Habitat: Where it lives

    The Macadamia tetraphylla generally grows in dry rainforests, typically of the eastern coastal scrub.  This means that it thrives in a habitat similar to the north-eastern coast of Australia.  In fact, that is where the majority of Macadamia are found growing in the wild.  They can, however, be grown in other areas of the world- mostly for commercial use- like the islands of Hawaii, and more recently South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and areas in Central and South America

    This plant needs a variety of different conditions to prosper in the wild.  These include:
         -rich, well-drained soil
         -full sunlight
       -roughly 50 inches of rain annually (although it can withstand moderate periods of drought)
         -minimum temperature of 0
°C (requires frost-free protection)
         -general altitudinal range of 100-800 meters (330-2,650 feet)
         -soil pH level ranging from 5.5-6.5 (What is pH?  Find out, click here.)

    The cultivation of Macadamia tetraphylla began primarily for commercial use.  They are generally grown in Hawaii and other parts of Australia when it is not a wild population.
    Cultivating new populations of Macadamia tetraphylla outside of its natural habitat has its perks.  For example, the plant tends to adapt well to slight variations in its growing environment.  Similar to wild plants, cultivated plants grow best in a rich soil.  For best results, the early stages require copious amounts of watering during the summer months.  The mature tree should be in a sheltered position because they are easily wind-damaged.  Some populations of cultivated plants can withstand a slight frost (compared to the wild growing Macadamia which could not).  They can also grow in slightly lower temperatures compared to their indigenous counterparts; however, their growth rapidly slows under 10
°C.  In addition, they tend to falter at temperatures over 30°C
    There are many other types of plants that we cultivate for commercial use.  For example, The Queen of the Namib, Vanilla, and The Madagascar Periwinkle.  Some of these have important medicinal uses, others for personal use, and some for food- just like

Want More?
    Want to learn about other Australian plants?  How about the Australian Christmas Tree?  Or maybe Peppermint?  Mmm sounds good, why not check it out?!
    Plants not your thing?  Well good thing there are tons of interesting animals in Australia as well!  Ever hear of the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider? If not, I'd recommend checking that organism out, it's crazy!  Possibly the Reef Squid?  If you want to search organisms for yourself, just go to http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/ and check out all the organisms that past and current students have searched!

                                      Continue on to Adaptations!