Eucalyptus Leucoxylon Megalocarpa--what a hefty title for the South Australian Blue Gum! Well, that’s what people call it where I live, but it is native to Victoria as well as South Australia and in Victoria, it is more likely to be called Large-Fruited Yellow Gum. The fruits are large compared to other blue gums I know, but by comparison with seriously large-fruited gums such as E Erythrocorys, not so big.
This is possibly the most popular street tree in my city. There are loads of them. So it’s a shame that this is not an exciting dye plant (tan again!) On the other hand, at the moment it is coming into flower everywhere and the lorikeets and bees couldn’t be happier. As eucalypts go, it is a small-medium size tree (to only about 8 metres). Here it is with a house for comparison.
It is shedding bark in lots of places at present–I haven’t tried dyeing with the bark as yet.
The flowers are a major attraction for those who plan parks and streetscapes, and also for lorikeets, honeyeaters and bees. Cream is one of the most common colours…
Red is the other, and these trees are profuse. There are also specimens that have been grafted or bred for other flower colours. I saw a peach-coloured display of flowers yesterday.
The lorikeets just went higher when they saw my camera, but the bees stuck with what they were doing. Moving fast! But this one allowed a partial photo.You can see buds, immature fruits and flowers all present close together here. On some trees, fully mature fruit that have released seed are on the tree as well.
I have to say this specimen had the most extensive infestation of whatever insect produced those little galls I’ve ever seen. Clearly it’s providing habitat for a lot of baby insects of some kind as well as bees, ants and birds. I can’t really complain that it gives tan in the circumstances.