Neighbourhood windfalls 1

We’ve had gale force winds here lately.  One morning about a week ago, 40% of my city had no power when we woke up (we were happily still connected to the grid).  Needless to say, this has led to windfalls, and I was still collecting them yesterday as further gale force winds began a week later.

The first windfall was an ironbark.  Guessing from its location (a stand of three ironbarks) and the gumnuts still intact, I think it is E Tricarpa. Sadly, just as unremarkable as a dye plant, as the last time I tried!

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I have not managed to identify this tree, partly because it branches metres above ground level.  Even with so much of its canopy on the ground, I didn’t find a single bud, flower or fruit to help me identify it.  The trunk is rough and pale. The whole tree is difficult to capture in a photo, especially on such a gloomy day.  It must be at least 20 metres tall.

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It seems to be under attack from some kind of scale insect.  Every single leaf was affected. Here it is after some hours in hot water–suggestive of a beige outcome….

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Compare my third windfall.  This is a tree that has been cut to accommodate cars parking beside it, in the car park of a recreation area.  I haven’t been sure whether it was E Scoparia, E Camaldulensis, or some other unknown eucalypt.  Both E Scoparia and E Camaldulensis have similar shaped and sized leaves, small fruit and both can have pale, smooth trunks (but this trunk looks more E Camaldulensis to my admittedly self-trained eye).  The branch that fell to the ground had an uncharacteristically large number of fruit on it for E Scoparia.  On the other hand, the clusters of seven fruit with 3 valves apiece made me think it might be E Scoparia after all.  So did the colour of the dye bath, though the leaves did not turn orange the way E Scoparia usually does.

In spite of the colour of that dye bath, the result says that this is not E Scoparia, and the 3 valves say that it isn’t E Camaldulensis either (4 valves).  Even with vinegar to help bring out whatever orange or red might be there to be had, and still damp from the dyebath… the 3 valved tree is at the top (brown-beige?) and the 20 metre tall tree is at the bottom (caramel-beige).

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Here are the results of a bath with a fallen branch from an actual E Scoparia, downed in the same windy night.  They’re the red and orange samples, with the E Tricarpa for contrast.

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11 Comments

Filed under Dye Plants, Eucalypts, Natural dyeing

11 responses to “Neighbourhood windfalls 1

  1. Pia

    I’m not a tree expert, but could it be some kind of cedar?

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  2. Hi Pia, do you mean the last tree–the one with 3 valved fruit? Or do you mean the 20 metre high one with the pale, ridged bark? That bark does somewhat remind me of a cedar, but the leaf arrangement doesn’t… I’ll have another look…the cedars I recognise are in flower here at present.

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  3. Pia

    I meant the tall one that you couldn’t identify.

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    • To me, it looks like a eucalypt–I just don’t know which one. But your comment has made me want to go back and check 🙂

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      • Pia

        I only looked at the bark, the leaves were difficult to see.

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      • I went back this morning and did manage to find gumnuts–small, cup shaped, hollow having shed their seeds and with a slightly ridged outer side. There was a white cedar (Melia azedarach) just across the street for comparison (berries with a large seed inside a fleshy, shiny outer casing). This is the only cedar I know really well but the two fruit forms are completely different, as well as the leaves being in a different formation. Your comment made me realise I had just assumed it was a eucalypt and perhaps that wasn’t obvious–the two dye pots of that day did smell very different, which can happen with eucs… but since cedars are faously aromatic, that gave me pause too. Thanks for the question!

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  4. I love the colours you’ve arrived at with your windfalls.

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  5. Pretty colours, the richer ones will stand out better next to the paler one, it will look beautiful when spun.

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  6. Pingback: Eucalyptus dyed gradient yarns | Local & Bespoke

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