Eucalyptus Torquata

This is E Torquata, the Coolgardie Gum.  In my area it is a popular street tree.  It is a relatively small gum tree with a showy lovely flower and distinctive bud caps.  Being native to Western Australia, it tolerates the dry conditions that a street tree in Adelaide can expect to have to manage.

I find Coolgardie Gum easy to identify. When I was a child we lived in the goldfields in WA where this tree is from.  We lived in Kalgoorlie for a while, and this tree grew there as well as over to Coolgardie, which we used to visit.  The other town Wikipedia mentions as within its range is Widgiemooltha.  When I was a kid you could hardly call Widgiemooltha a town, but there was a dam there that someone had set goldfish free in.  We went there once and came home with 15 goldfish, all different!  It was a fantastic day out, picnic plus new pets–what more could a young person want?  We used to break the beak off the bud caps from this tree and string them to make necklaces.  They are distinctive.

This particular tree has relatively yellow flowers, but most nearby have flowers that are closer to orange.  There is a big infrastructure project happening in my suburb soon, and some of the local trees are going to go, including this one.  So I decided to harvest a little.  I have tried it as a dye plant before and I wasn’t impressed (I don’t invest time in natural dyeing with the intention of gettng tan), but I know someone who has achieved green from this tree using modifiers.  These leaves are destined for my sample pot.  I’m aiming to try them with modifiers myself.  I have some rusty-nail-iron-water and some copper-pipe-water, and I’m finally going to try them out.

I have also wrapped up some leaves sandwiched between some recylced silk and some recycled linen to see what happens.  I also put some samples in from some trees I found near a friend’s house in another part of the city just in case they are E Scoparia… the leaf shape and bark are right, the number of valve sin the fruit is right, the flower colour is right, and the bark is colouring up the way the ones in my neighbourhood are, but I trust the dye pot more than I trust my capacity to identify Eucalypts.  I’ve cooked my leaf bundles for 3 hours and I’ll unwrap in a day or two.

While I’m on the topic of Eucalypts that don’t have long to live… RIP this beautiful Corymbia Citriodora (Lemon Scented Gum).  At the community information day on the weekend I was told it would be cut down this week or next.  Right now it is in full bloom.  There are thousands of bud caps showering down and the road is covered in a dusting of yellow stamens.  Lorikeets are screeching and flying in and out of that tree all day long.  They start before I’m out of bed in the morning.

Farewell beautiful trees.

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Filed under Dye Plants, Eucalypts, Natural dyeing, Uncategorized

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