white gum

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The white gum tree

The white gum tree is also called wawnt and wandoo. These names are Aboriginal names. The tree is also an edible bush food. Aboriginal people used to scrape off the outer parts of the young roots and eat them. These roots are very sweet and juicy. When the tree is fully matured, the hollows in the tree contain water! This was a great water resource for the Aborigines when it was dry and hot. These trees can grow to thirty metres in height. They have smooth bark and the diameter of the tree can be more than one metre. The leaves are bluish-green and the bark is white with darker patches which is the old bark. The tree looks like the powder bark tree but the bark on the white gum tree is not powdery. The flowers are white and have many stamens. It flowers in early spring to late summer, usually at the end of October to April the following year! 

whitegum leaves


Scientific name for the white gum:

Eucalyptus wandoo

The tree also produces a kind of edible fruit that are pear shaped or cylindrical. The flowers of this tree can be eaten as well. Bees produce a sweet mild-flavoured honey from the flower nectar. The flowers can be soaked in water to make a sweet drink. Did you know that the bark and timber of this tree is very rich in tannin? This was used to tan leather! The white gum is related to the myrtles.


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© Copyright 2000 Teaching Treasures Publications