Page:Journals of Several Expeditions Made in Western Australia.djvu/225
he Vasse, I must take some Airther notice of its productions.
The red gum, white gum, and peppermint, I have before observed, constituted the larger sort of timber; there was also a small tree, which Edwards informed me, was the black wattle. The nomenclature of the trees in this country, with the characteristics deduced from the colour of the bark or gum confusedly, is so exactly calculated to lead to mistake, when a person uninitiated in the mysteries of colonial language attempts to describe, that it becomes necessary for me to lay down my own observations on the growth, nature, and properties of, and, in that manner, to define as nearly as possible, the trees I have rashly endeavoured to designate. Of mahogany, peppermint, and banksia, I think I am tolerably certain. Red gum, as far I can learn, is the tougnest and hardest of the whole race of eycalipti, resisting the wedge, and of little use to the joiner, from its abounding in veins of gum, which, like that of the mahogany, is red; the wood is yellow, and is useful for the heads of beetles, &c. That which I have hitherto termed the white gum, (a tree growing to a greater height and bulk than I have yet seen), which throws off its bark in large flakes, wearing immediately after its change of dress a light buff color, which too is found generally in land abounding in springs, having its wood tinged with a light pink; too hard, however, for the uses of carpentering, when the eycaliptus robusta can be obtained. I now term the white gum, that which is seen in moist stiff flats; of small stature; sending out branches from below; changing its bark frequently, so as soon to lose the marks of fire, but imperceptibly, and not in large sheets; its wood is white, its bark a light grey. The oak re-