This post was inspired by the Twitter sensation #FavEuc by the team at QAECO. The request to vote for your favourite eucalypt (see my previous post on different eucalypt genera) got me thinking, there are so many and they are all great in their own right, but if I had to choose, which would get the nod. As you can gather from the title, my favourite is Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box). These eucalypts are common in Victoria and were one of the more common species in my PhD field sites along the Broken-Boosey Creek system. E. melliodora occurs in Victoria, NSW, and Queensland, and is a great example of an Australian native woodland gem.
So as a tribute to this magnificent species, I have put together some information on why I like it so much:
Perhaps the reason for my initial fondness of this species was its gorgeous juvenile leaves. The small elliptic blue-green leaves stand out beautifully in contrast to those of E. microcarpa (Grey Box) with which it often co-occurs.
The bark is quite variable and is more of a standout as it gets a bit larger. The flaky golden bark of a large old YB is a stunning site (as appreciated by others), and could entertain you for hours looking over it, picking bits off, watching all the insects who live amongst the complex golden world that is enormous to them.
Now this is a great attribute of these trees, not only are their flowers classic ‘Euc’ flowers, but their production is so impressive. There have been many occasions in the field where I have been able to hear a large flowering YB because of the swarm of bees that were enjoying its bounty. Needless to say, it is a fantastic tree for honey production, perhaps the best of all the eucalypts.
I hope this is enough to at least give you some idea of what I see in this tree, and if you already feel a similar fondness for it you might consider voting for it on the QAECO website.