It’s probably not a good idea to sit under a Philenoptera violacea unless you have an umbrella.
Thousands of tiny frog-hopper insects – called Ptyelus grossus – live off the sap of these trees. And as fast as they are sucking sap they are also peeing, forming almost pure water puddles on the ground under the trees.
This is one of the reasons the tree earns the nickname ‘rain tree’.
The other reason is that for a couple of weeks a year, around the beginning of November, the dull, grey bush suddenly erupts with splashes of violet and blue, and we know that the rains will soon be following.
That’s unless the crows have anything to do with it …