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Desert bloodwood

Desert bloodwood

Corymbia opaca

Family: Myrtaceae

Tree growing to 15m with brown flaky, tessellated (like tiles) bark. The white flowers appear in clusters of seven at the ends of the branches during autumn and winter. The fruit is a large, urn shaped gumnut which is typical of the genus.

The tree is often host to galls produced by the larvae of the coccid moth. Called bush coconuts, these galls contain an edible grub and edible white flesh similar to a coconut. The galls are apple sized and have a rough exterior.

Bloodwood trees produce a red sap which was used by Aboriginal people as a medicine for sore eyes, wounds, burns and sores. It was also used as a tanning agent for kangaroo skin waterbags. Wooden bowls were also made from the bark of this tree by removing an oval shaped section from the trunk. The fruit were used for decorative purposes.

Where to find this plant at Alice Springs Desert Park

Stunning old trees can be found in the Sand Country habitat. Bloodwoods are also displayed in the Sand Country and Woodland habitats, front entrance and visitor centre courtyard.

Latz, P., 1996. Bushfires and Bushtucker, IAD Press, Alice Springs
Moore, P., 2005. A Guide to Plants of Inland Australia, Reed New Holland, Sydney

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