Plant of the Month: Blackbutt
April 29, 2021

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.

HRLN

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.

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Propagation

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). 

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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.  

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“So, what do I do with all these seeds?”