Corymbia sp. (but also known as Eucalyptus sp.)
In all my years of hiking, I don't recall ever seeing a tree with such unusual bark and trunk markings. Originally known as a eucalypt but now classified by the genus name Corymbia, this particular spotting belongs to a group known as Ghost Gums, of which there are 24 species and subspecies. Corymbia is a genus of about 113 species that were classified as Eucalyptus until the mid-1990s, and it includes the bloodwoods, spotted gums and ghost gums. https://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/euc... In particular, there are many red and yellow bloodwood and ghost gum species that are characterised by their unique tessellated bark, just like this spotting. The name is derived from the Latin 'tessellaris', meaning tessellated, referring to the rough bark in small squares. https://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/Euc... At first I thought this was a Spotted Gum, but it wasn't to be so. The tessellated bark, most of which had fallen away, was only on the shady 'southern' side of the tree, and akin to Moreton Bay Ash (Corymbia tessellaris), partially covering about 2 metres of the trunk base. It would have looked like half a stocking had the rough bark still been attached, whereas the 'northern' side was the exact opposite, having smooth, mottled grey bark much like that of the Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata), extending right down to ground level. Here's the tessellated Moreton Bay Ash for comparison: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/14... Note the square bark and full stocking.
Spotted along a leafy track at Lake Manchester, a freshwater reservoir west of Brisbane. It is located in Brisbane Forest Park, an area of dense native bushland and pockets of subtropical rainforest. North-east aspect, so this area receives plenty of sunshine, but despite partial shade from larger trees, lots of leaf litter and grass cover, the sandy soil was still quite dry. That's no great surprise because this country is currently in drought. About 100 metres further down the track, heading towards the creeks and lake, this eucalypt forest gives way to a cool section of subtropical rainforest. Quite a contrast.
This tree was oozing large quantities of red sap, and also had a triple trunk. It looked like a massive trident that was splattered with blood. Very cool :) I'll keep an eye on this tree on future hikes, and hopefully will see it flower and drop some gumnuts. That will help me give this spotting a positive ID.
Lat: -27.48, Long: 152.79
Spotted on Jul 22, 2018
Submitted on Aug 13, 2018
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