Gum Blossom is a draw-card!
For all to enjoy: artists, photographers, nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, and habitat for all sorts of wildlife!
Free: Gums are all around the Lower Hunter Valley including the vineyard district.
We love our trees: they sequest carbon, are vital in the management of our moisture, create oxygen, cool the soil by providing shade and protecting us from radiation. But they are a draw-card to wildlife, providing birds and animals and insects with food and habitat. One such stand-out for the Hunter Valley is the iconic Spotted Gum – Corymbia maculate of the Lower Hunter Ironbark – Spotted Gum – Grey Box Forest.
Corymbia maculata, the Spotted Gum, a medium to tall tree with a solitary trunk has smooth bark, cream to dark grey or bluish with a spotted or blotched appearance. Its leaves are lance-like, dark green, shiny with prominent veins.
The flowers are white, fragrant in clusters of three to five. Prolific flowering occurs between May and September. The gum nuts are large and barrel shaped. The flowers produce good quality pollen for bees, and honeyeaters are attracted to the blooms. The leaves are eaten by koalas. The well-known but elusive Regent Honeyeaters come to the dry open forests in association with the seasonal blossoming of winter-flowering eucalypts such as the Spotted Gum and it is a key winter foraging tree for the Swift Parrot. Both these birds are critically endangered but are annual Lower Hunter Valley migrants.
The Spotted Gum has a deceptive name as it is no longer considered a Eucalypt – and the genus of Corymbia includes other gums such as bloodwoods and ghost gums.
#aroundhermitage #huntervalley #discover
Authors: Robyn and Alan Valley View Cottage
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