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  1. 114 Photo by William Archer
  2. 114_0 Photo by William Archer
  3. 114_1 Photo by Rich Weatherill
  4. 114 Full flowering photo by Rich Weatherill

WA Christmas Tree

Nuytsia floribunda

Appearance

  • Tree or shrub.  Root parasite.
  • Size: up to 10 m high.
  • Leaves: Long thin leaves.
  • Flowers: Orange with more stamens than petals.
  • Fruit/seed: Dry, papery, winged fruit.

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower
  • Full flowering (record all days)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them.

When To Look

  • Present all year
  • Flowering typically from October to January

Where To Look

  • South Western Australia
  • Sandplains, slopes, base of rock outcrops
  • Look in areas with grey or yellow sand, sandy loams, brown sandy gravel over clay, granite, laterite, limestone. 

WA Christmas Tree distribution map - ANPSA

WA Christmas Tree distribution map - ANPSA

Where To Look

Maps of Habitat Suitability

Nuytsia_floribunda-wa_christmas_tree

Current probability
of occurrence
2070 probability
of occurrence (RCP 8.5)
Species range change from
current to 2070 probability

Above, the left and middle maps show the modelled habitat suitability for the the species under current and potential future climate conditions. The colours indicate the predicted habitat suitability from low (white) to high (dark red).

The future habitat suitability is modelled for the year 2070 under a climate change scenario that represents 'business as usual' (RCP 8.5). The map on the right shows how the range of the species might change between now and 2070, with orange areas indicating where the species might disappear, green areas where the species range might expand, and blue areas where the habitat is predicted to be suitable for the species now and in the future.

The models for this species were run in the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory. Please note that while models can be very informative, they are only a representation of the real world and thus should always be viewed with caution. You can read more about the science behind these models here.

Sightings

References

Nevill et al. 2005. Guide to the Wildlife of the Perth Region. Simon Nevill Publications, Perth, Western Australia.

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  1. Did You Know?

    The West Australian Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda) is the largest mistletoe in the world and the only one that grows in the ground rather than on the stems of plants.  The clasping roots of the Christmas tree have even been known to invade PVC-wrapped telephone cables.

     

    The Latin name Nuytsia comes from Pieter Nuyts.  Nuyts was a member of the Council of Dutch Indies and a 17th century explorer in the South Western Australia.