July 23, 2019

Defining a Nation

Flowering Eucalypt - Eucalyptus leucoxylon

Alison Wherrett Photo | Flowering Eucalypt - Eucalyptus leucoxylon

Eucalypt in Tasmania, Australia

Alison Wherrett Photo | Eucalypt in Tasmania, Australia

Eucalypt wood

Alison Wherrett Photo | Eucalypt wood

Boasting more than 800 species across the continent, Australia is somewhat defined by the eucalypt, as it is called Down Under. Australians are proud of their Eucalyptus trees, rugged specimens that have been surprisingly hard to identify over the centuries, despite documentation going back into the 1700s. For a fascinating read on eucalypts, visit the Australian site EUCLID. Our samples pictured are from photographer Alison Wherrett, who took the shots in her backyard and from her garden. From the looks of things, it’s easy to see it is two different species right from the get-go. The flowering one, which Alison said blooms in late spring-early summer, is most likely Eucalyptus leucoxylon, because the EUCLID site said only two species in southeastern Australia can have strongly colored flowers and that’s one of them. Plus, we found a picture on the EUCLID site that was a match to what Alison shot.

As for the bark and wood photograph, an interesting note about eucalypt bark from EUCLID: “Each year there is an increment of living bark that results in the continual expanding girth of the tree. In all species the outermost layer dies each year. In about half of the species this dead layer completely sheds, exposing a new layer of living bark, and the process continues year after year.”

The third photo of eucalypt trees is a view that was taken from Alison’s garden.