Eucalypts are some of the best known evergreen trees in the world. Most come from Australia, but many are grown widely around the world, and some are important ornamental or timber species well beyond Australia. Only a few species occur naturally beyond Australia (as far as the Philippines). Eucalypts can be found today dominating landscapes in parts of north
and south America, the middle east, and even England and beyond.
There are at least 600 species. The genus Eucalyptus has been reorganised by some scientists, with some species now being placed in a new genus: Corymbia.
What about Angophora
Angophoras look similar to Eucalypts, and were originally included in the species; but have been separated out as a different species for a very long time
How then do Angophoras, Eucalypts and Corymbias differ from each other?
- Eucalyptus and Corymbia have alternate adult leaves; while the adult leaves of Angophora are arranged opposite on the stems)
- Eucalyptus and Corymbia flowers have a cap (operculum) which falls off as the flowers open, but Angophora flowers have no cap.
- Angophora and Corymbia flowers occur in "corymbs". This is a structure where flower stalks develop from different levels on the stem, but once fully open, all flowers occur on the same plane (more or less)
Appearance: Mostly trees; but eucalypts range from low bush-like plants to very tall and long lived tees (E. regnans grows to over 350 feet); many have attractive bark in various colours and patterns, flaky or smooth; scented foliage and flowers, flowers to 2.5cm usually white and creams, also reds.
Culture: Water during very dry periods, particularly when young; cultivars can be found for most climates and soils, but select the right species for the situation. They can tolerate wet sites but may become chlorotic in limey soils. Avoid cold windy locations.
Propagation: Seed sown early spring. Plant out seedlings at 15cm in summer.
Health: Hardy; many are frost tender when young; some are extremely cold hardy, particularly when mature, others are extremely heat tolerant. Psyllids may suck sap from young shoots on immature trees. Damping off and botrytis can affect seedlings. Silver leaf may cause dieback on older trees.
Uses: Specimen trees, woodland garden plant, cut foliage for flower arrangements, shrubbery. Some tender species are used for bedding and pot plants in temperate regions.
The following are just some of the species that are popular in cultivation. (Note months refer to Australian conditions).
E. alpina Grampians Gum
4 to 7m tall, sometimes to 15m. Medium to high rainfall, well drained soil.
E. astringens Brown Mallet
12 to 18m tall. Medium to high rainfall Well drained clay soils.
E. botryoides Mahogany Gum
Medium to high rainfall. Poor sandy soil on a clay base, tolerates wet soils. Prone to insect damage. 20 25m tall.
E. caesia Gungurru
Low to medium rainfall. A weeping tree to 7m with pink flowers. Some forms have attractive foliage.
E. calophylla rosea (or Corymbia) Pink Marri
Medium to high rainfall, avoid heavy soils. A tree to 10m with pink flowers in summer and autumn.
E. camaldulensis River Red Gum
A large spreading tree to 40m high and 30m wide with a smooth white/grey trunk. It grows in a wide range of conditions and tolerates waterlogging and drought.
E. campaspe Silver Top Gimlet
A slim trunked tree to 8m with whitish stems. It grows in heavy soils and is drought tolerant.
E. citriodora (or Corymbia) Lemon Scented Gum
An open smooth barked tree to 25m high and 12 15m wide. It grows on a wide variety of soils and is frost tender when young. Aromatic foliage.
E. cladocalyx Sugar Gum
A hardy tree to 35m tall and 15m wide that tends to drop lower branches. It grows in most soils in low to high rainfall. A dwarf form to 8m is popular as a street tree.
E. cornuta Yate
An upright to spreading tree up to 20m tall and 10m wide that grows naturally on poorly drained loams and clays. It tolerates lime, frost, waterlogging and drought.
E. crebra Narrow-leaved Ironbark
Slow erect tree to 25m. Important timber tree in Qld. Narrow drooping leaves. Suitable to heavy soils.
E. crenulata Silver Gum
Small tree to 8m that is very adaptable to a wide range of conditions except for alkaline soils. Juvenile foliage popular for floral work.
E. curtisii Plunkett Mallee
Multi-trunked shrub 2-6 m. Pure white flowers profusely in November. Very adapted to poor sandstone soils.
E. erythrocorys Red Cap Gum
Bushy upright or spreading mallee type to 8m high by 3 8m wide. It will grow in most soils but prefers slightly alkaline ones. It is frost tender when young. Red buds burst into vibrant yellow flowers.
E. ficifolia (or Corymbia) Red Flowering Gum
Widely cultivated ornamental small tree to 15m high by 5 20m wide. Medium to high rainfall and good drainage.Frost tender when young.Flowers up to 4cm, varied colour.
E. forrestiana Fuchsia Mallee
Upright to spreading shrub or small tree usually 4 5m high by 3 5m wide. Adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Tolerates dry, frosts and short periods of waterlogging. Red buds/yellow flowers in summer.
E. globulus Blue Gum
Blue leaves on young plants turning green on older plants, up to 60m tall. Prefers high rainfall but highly adaptable.
E. grandis Rose Gum
Straight tree to 30m. Attractive smooth white bark. Grows very rapidly.
E. kitsonia Bog Gum
Small shrub to 2 or 3m. Grows in heavy wet soils.
E. intermedia (or Corymbia) Red Bloodwood
Medium tree to 30m. White-cream flowers 2cm
in January to March.
