Xanthostemon chrysanthus

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Golden penda
Xanthostemon chrysanthus1.jpg
Flowering, close up (above), habit (below), cultivated, Brisbane
Xanthostemon chrysanthus 2.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Xanthostemon
X. chrysanthus
Binomial name
Xanthostemon chrysanthus
  • Metrosideros chrysantha F.Muell.

Xanthostemon chrysanthus, commonly named golden penda, is a species of tree in of the family Myrtaceae, endemic to (found only in) north eastern Queensland.[2]

It is a popular garden plant with showy yellow blooms.


The golden penda was first described in 1864 by Victorian Government Botanist Ferdinand von Mueller as Metrosideros chrysantha,[3] after being collected by John Dallachy on 12 April 1864 from Rockingham Bay in northern Queensland.[2] It was reclassified in the genus Xanthostemon by George Bentham in the third volume of his Flora Australiensis in 1867.[1] The species name is derived from the Ancient Greek words chrysos "golden", and "anthos" "flower".[4]


Xanthostemon chrysanthus grows as a tree to 10–15 metres (33–49 ft) high and 5–8 metres (16–26 ft) wide in the wild. It is generally much more compact in gardens. The bark is rough and the habit bushy. The shiny green elliptic leaves measuring 7–22 cm long by 2–9.5 cm wide. They are arranged in whorls along the stems.

The flowerheads, or racemes, are terminal or axillary and measure up to 15 cm (5.9 in) in diameter. They are made up of numerous small (1–2 cm diameter) individual golden flowers. Flowering is followed by small (1-1,5 cm) green or brown woody capsules which are ripe between August and February. Flowers can appear at any time of year.[4]

Flowers detail, Qld

Natural distribution[edit]

The range is from Cardwell northwards into Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. It grows in open forest or rainforest, often along the banks of creeks and rivers.[2]


Xanthostemon chrysanthus is cultivated as an ornamental plant by plant nurseries, for use in gardens and park landscaping. Its horticultural appeal stems from its profuse and attractive flowering.[2]

Golden penda can be propagated by seed or cuttings. It grows well in subtropical gardens with fair drainage and sunny aspect.[4] The species is less reliable in flowering in climates such as Sydney and cooler.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Xanthostemon chrysanthus (F.Muell.) Benth.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Hyland, B. P. M.; Whiffin, T.; Zich, F. A.; et al. (Dec 2010). "Factsheet – Xanthostemon chrysanthus". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Edition 6.1, online version [RFK 6.1]. Cairns, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), through its Division of Plant Industry; the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; the Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University. Retrieved 4 January 2014.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. ^ "Metrosideros chrysantha F.Muell.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L.; Blake, Trevor (2010). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Volume 9 – Sp-Z. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. p. 498. ISBN 978-0-7344-0974-4.
  5. ^ Walters, Brian (2007). "Xanthostemon chrysanthus". ANPSA website. Australian Native Plants Society (Australia). Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.