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Tallong Midge Orchid

The Survivors
by Greg Stone

Fire in the Bush
by Greg Stone

More Road Kill
by Phil Mosies

Injured Native Wildlife
Emergency Management

Goldrush Grog
by Phil Mosies

Spring Purples and Pinks
by Greg Stone

Road Kill Recipes
by Phil Mosies

Penrose General Store

The Spotted Gums
by Greg Stone

Winter Fires
in Tallong

In The Natural Interest

The Unexpected Spotted Gums
by Greg Stone

It's not unusual for some Australian plants to turn up in quite unexpected places - and it's this characteristic that sometimes makes life a little more exciting for those of us with an interest in native flora. Take Spotted Gum as an example. If you have ever travelled along the eastern coast of N.S.W., then you would certainly have seen Spotted Gums.

These trees are easily recognisable by their characteristic tall, straight trunk and smooth, mottled bark. This 'mottling' is created by the shedding of irregular flakes of older, weathered, dark grey bark and exposing the new lighter coloured bark underneath.

Between May and September in a good year, the crowns of Spotted Gums can be covered with flowers, creating a great deal of interest for bees which produce the commonly available Spotted Gum honey.

New name - same tree
From 1844 until recently Spotted Gum was known as Eucalyptus maculata, but after years of discussion and argument botanists finally agreed to change the name to Corymbia maculata. Along with a few other closely related trees in the Bloodwood group, Spotted Gum was separated from the Eucalypts and put into their own genus.

So what does the name mean?
Corymbia refers to a particular arrangement of flowers shared by Spotted Gum and its relatives. A 'corymbose' structure is one in which the lower flowers have longer stems than the upper, thus tending to bring all the flowers to the same level. The species name maculata means 'spotted' or 'blotched', which is an obvious reference to the tree's distinctive trunk.

Spotted Gums at Wingello
Spotted Gum forests are very much a part of the natural landscape of our eastern coast and as one writer expressed... 'the combination of clean, mottled trunk with bark shed to ground level and the presence of only low ground vegetation...makes good spotted gum stands some of the most scenically attractive forests in eastern Australia.'

If you live in the Highlands, you don't need to wind your way down to the coast to enjoy a Spotted Gum forest, because there is one not far from Wingello. If you can get hold of a WINGELLO 8928-IV-S topographic map (available from the Wingello store for only $8.50), you can find the appropriately-named Spotted Gum Road at grid reference 427532. The forestry roads on the way out there are usually trafficable in good weather, but you will have to park your vehicle at the locked gate at the top of Spotted Gum Road and walk from there.

After a short walk passing through some typical Hawkesbury Sandstone vegetation with its dense understorey and grey-trunked Stringybarks and Peppermints, a Spotted Gum forest suddenly appears at the head of a small gully on the left hand side - you can't miss it!

Wander down amongst the trees a little way and enjoy the beautiful light created by reflections from the clear trunks, the shiny leaves on the ground and the sparse understorey. It's worth taking a look at these 'unexpected' visitors up from the South Coast.

Greg Stone
Woodlands Revegetation

C/- P. O. Wingello
Wingello N.S.W. 2579

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