Crimson Rosella on White Cedar

© 2024 CTC Productions Pty Limited. All rights reserved. The material presented on this website, may not be reproduced or distributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of CTC Productions.

Don pointed out a group of Crimson rosellas feeding on the fruits of a white cedar tree. It is well known that these fruits are poisonous to humans and livestock, however the rosellas return to this particular tree every year. They eat all the fruit and never seem to come to any harm.

Crimson rosellas (Platycercus elegans)

These large, blue-cheeked rosellas have crimson bodies, black backs scalloped with crimson, pale blue shoulders and greenish-blue tails. They are found in forests, woodland and adjoining habitats along the east coast of Australia from Victoria to Cairns. They are basically seed eaters, but their diet also includes blossoms, insects and their larvae, and fruit.

 White cedar (Melia azedarach)

This deciduous tree grows to around 15m (45′) tall. It has a spreading canopy, pale lilac flowers in spring, and green berries ripening to brownish-yellow in autumn. The fruit is poisonous to humans and pigs, but is often eaten by birds. Ripe fruit is more poisonous than green fruit. Symptoms of poisoning include digestive problems, as well as nervous system and kidney malfunction. The leaves and seeds of the white cedar are natural insecticides, and the bark is used as a fish poison in Mexico.