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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Plant of the Month: National Eucalypt Day

Plant of the Month: National Eucalypt Day

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, March 24, 2018/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, photography, sustainability, art and design, environment, plants

 Scarlet Gum (Corymbia ficifolia) Kings Park, WA (credit: National Eucalypt Day)

It may not receive the recognization it deserves elsewhere but it is National Eucalypt Day in Australia today. With the exception of only a couple of forms, over 900+ Eucalyptus species are endemic to the vast island continent. Eucalypts range in size from towering giants like the Swamp Gum (Eucalyptus regnans) similar in scale to California's famous redwoods; to the primary timberline species in New South Wales Snowy Ranges as the Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora); to low shruby forms that spread over the ground like the rare Pepperment Gum (Eucalyptus risdonii) of Tasmania. Eucalypts are used for timber, as fine hardwoods for decoration, as essential oils, for watershed protection, and as critical wildlife habitat.


    Ancient Snow Gum, Snowy Ranges (photo credits: National Eucalypt Day) Black Cockatoos Eucalyptus Habitat

Events for National Eucalypt Day have been organized across Australia including lectures, reforestation projects, wildlife conservation, and plant sales at nurseries and arboretums for sustainable landscaping designs utilizing Eucalyptus species. Conservation organizations in Australia such as Remember the Wild and Greening Australia are also offering programs on the ecological importance, conservation, and beauty of Ecualypts. A curator at Melbourne's Royal Botanical Gardens at Cranbourne offers an educational perspective on these iconic Australian trees well represented at their impressively planted demonstration gardens and adjacent natural bushlands.

For a group of trees as diverse and important as the Eucalypts, they well deserve their own day and are perfect representatives for Plant of the Month.



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