SPECIES: Eucalyptus yarraensis — Yarra Gum
This week, we celebrated National Eucalypt Day, for the 700+ species of Aussie gum trees, many found nowhere else in the world. The Yarra Gum is another rare species of Eucalypt in desperate need of intervention to ensure its future extistence. Eucalyptus trees are important in indigenous culture as they provide food, medicines and tools. An array of birdlife rely on Eucalyptus trees for food and habitat. They also provide food for caterpillars and nectar for butterflies.
By appearance, the Yarra Gum has fibrous bark on its trunk, elliptical or egg-shaped leaves and white flowers that grow neatly in a group of seven. This species of Eucalypt is endemic to Victoria and remaining populations are found in valleys and open woodland. As with some other native trees, the major problem is land clearing for agriculture, which has resulted in any remaining species left being severely fragmented.
FAME's newest project is supporting PhD student Eleanor Fox, as she develops her PhD looking at the populations and genetics of the Yarra and Strzelecki Gums, at Federation University Australia. Visit www.fame.org.au to donate or find out more.
Photo: Eleanor Fox