“Blakelys Red Gum”: Eucalyptus blakelyi

Eucalyptus blakelyi: Blakelys Red Gum

Common Names: “Eucalypts”, “Gum Trees”, “mallees”, “mallet”, “marlock”, “Apple Box”, Blakelys Red Gum

Taxonomy: Plantae; Angiosperms; Eudicots; Rosids; Myrtales; Myrtaceae; Eucalyptus blakelyi.

Location/Environment:
Eucalypts are native to Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. The “Eucalyptus blakely(i)” is common in the tablelands of New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.

Description:
There are over 700 species of Eucalypts. One of which is the “Eucalyptus blakelyi”. The “blakelyi” is a 1-24 meter tall common Eucalyptus tree with smooth grey or greyish brown bark throughout its body and trunk possessing bark and pith glands. The trunk does shed scales of bark revealing a variety of color from white, pink, and gray. The dull grey green leaves are intermediate with leaves opposite, ovate to orbiculate, straight, and sessile. Once adult, the leaves become disjunct, lanceolate or broad laceolate, acuminate, basally tapered, and dulls from green to grey-green or glaucous, not falcate, varying from thick to thin, concolorous with petioles narrowly flat or channeled. The leaves also have prominent acute lateral veins. The inflorescences conflorescence simple and are axillary with 7-11 flowered umbellasters and terete peduncles. Flowers bud glaucous cream or white turbinate, rostrate, or fusiform which Calyx calyptrate are shed early. The Calyptra are rostrate or elongate acute and are three times as long as hypanthium, though just as wide, and smooth. the Fruits are hemispherical or globose with raised discs and exerted valves. They are chaff dimorphic, cuboid or linear, and are distinctly different in color from seed. The Eucalyptus Genus is one of the fastest growing trees found is Australia and belongs to a diverse family and species within the Myrtle family of trees and shrubs. Eucalypts are generally single stemmed with a crown forming a minor proportion of the tree height for the trees found in forests and single stemmed with short branches above ground level for those in the woodlands. All Eucalypt leaves are covered with oil glands, full leaved, towering giants, with great shade as the leaves droop downwards to the ground. It is from the flowering that many are differentiated and also where the Eucalypts get their name for when the stamens expand, the operculum breakes off splitting from the cup-like flower base and is what gives to the naming of the tree. Since they are related to the Gum Tree family, many species release gummy sap when branches are broken or the bark damaged.

Cultivation:
Cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Planted often to control water, sitting water, swamps, ponds, and irrigation. Most Eucalyptus are not tolerant of frost (not much more than minus 3-5 degrees Celsius) even the Snow Gums (Eucalypus pauciflora) the hardiest can only withsand cold and frost to -20 degrees Celsius. They require a large amount of water from the soil so often planted in some places to lower the water table and reduce salination in the soil.

Common Uses:
The roots are used to control sitting water, drainage, and for irrigation. Since the wood, bark, and leaf oils are highly flammable they can become explosive during forest fires. However the wood is excellent for lumber, abstracting oil for cleaning, natural insecticide, draining swamps, used for windbreaks, erosion control, ornamentals, firewood, pulpwood, fencing, and to control malaria as they are highly effective against mosquitos. All parts of the tree is used to make dyes for silk and wool by processing the plant with water forming a yellow through orange, green through tan, chocolate through deep rust red colored dye set. All Eucalypts are excellent to cut down on carbon dioxide since they are highly absorbant of the gas taking in over 300 kilograms a year.

Culinary:
Since ALL Eucalypts oil is very toxic, care has to be used when using its oils for cooking or medicinally. While toxic to many animals on the planet, it is the primary food source for some marsupials such as koalas and possums as well as nectar for birds, bats, possums, and insects. The only human food the Eucalypts contribute to is nectar processed by bees to create a high-quality mono-floral honey, and as an additive to sore throat and cough drops as well as other sweets.

Medicinal:
In addition as an additive or essence for use in sweets and throat/cough drops, toothpaste, and within decongestants. It is a powerful natural disinfectant and used for cleaning, deodorizing, and as an natural insecticide, including a barrier to grow to keep down malaria and mosquitoes.

Folklore and Magic:

Mythology & History:
Surviving on this planet for over 50 million years, the Eucalyptus is a very ancient tree that is primarily found in Australia. “Eucalyptus” comes from the generic Greek words ευ (eu) which means “well” and καλυπτος (kalyptos) which means “covered” as “well covered” relating to the operculum of the calyx that conceals the tree’s flower. The tree has gained notable attention throughout the world by environmentalists, scientists, and watershed developers because they are fast growing sources of wood containing an oil that has industrial and commercial uses. Also with its ability to drain swamps for watershed issues, development, and the control of malaria. It was Sir Joseph Banks on Captain Cook’s 1770 expedition that introduced the Eucalyptus to the rest of the world. By Cook’s 1777 voyage, a crew mate named David Nelson collected some Eucalyptus samples from Southern Tasmania which was taken to the British Museum in London which led to its naming.

Researched and written by Thomas Baurley; Leaf McGowan; Technogypsie Research; et al.

NOTE: This article is in constant state of research, updating, and evolution. If you have information to add, please submit to science@technogypsie.com

Photos from:

Australian National Botanical Gardens*
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *


 


Bibliography and Recommended Reading:


  • Baurley, Thomas: Technogypsie.com ~ “Eucalyptus; 2011. www.technogypsie.com/science/.
  • Brooker & Kleinig: A Field Guide to Eucalypts, Volume 1.
  • EFloras.org: Flora of China. obtained in 2011 from website. www.efloras.org.
  • Encyclopedia of Life: eol.org ~ “Eucalyptus blakelyi; obtained in 2011 from website. www.eol.org.
  • Euclid: anbg.gov.au ~ “Eucalypts of Southern Australia; obtained in 2011 from website. http://anbg.gov.au.
  • Plant Net: Eucalink – A Web Guide to the Eucalypts ~ Eucalyptus blakelyi; obtained in 2011 from website. http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au.
  • Walker, Karen; Burrows, Geoff; McMahon, Lynne: Bidgee Bush – an Identification guide to common native plant species of the south western slopes of New South Wales”.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia ~ Eucalyptus blakelyi; obtained in 2011 from website. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.

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