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Homalanthus populifolius - Graham

Common Name Bleeding Heart, Queensland Poplar
Family Euphorbiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Habitats Lowland and lower montane forest regrowth, secondary forest, well drained or swamp forest, on ridges, riversides, from sea level up to elevations of 1,000 metres[327 ].
Range Australasia - northern Australia to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Homalanthus populifolius Bleeding Heart, Queensland Poplar

Homalanthus populifolius Bleeding Heart, Queensland Poplar
Frank Vincentz wikimedia


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Bleeding Heart or Homalanthus populifolius is an evergreen, erect shrub to small tree with an open and spreading crown. It grows up to 12 m tall with a trunk diameter of up to 15 cm. It is commonly found in rainforests in Australia. Its is fast-growing but fairly short-lived. The leaves are triangular and alternate, and turns red when senescent. Flowers are yellow green to red. The fruits are eaten by birds. Bleeding heart is an important pioneer species used in landscape rehabilitation projects. The bark and leaves yield black dye which is used for staining baskets and other similar items.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Homalanthus populifolius is an evergreen Shrub growing to 5 m (16ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Carumbium pallidum Mull.Arg. Carumbium platyneuron Mull.Arg. Carumbium populifolium (Graham) Benth.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Dye  Pioneer

Agroforestry Uses: A natural and important pioneer species within its native range, the tree quickly invades cleared land and fresh clearings in the forest. A short-lived tree, it quickly provides the shelter needed to allow the more permanent forest trees to become established, and then dies off to allow those species the necessary space to grow to full size[694 , K ]. It is used as a pioneer tree in landscape rehabilitation projects[327 ]. Other Uses: A black dye is obtained from the bark and leaves[46 ]. It is used for staining baskets and other items made from rattan and Corypha palms[46 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Found in the wild growing on coral rubble, sandy soil and brown loam[327 ]. Trees are fast-growing, but fairly short-lived[694 ]. They can be 3 metres tall at the end of their first year from seed[694 ]. Flowering Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer Mid Summer. Bloom Color: Cream/Tan. Spacing: 8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - it has a short viability and so needs to be sown as soon as it is ripe[694 ]. Cuttings root easily[694 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bleeding Heart, Queensland Poplar

Australia ; Solomon Islands; Papua New Guinea; Norfolk Island

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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