Dried gumnuts are commonly used as ornamental decorations in Australia, as they come in a huge variety of different shapes and sizes. They were made famous when Australian writer and illustrator May Gibbs (who was born in England) wrote about two adorable gumnut babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie as the main characters of her books. The eucalyptus trees which produce these gumnuts inhabit forests which are incredibly flammable. They constantly drop dry leaves and peeled bark onto the floor around them, and together with the eucalyptus oil within, can quickly turn a small fire into a fast moving and raging inferno. Every summer Australia battles bushfires to some degree, but however devastating these fires are for the animals and people living in those areas, the trees are actually adapted to be the most successful survivors. The release of seeds from the gumnuts are triggered by fire, and they fall onto the nutrient-rich ash covered ground, free from competing plants and damaging insects. They will quickly repopulate the forests, and continue to be the dominating species of the Aussie bush. Happy weekend everyone!
Click here to see my other post on Eucalyptus Flowers.