AUTOGRAPH TREE: Messages and names have been scratched into leaves of a tree at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens.
AUTOGRAPH TREE: Messages and names have been scratched into leaves of a tree at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens. Crystal Jones

The story of Bundaberg's curious autograph tree

IF YOU have noticed a lot of names on one particular tree at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens then you might have been left wondering what it was all about.

The tree, native to Hawaii but said to have originally come from Florida and the Caribbean, is a Clusia major, or autograph tree.

The name comes from the tradition of etching names into the leaves.

Bundaberg Regional Council health and regulatory services spokesman Wayne Honor said the Hawaiian species was now common all over the world.

"Inscribing a message does not harm this tree as long as it is only written on the leaf," he said.

"This is a unique case given the nature of this species of tree, however inscribing signatures on any other tree or any other part of the gardens would not be tolerated by council.

"We would not interfere with these 'autographs' unless there was a profanity, in which case our gardener would remove the leaf."



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