• Clare

Our White Christmas in the tropics

Our Christmas tree is made from the inflorescence of the Alexander Palm Archontophoenix alexandrae . Inflorescence means the complete flower head of the plant, including flowers, bracts, stalks and stems. This palm is native to the Eastern Queensland coast.

See the wiggly bits under the palm leaves? That’s inflorescence. This palm is self-cleaning, meaning all these things just fall to the ground for me!

I decorated the tree with shell fragments from the Great Barrier Reef, and wooden beads dyed with food dyes. See the vintage dove cake topper? Just below hangs some calcified algae from the reef we find washed up on the beach and bleached in the sun.

The “snow” is the soft white fibre collected from the dried fruit of the Australian kapok tree, Cochlospermum gillivraei.

It can’t be spun like cotton to be used in industry, but it’s a wonderful craft material for miniatures. I’ve used it to make hair, and even a shag rug for a miniature nursery.

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