01 February 2011

Eucalyptus stoatei - Scarlet Pear Gum

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Eucalyptus stoatei - Scarlet Pear Gum

The Scarlet Pear Gum is of scattered distribution between the Lort and Jerdacuttup Rivers (60-160 km or 40-100 miles west of Esperance) and is very common to the north and west of Cascades, where it grows in a sandy loam over gravel. In this region it forms a rounded small tree to 5 metres (16’), usually branching close to the ground with some appearing as multi-stemmed mallees. In other districts it can grow taller, but then is quite spindly, probably indicating poorer soils.

The leaves are thickish and do not readily bend in the wind, which with sturdy branches, give trees a neat, solid, unyielding appearance that is pleasing to the eye. The flowers are yellow and although bright are not the main attraction, this being the colourful fruits, which initially are green/yellow/red hues, progressing to scarlet  that compliment flower color, then over several months slowly fade to orange/brown or red/grey. This provides a continual ornamental feature, as the fruits (4x2.5 cm or 1.5”x1”) are pendant and hang from the tree like colourful Christmas decorations.

If given sufficient room, branches will uniformly spread in all directions, their smooth bark varying from fawn to silver. Flowers can be found anytime between July and February, but timing may be influenced by adverse weather conditions. In several respects Eucalyptus stoatei resembles Eucalyptus forrestiana (their ranges overlap), particularly the size and color of flowers/fruits, however the latter tends to favour lower-lying areas often over limestone, plus usually has a less symmetrical growth habit. The fruits also differ, with Eucalyptus forrestiana having four pronounced ribs, whilst Eucalyptus stoatei has more, although less pronounced.