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Lomatia fraseri, Tree Lomatia, Forest Lomatia, Silky Lomatia

Lomatia fraseri a member of the Proteaceae family and is known as Tree Lomatia, Forest Lomatia or Silky Lomatia. 

The species is a shrub or small tree reaching a maximum height of eight metres. The species is characterised by a variety of leaf shapes. 

They may be entire, toothed or deeply lobed. Lobes may be entire or toothed. They are dull green and leathery.

Flowers may be held in clusters (racemes) up to 12 centimetres long. Blooms are white to cream, fragrant and usually profuse. Flowers are similar in appearance to those of the grevilleas their close relatives. 

The specimen illustrated, from our cold climate garden, has rather sparse flowers. This was cutting grown plant and this was probably its first flowering. We expect more extensive blooming in the future.

L. fraseri flowers in summer. Blooms are followed by follicles up to three centimetres long. Each follicle carries a number of winged seeds. Follicles ripen from April to October when seeds are released.

L. fraseri grows on the margins of cool and warm-temperate rainforest in mountain areas, from Vic. to the Tenterfield district in northern NSW. The species copes well with our inclement climate.

In New England National Park, east of Armidale also in northern NSW, this is one of the dominant understorey shrubs. 

There is a bewildering range of leaf shapes in these populations. Some plants, in the park, may be hybrids with L. silaifolia as the other parent.

The genus name is from the Greek, loma meaning border or fringe. This refers to the papery wing around the seed. 

The species name refers to Charles Fraser, the first superintendent of the Sydney Botanic Gardens.  

Propagate by seed or cuttings. 

Warren and Gloria Sheather

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