Manna Gum

Description

Common names

Manna Gum, Ribbon Gum, White Gum, Binnap, Beb, Rough Bark Ribbon Gum, Rough Barked Manna Gum, Rough Barked Ribbon Gum.

Scientific names

Eucalyptus viminalis.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Eucalyptus.

Name origin

Viminalis, from Latin viminalis, bearing long flexible twigs or osier bearing, supposedly referring to resemblance of adult leaves to those of Osier Willow. Common name refers to manna (white sugary exudate) which falls from young foliage.

Rainfall

650mm.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

Up to 50m.

Presence in Australia

Catchments and districts with higher rainfall, east of the Hume Highway.

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

Habitat

Grassy woodland or forest on fertile loamy soils.

Habit

Tall upright tree to 50m high (usually 30m), with narrow glossy green leaves.

Similar species

Distinguished from Candlebark (E. rubida) mainly by its juvenile foliage, buds and fruit.

Site preference

Moist, well-drained soil. Tolerates frost, snow and some flooding. Drought and fire tolerance depend on provenance (locality). Trees from lower rainfall areas more drought tolerant than those from higher rainfall areas.

Characteristics

Fast-growing. Saplings respond to fertiliser.

Flowering

White, Jan-May (mainly Feb-Mar). Not prolific.

Seed collection

Early Jul to late Mar. Monitor capsules as seeds released 3-8 weeks after maturity. Heavy seeding every 2-3 years.

Propagation

From seed (±350 seeds per gram). Optimum germination temperature 270C.

Regeneration

From seed, particularly in absence of competitive exotic grasses or weeds, during wet summers. Coppices from cut stumps, and regenerates well from lignotubers after fire. Establishes very well when direct seeded.

Shade and shelter

Useful high-level cover in windbreaks.

Land protection

Useful for controlling underground seepage and stabilising landslip areas, as deep roots use large volumes of ground-water.

Fuel

Useful, although fast-burning.

Timber

Light pink or pale yellow, straight-grained and moderately coarse-textured. Moderately strong but not durable. Density about 750 kg/m3. Used for building framing, flooring, paneling, joinery and pulp for container board.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Foliage is major koala forage. Gum is food for possums, particularly the Yellow-bellied Glider and Sugar Glider. The Yellow-bellied Glider bites grooves in bark to reach sapwood, as gum released to heal wound is favoured food. Nectar-rich flowers are a food source for birds such as honeyeaters, including the Red Wattlebird, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater and White-plumed Honeyeater. Hollows are valuable nesting sites for a range of native birds and mammals.

Koori

"Manna" pellets gathered from ground and taken as a mild laxative. Flat shields and "tarnuks" or water containers hollowed out from trunk burls, made from timber. Leaves laid on fires to smoke out fever. Bark and leaves moistened to treat sore eyes. Leaves consumed as remedy for diarrhoea.

Ornamental

Attractive specimen or shade for large gardens and parks.

Other

Leaves produce dyes ranging in colour depending on mordants used.