I went for a walk the other day after more gale force winds. The wind had been so impressive I watched every piece of mulch in our backyard become airborne the previous evening! I took my trusty secateurs and a calico bag with me.
My first candidate (for the dye pot) is a tree my father calls Queensland Box. Wikipedia suggests my father is right, and also that this tree is widely cultivated outside Australia. It is Lophestemon Confertus–and its flower is just lovely (go to Wilkipedia if you’d like to see it–they are not in flower here right now). The trunks peel to a lovely burnt orange but at present this process has barely begun.
And they certainly are fruiting, with two generations of seed pods on show at present among glossy leaves.
Two generations of fruit is one thing. Dye pot candidate two had four generations on show. This eucalypt has been pruned ruthlessly but shows mostly smooth bark with rough, peeling bark near the base. My best guess is E Macrandra (River Yate)–but this really is a guess.
Now for the reproductive material! I think this is a ‘flattened, strap like peduncle’ as constantly referred to in my reference works. Those tiny ‘fingers’ are buds.
Here the buds are again, a lot further along, in the second generation:
Still immature but older fruit:
Finally, I came past a stand of ironbarks where I often collect after wind, and collected my third candidate. It’s a mixed stand from which I sometimes get good colour and sometimes very little. Three dye pots full waiting their turn on the hob…
The results were not tremendously exciting… different shades of tan and pale apricot from the eucalypts (clearly the ironbark was not E Sideroxylon). I have to confess that I forgot to photograph these unexciting outcomes before overdyeing them with E Cinerea. The Queensland Box showed its capacity to give tan in the presence of alum, especially. The samples are (from left to right) wool, wool+alum, silk and cotton.