I was intending to write about some of the trees on my place this year. Waiting for trees to flower, produce gum nuts and being there when they do, has been a failure on my part. I put some Pink Bloodwood nuts, which I photographed a while ago, in a post and a few people were interested about the nuts and the trees. Here is the gum nut photo I posted of the urn shaped nut which are10 – 20mm in length and 8 – 16mm wide.
Here is one of the many Pink Bloodwood trees, Corymbia intermedia, which grows on my property. This one is just down the hill from my house. Pink Bloodwood trees can reach 20–30 m (65–100 ft) in height with a 10–20 m (35–65 ft) spread. The scent from the blossoms is quite strong when the Bloodwood trees flower between December and March.
As you can see, Pink Bloodwood trees have a distinctive bark when compared to the other trees in the bush behind.
Why are the called Bloodwood trees did you say? When there is a change in weather or damage to the bark or growth of the tree, particularly when the tree is flowering, they exude sap which can look similar to blood.
This sap is a food source for Gliders, Squirrel Gliders, Yellow-bellied Gliders and the Gliders I know I have here, Sugar Gliders and Feather Tail Gliders. Gliders have been seen by researchers biting and chewing the bark to get the sap to run out and licking the sap. I am sure other possums, insects and animals would enjoy the sap as well.
The sap running down the tree can resemble globules of blood. The sap hardens in the sun and sticks to the bark. The First Nations people of Australia are said to have used the sap to treat wounds, burns and sores.
I have not seen the sap do this before. A series of strings clinging to the bark was a fascinating find.
The flowers have a distinct habit where the flowers are in bunches of seven on the end of the branchlet. The flowers are 20mm in diameter and mainly occur on the top and higher branches of the tree.
Often the bees can be heard buzzing away attracted by the flowers scent as are many of the Honeyeaters. The Blue-faced Honeyeaters came in numbers to feast on the flowers nectar.
Then, almost just like that, the flowers die leaving the fruits behind which have closed valves encasing the seeds which open after a short while to spread and drop to the forest floor.
This is not before seed eating birds come to eat the seeds from the nuts in the tree like this Silvereye.
Then the gum nuts fall to the forest floor and you can now go back to the start of the post where this story began.