Eucalyptus haemastoma

Thank you to Eric in SF@Flickr for submitting today’s comparative photographs (original image 1 | original image 2 | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool).

Eucalyptus haemastoma is a smooth barked eucalypt endemic to southeastern Australia. Commonly known as scribbly gum, the vernacular name refers to the scribbles that are distinctive among eucalypts in the area (seen in the first photograph). The scribbles trace the life cycle of the bark miner Ogmograptis scribula, or, the scribbly gum moth. The eggs of this moth are laid between the barks of the previous and current year. After the larva hatches, it begins to tunnel, and as it grows, the tunnel increases in diameter. The end of the scribbly pattern occurs where the larva has stopped burrowing and started to pupate.

The second photograph is also of a “scribbly gum”, but the plant is clear of the characteristic scribbles. It was taken at the Arboretum at University of California, Santa Cruz, where the (non-native to California) scribbly gum moth is absent.

For another BPotD entry with insect miner patterns, see Populus tremuloides from July, 2005.

Eucalyptus haemastoma
Eucalyptus haemastoma

15 responses to “Eucalyptus haemastoma”

  1. Eric in SF

    What amazed me the most is that many people I spoke with in Australia believe the scribbles are an inherent characteristic of the tree. They were surprised when I mentioned the Eucalyptus haemastoma growing at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum was scribble-free.

  2. Michael F

    What’s even more surprising is that none of the Santa Cruz kids have added their own scribbles . . .

  3. phillip

    ahh…eucalyptus….from the pan-handle of golden gate park….to the pacific ocean….4 plus miles….the trees are massive…accorn like pods are dropped after wind and rains…silver and green…the fragrance…ah…eucalyptus…!

  4. Eric in SF

    I live within sight of the Panhandle. The Eucalypts there were instrumental in the fight to keep the panhandle from being ripped up and a freeway buried in a trench back in the late 50s. The oldest cultivated trees in San Francisco are the Eucalypts in the Panhandle, planted in the mid 1800s.
    And yes, the smell of Eucalypts and our native fragrant shrubs hits me like a wall when I get off the plane at SFO and I know I’m home. =)

  5. annie Morgan

    Love it that the worm patterns are called ‘scribbles’.

  6. cambree

    This is really neat! I would assume some kids got crazy with the pens and started to scribble all the trees.
    It’s great to learn something new everything. Thanks Eric in SF.
    Also love the eucalyptus trees in northern California.

  7. Ken

    Most Australians would be amazed that they don’t know everything. The Eucalypts have only two problems: they suck up groundwater well and they burn extremely well. I had the impression that they weren’t popular overseas for those reasons.

  8. Sue Webster

    Here in the countryside in central and southern Italy, eucalypts are a familiar sight. They were planted to help dry up the swamps during the Fascist era, and are still planted for their hardiness. Pleasant reminders of home for ex-pat me!

  9. elizabeth a airhart

    man has used the markings of nature
    for art and decoration for a very
    long time our ancients got thier first
    thank you eric the links are fine
    and with images and a lot of reading
    thank you botony a day

  10. Sara

    As soon as I saw the bark, I could smell the Euc., before I even read the plant description. The mind is a wonderful thing.
    So the scribble beetle doesn’t cause systemic damage to the tree? My parents had a grove behind their house in San Diego county – huge, old growth trees and lots and lots of trouble with long horned bark beetles – peel back the bark on fallen trees & see the damage patterns. Impossible to control due to the nature of the reproductive process.

  11. Barb Mullinix

    Because of my fondness for the scent of eucalyptus, someone once told me that I must have been a koala bear in a previous life. But I doubt if I would grow it in a wildfire-prone area like California.

  12. Connie

    Wow. Very sexy images.

  13. Beth

    I think I saw one of these in the UBC Botanical garden last fall… am I dreaming, Daniel?

  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Beth, that was probably Eucalyptus coccifera.

  15. Eric Simpson

    Doesn’t the species epithet translate as “bloody wound”? And isn’t that one such “wound” in the first pic?

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