Meanwhile, back in the Flinders Ranges……

White cypress pines and river red gums

There seems to be 2 dominant tree species in the Flinders Ranges — the white cypress pine (Callitris columellaris) and the river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) — and there could not be 2 more different trees.

The white cypress pines are very prolific, with forests growing on hillsides and on the flat. The books say it can grow to a “majestic tree”. In fact the Latin name, Callitris, comes from Greek. Calli means ‘beautiful’ and treis means ‘three’, referring to the threefold arrangement of its leaves and scales. However, most of the ones I saw were small and rather straggly. As well, there is rarely an understory of smaller plants. While they are not an attractive plant, they give the ranges their very distinctive look.

Looking to the Heysen Range with the cypress pines across the hills

On the other hand the river red gums are magnificent trees. They grow tall and strong in the creek beds. The creek beds are dry for most of the year but there is enough moisture to sustain these beauties. They have thick trunks and branches that twist out and up. There are often holes and hollows which make excellent nesting sites for birds such as the ringneck parrot and smaller mammals.

Huge and magnificent river red gum, Wilpena

The bark of these gums is silvery grey. It is just wonderful to see how they shine when they catch the late afternoon sun.

Shimmering bark

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hedera says:

    It looks magical Anne – another great post 🙂

    Like

    1. anneb54 says:

      Yes it was an amazing area. It is not classically beautiful, but has a grandeur and timelessness about it.

      Like

  2. james says:

    Very nice!

    Like

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