A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
Eucalyptus scoparia, the Wallangarra White Gum, in its native range is a highly localised species of eycalypt. This is a very hardy species and has adapted to extreme conditions that are synonymous with this region - drought, storms, snow, fires, etc. My spotting is not the grandest of specimens, but it did manage to catch my eye, most likely because of its puny size and odd shape, but definitely because of its vivid colours which contrasted against the blue sky and surrounding vegetation such as a local species of She-oak. It is none-the-less a beautiful specimen. It has smooth white bark that is powdery in season, but differs from other white gums in the area by having glossy green adult and juvenile leaves, and bark shedding in longer strips. Boring/gnawing insects have also left distinct patterns on the fresh, outer bark surface. Eucalyptus scoparia is listed as "Vulnerable" under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Distribution is restricted to moderately high altitudes in the Wallangarra region of southern Queensland and New South Wales. Its common name is derived from the town Wallangarra, Queensland. A very small group exists on Mount Ferguson west of Amiens near Stanthorpe, and a bit further south in the Roberts Range area near Tenterfield. Trees are found in clefts of massive granite outcrops on mountain tops, in mostly thin sandy granite soils. This specimen was spotted on the slopes of Mt. Norman - one of dozens of extremely large granite monoliths in Girraween National Park. Here's some park info - http://www.rymich.com/girraween/
Experience, or sometimes the lack of it, keeps reminding me that attempting to identify tree species by simply looking at the bark can be difficult, sometimes impossible. It is always advisable to look at other characteristics of the plant, and that's something I failed to do here because my attention was focused elsewhere, namely on the gnawed patterns on the bark, and the varied colours. I should have been more observant because there are other ID possibilities for this spotting. The following white gum eucalypt species have also been documented in this national park, and I can see certain characteristics of theirs in this spotting, albeit slight - Eucalyptus elliptica, and Eucalyptus dalrympleana ssp. heptantha. I'm confident with my ID selection, but I can't say I'm 100% certain. I need more information, which means another look on my next bushwalk. PS: Massive fires swept through Girraween 2 months later, in mid-February, 2019, and it will take years to regenerate. Everything you see in these photos has been burnt to a cinder, and I can't help but feel sad for the wildlife that has been destroyed because of one careless human act.
Lat: -28.86, Long: 151.96
Spotted on Dec 6, 2018
Submitted on Dec 28, 2018