Scribbly Gum

The common name is a reference to the “scribbles” left on the trunk from the feeding larvae of the Scribbly Gum moth (Ogmograptis scribula).

Found in the woodlands on the central NSW east coast on plateaus and ridgetops, found only between Royal National Park just south of Sydney and north to Lake Macquarie. Very common on poor soils derived from Hawkesbury sandstone.

A small to medium sized tree with a relatively open crown of grey/silver coloured foliage in appearance from a distance. This tree often grows with multiple trunks- a legacy of past bushfire disturbance. Grows to around 15m in HSC. The trunk is smooth barked and white in colour often with varying degrees of insect attack leaving distinctive scribble marks. Large leaves are concolorous and greyish green, glossy and drooping usually with a distinct yellow mid vein; they range from 12–15 cm long and 2 –4cm in width. Flowers generally from autumn through to spring (highly variable), flowers are white. Fruit are small rounded capsules to 9mm long with valves enclosed below the thick, broad flat rim.

The Scribly Gum lives well in excess of 100 years and is commonly used in horticulture and is a useful street tree since it has a low height, is very hardy once established and tolerates a wide range of conditions except heavy shade and excess moisture, also adapted to low nutrient soils.

The Scribly Gum attracts fauna when in flower for its nectar production. Foliage is browsed by Koalas. Very old trees can develop hollow logs which are utilised by a wide range of Australian fauna. Isolated plantings may fail to attract the characteristic Scribbly Gum Moth