Plant of the Month: Blackbutt (Burrooma – Worimi) Eucalyptus pilularis
A common tree in the Lower Hunter the Blackbutt is a magnificent tree to 70 metres tall with a natural range along the coast from around Hervey Bay in Queensland to the Victorian border. A popular tree both for aesthetics and timber production it is easily recognised from its fibrous to stringy barked, generally straight, trunk becoming smooth-barked generally (though not always) above the first branching and the distinctive rounded gumnut. The specific epithet “pilularis” refers to the pill-like shape of the gumnut.
Eucalyptus pilularis Photographer: Greig, D.
ANBG Photo No.: a.14010
Leaves are thick in texture slightly discolorous and taper to a fine point; they range from 9–16 cm long and 1.5–3cm in width. Flowering occurs between July and January.
Probably the hardest part of propagating the Blackbutt (as with many Eucalypts) is getting the seeds, the best way, in many cases, is to wait for a branch to fall off and collect the gumnuts off that (which is exactly what happened with this one at my parent’s place), making sure they haven’t already opened, then into a paper bag and store them somewhere warm and dry for a few days (or on the dashboard of your car – in summer they can be open in as little as a couple of hours).
Once the seeds have dropped separate them from the gumnuts (a household colander will do the job), store in a jar or resealable plastic bag and store somewhere dry and cool. Seeds germinate readily with no special treatment.
“So, what do I do with all these seeds?”