What Does It Look Like?
What is it?
Rosewood (Tipuana tipu) is a tree growing up to 10 m in height in Australia, with a main trunk and branches forming a distinct elevated crown. It has a large canopy cover, often greater than its height, and is consequently favoured as a shade tree. It has reddish-brown fissured bark, and opposite leaves along the leaf stalk. Leaves are approximately 30-50 mm long by 12-20 mm wide, with 'buttock-shaped' tips.
The bright yellow flowers (up to 22 mm in diameter) occur in leaf-less racemes (an inflorescence of stalked flowers with the youngest at the top).
The distinctive winged fruit is sometimes referred to as a 'helicopter', due to its spinning propeller-like action as it falls. The spin is created by the swollen base, which contains one to three seeds. Depending on the wind velocity and distance above the ground, Rosewood seeds can be carried considerable distances away from the parent plant (CRC 2003).
Distinguishing features of Rosewood are its oval-shaped leaves with the 'buttock-shaped' tip, yellow flowers with larger outer petals and smaller inner petals, and a leaf stalk approximately 15-20 mm long (CRC 2003).
For further information and assistance with identification of Rosewood contact the herbarium in your state or territory.
Growth form (weed type/habit)
Where it currently grows? Preferred habitat
Rosewood invades disturbed sites such as roadsides and creek banks, and also grows in woodland and open grassland areas where grazing is absent. Rosewood will survive in temperatures down to -6.5 oC, and is well able to resist frost conditions. It invades disturbed sites such as roadsides and creek banks, and also grows in woodland and open grassland where grazing is absent (CRC 2003).
Are there similar species?
When sterile Rosewood resembles Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust) but the flowers and fruits are totally different (FAO 2007).