Eucalyptus Caesia

Location: Near the exit gate.

Other locations on course: On the left of the 11th fairway past the first bunker. Garden on the right between 11th green and 12th tee.
Distribution: In the wild, confined to a few granite outcrops in the Central Wheatbelt.
Height: 1.8m – 14m
Uses: It is popular as a small ornamental garden or street tree.

With its white reflective bark and spectacular pink flowers this is a common ornamental tree in gardens and streets. However in the wild it is listed as being endangered. Its natural habitat is confined to nineteen granite outcrops in the wheat belt.

The Caesia exhibits many remarkable adaptations to its environment: its flaky ‘minnieritchie’ bark may protect the underlying wood from fire, its waxy white reflective branches protect it from the sun, the vertically hanging leaves lessen exposure to the sun and divert any falling water to the roots and the bright pink flowers that bloom in the winter, attract the birds when there are fewer insects around.

Steve Hopper, formerly CEO of Kings Park and Kew Gardens in London, has made some recent interesting observations about pollination. The granite outcrops supporting the Caesias may be many kilometres apart. Wattle birds and other small honey eaters are attracted to the flowers and are the main pollinators. The wattle birds are locally sedentary in nature and while they are a pollinator in the local area they do not depart to ensure a healthy cross pollination with more distant groups of trees. They chase away the more mobile small honey eaters, but when the wattle birds take a rest the small ones come in to feed. The wattlebirds wake up and drive their small rivals away to more distant populations of trees, thus ensuring a continuing healthy diversity.

“The best friend of man on earth is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on earth” (Frank Lloyd Wright)