Gumnuts

June 22, 2014

gumnuts

Gumnuts are the woody capsules that house the seeds of eucalyptus trees after pollination. The seeds are usually released when the valves at the base of the cone open. The colored faces of the gumnuts illustrated here depict these valves as the four depressions in the surface of the face. Most eucalypti do not begin to flower until mature foliage appears. (See mature and immature eucalytpus leaves.)

Pollination predominantly occurs by the action of insects, but other animals are known to assist in the process. Wind plays a minor role. Pollination by bees that visit only Blue Gums may produce a monofloral honey that is amber in color and quite dense.  Blue Gum honey has a subtle, cool or minty undertone in addition for the floral honey flavor.

These gumnuts in particular came from a tree near Choachi in Colombia.  Eucalyptus trees were likely planted here for a fast-growing source of wood.

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