
  • They are a long-term garden plant proposition, taking up to 20 years to flower from seed sowing.
  • Often sold by the Friends of Kings Park at their regular plant sales and also available from specialist native plant nurseries.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see Nuytsia floribunda adjacent to the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Fountain and within the Stirling Range Flora garden bed (refer to map).

Want more information?

Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.

Christmas Tree branches. Photo: D. Blumer. Nuytsia floribunda flowers. Photo: D. Blumer. Christmas Tree is bright and cheerful. Photo: D. Blumer.

Kings Park access disruption

Part of the Western Path between Monash Avenue and Aberdare Road will be closed from Monday, 8 February 2021 due to construction works on The Kids’ Bridge, pedestrian detours will be in place.

DNA Tower closure

The DNA Tower in Kings Park will be closed from Monday, 8 February 2021 until mid-April 2021 due to maintenance.

Concert traffic interruptions

Road and carpark closures will occur in Kings Park and Botanic Garden in February-March 2021 due to concert events.

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Farewell and thank you Grady and Lesley

The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) would like to extend a sincere thank you and farewell to two of our longest serving staff members, Lesley Hammersley and Grady Brand who will retire from the Authority in December 2020.

Noongar Boodja Six Seasons is back!

Kings Park Education is excited to open bookings for our 2021 program of Noongar Boodja Six Seasons festivals, a celebration of Aboriginal culture, proudly presented by Fugro.

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