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Alexander Dudley | all galleries >> Galleries >> Australian Flora > New Leaf
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Alexander Dudley

New Leaf

Kurrajong NSW Australia

The red coloration on this leaf is possibly because it is chock-full of toxins to try to keep the nasty greeblies at bay. It is one of
the many native Eucalypts that dominate much of the vegetation of temperate Australia (where there is still vegetation) which
ought to remind us (if we were taught ecology in school) that Australia is a country shaped by fire. The concentrations of oils in
the leaves aren't just responsible for keeping koalas placid (thank goodness, as they are bad-tempered and unpleasant creatures
which are only cute if you don't look too closely) but for creating hot fires that decimate competing trees and provide a nice ash
bed for new growth. The Aboriginal people had an excellent handle on fire ecology (and in some places, some still do) but
unfortunately the first boat people didn't stop to ask about this and we are still reaping the consequences.

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