E. lehmannii Bushy Yate
Mallee type shrub to 5m high by 5m wide. Dry to medium rainfall, sandy soil or clay loam. Large decorative buds and nuts, yellow flowers. Tends to blow over if not planted in clumps
E. leucoxylon Yellow Gum
Moderate to dry rainfall, most soils. Tree to 12m with smooth whitish bark. Several forms vary in height and flower colour.
E. macrocarpa Mottlecah
Bushy shrub to 4m high with large red flowers in spring and attractive silver leaves.Prefers low to medium rainfall in well drained, even poor soils.
E. maculata (or Corymbia) Spotted Gum
Tree to 30m with smooth cream spotted trunk. Medium to high rainfall in most soils. Frost tender when young.
E. megacornuta Warty Yate
Spreading shrub or small tree to 10m high by 5 to 8m wide with large green/yellow flowers in spring and striking 4cm diameter gum nuts. Medium to low rainfall in most soils.
E. microcorys Tallowwood
Large tree to 30m with fibrous bark and small leaves. Produces a dense crown.
E. muelleriana Yellow Stringybark
Adaptable tree to 50m high by 15 to 30m wide. Prefers high rainfall and medium to heavy soils. Good timber tree.
E. nicholii Narrow Leaved Peppermint
Medium tree to 15m with spreading crown to 12m and narrow blue green drooping leaves. Adaptable in most temperate areas, medium to high rainfall.
E. ovata Swamp Gum
Medium to tall tree 10 30m high by 10 to 20m wide with light coloured deciduous bark. Adaptable to a wide of conditions. Useful for poorly drained soils.
E. papuana (or Corymbia) Ghost Gum
Medium tree to 15m high by 12m wide with striking white smooth barked trunk and stems. For dry arid to inland tropical areas, usually sandy or rocky soil sometimes poorly drained or wet soils.
E. pauciflora Snow Gum
Small to medium tree from 8 to 20m tall and 5 to 12m wide with often twisted trunks, and striking light coloured bark often with orange, pink or other coloured splotches. Adapts to most soils. Moderate to high rainfall.
E. platypus Round Leaved Moort
Dense mallee type bush or small tree to 8m high by 5 to 10m wide with glossy foliage and large yellow flowers, buds red. Adaptable to most conditions except tropical. Good in smog prone areas.
E. preissiana Bell Fruit Mallee
Small to medium mallee to 5m by 8m with spectacular yellow winter flowers and attractive gum nuts. Most
well drained soils, may be frost tender when young. Smog resistant.
E. ptychocarpa (or Corymbia) Swamp Bloodwood
Small spreading tree to 10m. Spectacular red/pink/white large blooms. Large glossy pendulous foliage. Ornamental nuts.
E. radiata Grey Peppermint
Medium tree to 30m by 10 20m with grey brown bark and aromatic foliage. Adaptable except for tropical areas.
E. regnans Mountain Ash
Very tall tree up to 100m high and 30m wide. Prefers moist but well drained loams and clay loams, and high rainfall. Prized timber species.
E. robusta Swamp Mahogany
Medium tree with a spreading crown to 20m high by 10 to 20m wide with attractive red brown bark. Very adaptable, good in wet soils and coastal areas.
E. rubida Candlebark
Medium tree to 25m high by 20m with attractive white trunk with pink/red stripes in spring/summer. Hardy and adaptable in well drained soils.
E. saligna Sydney Blue Gum
Medium to tall tree with a tall straight trunk and long deciduous white to blue/grey bark. Fertile, well drained soil, and medium to high rainfall. Fast growing and ornamental.
E. sideroxylon Red Ironbark
Medium tree with rounded or spreading crown to 30m by 20m with deep furrowed red/brown to black bark. Hardy, adaptable ornamental if drainage is good. Yellow or red flowers.
E. spathulata Swamp Mallet
Hardy, ornamental small tree to 10m by 8m with coppery coloured bark and fine leaves. Adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Best planted in clumps.
E. teretocornis Forest Red Gum
To 30m tall with a thick attractive trunk. Excellent for heavy soils. White flowers in June-Nov.
E. tessellaris (or Corymbia) Carbeen
Very attractive gum to 25m. Decorative trunk. Willow-like leaves.Suitable for shallow soils and tolerates salt spray.
E. tetraptera Four Wing Mallee
Spreading mallee type shrub to 6m high by 8m wide with large leathery leaves and attractive red buds and pink red flowers in spring. Low rainfall, warm conditions, well drained soils,best. Not for windbreaks.
E. torelliana (or Corymbia) Cadaga
Large tree to 30m. Regarded as a pest in many areas. Dense crown and attractive trunk. Bird attracting. Prone to sooty mould infections.
E. torquata Coral Gum
Very ornamental long flowering small tree 5 to 10m by 5 to 10m with large pink red, white cream flowers. Adaptable and hardy in most conditions, particularly semi arid. May be frost tender when young.
E. viminalis Manna Gum
Ornamental upright variable tree 10 to 50m by 10 20m with ribbon like bark. Hardy and adaptable, preferring moist well drained soils. Important commercial species, and food source for koalas.
E. viridis Green Mallee
Hardy, attractive multi trunked shrub or small tree 5 to 12m by 5m with fine dark green leaves, and often profuse white flowers. Low medium rainfall, most soils, adaptable. Good honey
and oil production species.
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