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New rainforest tree species discovered on Gold Coast

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

Earth Learning member Lui Weber has found a new species of rainforest tree on the Gold Coast.

Similar to the Crystal Creek Walnut (Endiandra floydii) identified by Alex Floyd, the Wongawallan walnut (Endiandra wongawallanesis), was determined to be a new species after Lui was able to find samples of its flowers and fruits, to study and describe its anatomy, and what made it different from its Tweed Valley counterpart.

The recognition of the Wongawallan walnut in Queensland, now means that the Tweed Caldera also has a new endemic, and endangered, species to add to the already 240 plus known tree species in the Tweed Valley of New South Wales.

Excerpt below from ABC Gold Coast story "Gold Coast botanist discovers new rainforest tree species 'minutes from the M1'", By Tom Forbes, Nicole Dyer and Kirsten Webster

Posted Thu 10 Feb 2022.

"When botanist Lui Weber visited his local physiotherapist for back treatment, he left with his head spinning after discovering a new rainforest tree species, the Wongawallan walnut (Endiandra wongawallanesis), in his backyard.

Mr Weber said the tree resembled the Crystal Creek walnut, which is an endangered species found in northern New South Wales.

"It didn't seem the same as the Crystal Creek walnut, but it took years to find the actual flowers and fruit to find out that it was actually different," he said.

To get the species formally identified, the botanist had to describe the anatomy of the plant and what distinguished it from other species."

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