Other Names:Gums because they often produce gum especially when damaged.
Summary:This includes the gum trees from the Eucalyptus genus. They are usually trees up to 40 m tall or mallees up to 10 m tall or shrubs with green, leathery, usually hairless leaves that are usually similar in colour and texture on both sides. There are often oil glands in the leaves. Juvenile leaves are opposite and different to adult leaves which are often alternate or loosely paired. Flowers have a cap that is shed to expose the many stamens. The fruit is usually a woody capsule.
First leaves:Usually different to older leaves and opposite for 2-4 pairs, and usually more blue green than older leaves.
Leaves:Alternate or loosely paired.
Stems:Bark smooth and pale to fibrous or flaky and grey to brown. Rough bark when present is usually on main trunk and larger branches. The bark is persistent in the "rough bark" species and shedding in the "smooth bark" species.
Flower head:Simple axillary umbel or a terminal panicle of umbels with 3-15 or more flowers.
Flowers:Bisexual. Regular. Stamens form the showy part of the flower.
Fruit:Woody capsule, 3-5 valved, triangular or awl shaped. Releases seed when ripe. Often bell shaped to conical.
Seeds:Smooth and glossy rarely winged.
Roots:Taproot or lignotuber.
Key Characters:Mature leaves alternate.
Flowering times:Very variable and erratic.
Seed Biology and Germination:Seeds often germinate after fire or smoking.
Vegetative Propagules:Lignotuber in some species. Many will re shoot or coppice if damaged.
Allelopathy:Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Origin and History:Mainly Australian natives.
Distribution:ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Soil:Most soil types.
Detrimental:Some species are invasive outside their native range.
Toxicity:Most have no recorded toxicity.
Symptoms:Sudden death after eating leaves of suckers or mature trees especially if wilted and between May and September.
Treatment:As for Cyanide poisoning.
Management and Control:Control introduced species that show a propensity to invade.
Herbicide resistance:None reported.
Biological Control:Unlikely because of the many closely related native species.
Plants of similar appearance:Wattles with phyllodes.
References:Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P600. Diagrams.