Brittle Gum

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Description

Common names

Brittle Gum, Snap Gum, White Gum, Snappy Gum, Broad Leaved Manna Gum, Capertee Brittle Gum, Gum Tree, Manna Gum, Mottled Gum, Mountain Spotted Gum, Red Spotted Gum, White Brittle Gum.

Scientific names

Eucalyptus mannifera.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Eucalyptus.

Name origin

Mannifera, bearing manna (sugary substance exuded from injured stems).

Rainfall

500mm.

Growth height

Up to 20m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread in the easterly catchments and higher rainfall areas. Predominantly east of the Hume Highway, and southern areas.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: NSW, ACT, Vic.

Habitat

Open dry sclerophyll woodland. Typically on shallow, rocky, relatively infertile soils.

Habit

Tree to 20m high with smooth powdery white, grey or red bark in patches, shedding in short ribbons, plates or flakes. Open crown of dull narrow green to grey-green leaves.

Similar species

Distinguished from Candlebark (E. rubida) by its juvenile leaves and fruit.

Site preference

Well-drained soils. Tolerates frost, moderate snowfalls and drought.

Characteristics

Tends to lose branches on still, warm days, which produces many hollows.

Flowering

White, spring-autumn (mainly Feb-Mar).

Propagation

From seed (±425 seeds per gram). 250C is optimum germination temperature.

Regeneration

From seed, particularly in absence of competitive exotic grasses or weeds, during wet summers.

Shade and shelter

Useful medium-level cover in wide windbreaks.

Land protection

Useful to revegetate recharge sites to reduce water entering watertable.

Fuel

Fair.

Timber

Little value. Pink, soft, brittle timber.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Particularly valuable for hollows, important nesting sites for many native birds and mammals, including the Greater Glider and Yellow-bellied Glider. Flowers are a food source for many native insects. Insect-eating birds attracted.

Ornamental

Highly ornamental. Responds well to coppicing to obtain multi-stemmed plants.

Other

Manna (sugary substance) exuded from injured stems was used as sweet_tasting laxative. Leaves produce range of dyes depending on mordants used.