Red Spotted Gum
This sub-species of E. mannifera is smaller-growing than the species, and is noted for its excellent bark characters, tolerance of many site types and restricted canopy size. E. mannifera ssp. maculosa comes from central NSW to southern Victoria, but is native to areas east of Melbourne.
In the wild Red Spotted Gum grows on dry, upland soils where drainage is free, irrigation is occasional, and frosts are common. It is relatively fast growing, and will grow up to 500mm per year in nature. This tree usually forms a single trunk, and has a wide-spreading canopy. The trunks are white, chalky, and with reddish flecks all the way up the stem; these trunks are amongst the most attractive of all found in eucalypts.
Red Spotted Gum has been used extensively in urban planting, and is highly successful in Canberra. Professor L. Pryor planted it there because of the striking bark character, narrow foliage and summer flowering. He indicates that it has “…great value as a shade and decorative tree”, and indicates that it is excellent for parks and wide streets.
E. mannifera ‘Little Spotty’: Another fine, dwarf Austraflora selection. This plant will grow as a fine ball of foliage, either as a mallee or a single-stemmed tree. The eventual size of this tree should be about 8m, but can probably be kept safely under powerlines with occasional pruning. As the name indicates, the bark is strongly spotted and ornamental. This selection will grow in the same conditions as other E. mannifera.
E. mannifera ssp. maculosa should be considered for planting in Melbourne where soils are free-draining and where the site will accommodate a medium-sized, elegant tree.
Pryor, L.D. & Banks, J.C.G. 1991Trees and shrubs in Canberra. Little Hills Press, Crows Nest NSW.