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Products > Homalanthus populifolius
Homalanthus populifolius - Queensland Poplar

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurges)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Red/Purple Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Green Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Euphorbia populneus, Omalanthus populifolius]
Height: 8-10 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Homalanthus populifolius (Queensland Poplar) - A semi-deciduous (evergreen in frost free locations) shrub or small tree 8 to 10+ feet tall with a straight trunk with smooth gray bark and an open, spreading crown of delicate 3 to 6 inch long heart-shaped leaves which when mature are blue-green above and pale gray-green below and attach by red petioles at the base and taper to a point at the tip. When leaves first emerge they are a copper color and turn pink to red prior to dropping - leaf emergence and leaf drop occurs year round with plants going completely deciduous only as temperatures drop near freezing. The terminal 3 inch long clusters of greenish yellow flowers, which appear in late spring or early summer, are not showy but are followed by rounded 1/4 inch wide blue-green fruit that turn black when ripe. Seedlings often sprout in the garden - leave a few to rejuvenate the planting. Plant in full sun to light shade and water occasionally to regularly. Hardy to about 28-30 F. Though this plant can become a tree, it is relatively short lived with plants typically lasting about 10 years. It is native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia and Indo-Malasian islands where it grows in moist forests or along stream banks. Other common names include native bleeding heart and native poplar. This plant is considered a weed in moist subtropical climates; but, though it has long been cultivated in California, it has not become a problem outside of the irrigated garden. In the Encyclopedia of Australian Native Plants this plant is listed as Omalanthus nutans but according to the Plant List (a collaboration between Kew Gardens and the Missouri Botanic Garden) the correct name for this plant is Homalanthus populifolius. There are a couple of possible derivations of the name Homalanthus. One is that it comes from the Greek words 'homalos' meaning "smooth" and 'anthos' meaning "flower" in reference to a smooth flower but the other possibility is that it comes from the Greek words 'homahs' meaning "like" and 'anthos' meaning "flower" in reference to the leaves having the colorful flowerlike shades of red. The specific epithet is in reference to the shape of the leaves like that of the poplar.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Homalanthus populifolius.