It is a large evergreen tree growing to 40 metres tall, though commonly much smaller. The leaves are 15 centimetres long and 6–7 centimetres broad, pinnate, with 11-15 leaflets. The flowers are bicoloured red and yellow, 3–4 centimetres long, produced in racemes 6 centimetres long. The fruit is a cylindrical pod 12–20 centimetres long and 4–6 centimetres diameter, the interior divided by a spongy substance into one to five cells, each of which contains a large chestnut-like seed.
The seeds are poisonous, but become edible when carefully prepared by pounding into flour, leaching with water, and roasting. The timber, which somewhat resembles walnut, is soft, fine-grained, and takes a good polish, but is not durable.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
|At the University of Melbourne's Cussonia Court: The tree on the left is a blackbean tree, that on the right is a cussonia.|