A Queensland firewheel tree is one of the more prominent surviving elements of the garden Rose Seidler established around the modernist, Bauhaus-influenced house designed for her by her architect son, Harry, and completed in 1950.
In the 1950s and 60s horticultural tastes turned to flowering trees and shrubs to provide seasonal interest and colour. Ornamental plantings at Rose Seidler House include azaleas, a port wine magnolia, frangipani and hibiscus. The emergence of the ‘bush garden’ in the 1960s and 70s also saw a revival of interest in native plants. Contemporary lifestyle magazines such as The Australian Women’s Weekly promoted the firewheel tree – a rainforest native first introduced to Sydney in 1828 – as one of the country’s most beautiful for late summer and autumn colour.