"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Leaf of the Day: Boxing Day Bloodwood Gumnuts

Early on a sunny Boxing day morning all was quiet at the Gardens. There is only one day in the whole year that you cannot visit Leu Gardens and that is Christmas Day. For an hour I had the place to myself and with no plan, just walked amongst my now familiar friends, a time to reflect on almost one year of the blog and plan for the next. There have to be some changes, some developments but quite what, I am not sure. The best aid to thinking, for me, is to get on and do something else, so while mulling over my artistic endeavours I took a slightly different path from normal and came across a couple of new trees, and, to my great delight, a new pod.

I could see this tree had had flowers but way up high, much higher than my normal sight line, and not many of them judging by the number of pods, but when I saw the pictures of these wonderfully strange flower heads I was cross with myself for missing them.



Image and more info from Euclid, Australian Eucalypts website. here

This is the Australian Bloodwood, Corymbia ptychocarpa, from the Greek, ptychos, a fold or cleft and carpos, fruit referring to the ribbed buds and fruit. "Bloodwoods" are so called because of the dark red liquid exuded from a wounded trunk. There are 99 species of Corymbias which include the Red and Yellow Bloodwoods,the Ghost Gums and Spotted Gums. All are members of the Eucalypts and I had thought the pods of this one might have that wonderful eucalyptus scent but it seems not, and neither do the big glossy leaves.



These handsome trees are common in northern and western Australia and seem to grow quite happily in the southern USA too. There are quite a few Australian species at Leu, most promising wonderfully exotic flowers that I have yet to see. I am sad to say the Silky Hakea is not recovering..however, I do have 3 little seedling which are clinging onto life.

With half my mind on future plans, this a slightly absent minded drawing of three bloodwood pods, usually known as gumnuts, and a leaf. On one of the pods I could see the tantalising remains of the flower. The leaf is a lovely pale green with a central red vein and stem.

*** UPDATE JUNE 2009: Thanks to Gustavo at Eucalyptologics for the link and the drawings looks great on your site!!.. This is THE site for everything eucalyptus. see also comment below.
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Swamp Bloodwood Pods and Leaf


4 comments:

patientgardener said...

I love the smell of gums, it reminds me of visit to Oz when I was a teenager. There is a large gum round the corner from my house and in the summer the smell is gorgeous. I also like the way the bark peels off some of the older trees

John said...

On first glance, I mistook the Bloodwood flowers for fireworks!

I have particularly enjoyed your pencil drawings the past few posts. Such wonderful detail and crispness. It's amazing what you do with a sharp green pencil.

sharp green pencil said...

Thankyou very much John ...yes those wreetched pencils have to stay sharp .. sometimes if I am working on a bigger subject I use a propelling pencil..the 0.5 are nice and fine and the continuous lead is a treat..

PG..there are quite a few Gum trees at Leu..see next post..most are too high for me to reach!

Gus-Eucalyptologics said...

So finally some links were added to this Pencil and Leaf article from a sister one at Eucalyptologics depicting the Pink eucalypts blooming in Florida. None the less, Leu's eucalypt trees are featured in both! Keep drawing Val!! :-)