Eucalyptus gunnii

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Eucalyptus gunnii
Eucalyptus gunni flowers.jpg
Foliage and flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
Species: E. gunnii
Binomial name
Eucalyptus gunnii
Hook.f.
Subspecies

E. gunnii subsp. archeri
E. gunnii subsp. divaricata
E. gunnii subsp. gunnii

E. gunnii.JPG
Distribution

Eucalyptus gunnii (cider gum or gunnii) is a species of flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae, endemic to Tasmania, occurring on the plains and slopes of the central plateaux[1] to around 1100 metres, with isolated occurrences south of Hobart.[2]

It is a small- to medium-sized evergreen tree. Older specimens have a short, massive bole and large, spreading branches. The bark is often persistent for several metres as a thin, grey stocking, or shedding all over to leave a smooth, yellowish, patchy surface, weathering to white-, green- or pink-grey. Leaves are stalked, elliptical to ovate, to 8 cm long and 3 cm broad, concolorous, grey-green and thick. White flowers are produced in midsummer.[2]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

See also Tasmanian Aborigines - Oyster Bay Tribe

Juvenile foliage of the cultivar 'Silver Drop'

This species is noted for exceptional cold tolerance for a eucalyptus (to −14 °C, exceptionally −20 °C for brief periods) and is now commonly planted as an ornamental tree across the British Isles and some parts of western Europe.[3] Fast-growing, it will produce a tree up to 37 m (121 ft) tall when mature,[4] with growth rates of up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) (rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in)) per year. Pruning can be employed to maintain the tree as a small shrub if required and more shaded spots will restrict growth. It does grow on sandy/chalky soils, but prefers a loamy soil; it does not tolerate very wet sites. The foliage will change as the tree matures from a round leaf of waxy blue colour to a more elongated rich green foliage in the older tree but if maintained as a shrub the juvenile foliage will be retained.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[5]

The plant produces a sweet sap similar to maple syrup, and is being considered for cultivation for this product.[citation needed] When bottled and capped, the liquid ferments and resembles apple cider, hence cider gum. The sweet foliage is eagerly eaten by livestock.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirkpatrick, J. B. & Backhouse, Sue. (2004), Native trees of Tasmania illustrations Sue Backhouse Pandani Press, Sandy Bay, Tas. (Seventh Edition) ISBN 0-646-43088-2. pp. 98 at high altitude on dolerite mountains
  2. ^ a b Brooker, K. (1996). Eucalyptus. An illustrated guide to identification. Reed Books, Melbourne
  3. ^ Brooker, M. (1983). A Key to Eucalypts in Britain and Ireland. Forestry Commission Booklet 50.
  4. ^ Tree Register of the British Isles
  5. ^ "Eucalyptus gunnii AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 26 July 2013.