An excellent pioneer species, and can grow at a rate of 3m a year in favourable conditions.
Sometimes called scrub christmas tree due to the masses of white flowers which appear around late December.
It is often shredded by insects which feed on its large fleshy, rust-tinged leaves. Its canopy is not complete, and groundcovers can easily grow in its partial shade.
Propagate by seed after boiling, or cuttings. Seed is preferable as cuttings are a clone of the parent, thus limiting genetic diversity.
Commersonia, after Philibert Commerson, French naturalist on Bougainvilles expedition in 1766-69; bartramia after J. Bartram, an Anglo-American responsible for the introduction of many North American trees to Europe.