Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gum-topped Box

Eucalyptus moluccana
I photographed this tree at Franke Scrub, Highfields, where it grows on the red soil. It is one of our faster-growing local Eucalypts, an excellent choice for owners of acreages who want to restore local native vegetation for the sake of our wildlife.
As far as Koalas are concerned, this is one of the “top three” food trees, along our part of the Great Dividing Range.

It also tends to form hollows, so offers accommodation to gliders, ringtail possums, and those local birds which need hollows for nesting.
Its late summer flowers are appreciated by beekeepers and their flocks, as well as by native bees.
As you see, this healthy tree is also carrying a good crop of mistletoe , so will also be hosting Jezabel and Azure butterfly species, providing pleasure for all those Highfields residents who have flowers to attract the adult butterflies. (The mistletoe is the common russett mistletoe Amyema miquellii , a member of the Loranthaceae family.)
For those who want to provide themselves with a carbon-neutral form of home heating, this tree is a source of top-grade firewood.

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