Powderbark (Eucalyptus accedens)
Powderbark is a tree chiefly of the western Wheatbelt and the adjacent eastern jarrah forest, but it can be found closer to Perth in places such as the Avon Valley and the Darling Scarp north of Greenmount.
It occurs on lateritic breakaways, often in pure stands. Its bark is smooth and powdery, hence its name ‘powderbark’ (if you rub your hand on the trunk it will be coated in powder). The new bark, in autumn, is apricot-coloured, fading to creamy-white by the summer.
Within powderbark’s occurrence another common smooth-barked tree is wandoo, the two being similar in size and habit (but not closely related). Powderbark can be distinguished from wandoo at any time of the year by its always having brighter bark (as well as by its powder and its blunt-ended flower-buds). The two tend to separate due to their different soil preferences, with powderbark on lateritic rises and wandoo in the valleys.
© Text and photographs: Robert Powell