Getting to know Eyre Peninsula Blue Gums
The Eyre Peninsula Blue Gum is a majestic tree species growing on Eyre Peninsula and last year the EP Blue Gum (Eucalyptus petiolaris) Woodland was listed as an Endangered Threatened Ecological Community by the Australian Government through the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act (EPBC Act).
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula officer Iggy Honan said the EP Blue Gums are particularly important within the larger landscape for managing soil salinity and are easy to identify.
“The EP Blue Gum are relatively easy to recognise in the southern creeks around Cleve at the moment with their flowers ranging from crimson, to hot pink through to creamy yellow.
“They also have large gumnuts of between 1–2cm long by 1-1.5cm wide, arranged in groups of three. The shape of their gumnuts can resemble tiny upside-down wine glasses.
“EP Blue Gums appearing in creeks around Cleve are easily recognisable as they have thick boughs sometimes over a metre in diameter.
“However in the Mangalo region the species can be confused with the Peppermint Box (Water Mallee) – but EP Blue Gums generally have much more slender trunks.
“These eucalypts are capable of moving substantial ground water though their systems - a property which has seen them nicknamed ‘water gums’ by locals.
“Given that many of our salinity issues begin in watercourses there is immense value in retaining and maintaining our EP Blue Gum woodlands.”
EP Blue Gums are now found growing in creekline between Rudall to Yeldulknie (i.e. the Yadnarie, Poolalie, Mangalo, Iragie, Poornamookinie and Yeldulknie creeks).
There are many reports of isolated EP Blue Gums in the Mangalo area, Gum and Salt creeks and the far east of Coolainie Valley.
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula would like to work with local people to help improve the endangered status of EP Blue Gums. If you would like to help in the management of these trees call Iggy Honan on 8628 2077 or visit www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicshowcommunity.pl?id=124