Eucalyptus apocynifolia Brooker
Angophora costata is a common woodland and forest tree of Eastern Australia and is known by a variety of names including smooth-barked apple, rose gum, rose apple or Sydney red gum. It grows primarily on sandstone soils, usually on headlands, plateaus or other elevated areas. A. costata differs from the majority of gum trees in that it is not a Eucalyptus, but rather a closely related genus. Unlike the majority of eucalypts, whose adult leaves are arranged in an alternate pattern along the stem, angophora leaves are positioned opposite each other. A. costata is a large, wide, spreading tree. Usually seen of a height between 15 and 25 m. The trunk is often gnarled and crooked with a pink to pale grey, sometimes rusty-stained bark. In nature the butts of broken limbs form callused bumps on the trunk and add to the gnarled appearance. The old bark is shed in spring in large flakes with the new salmon-pink bark turning to pale grey before the next shedding.
More recently, genetic work has been published showing Angophora to be more closely related to Eucalyptus than Corymbia, and the name Eucalyptus apocynifolia has been proposed for this species if it were to be placed in the genus Eucalyptus .
Angophora costata grows into a large tree (although it is often stunted or mallee-like) and is characterised by a distinctive orange or pink hue to trunk when bark has been newly shed. The colour fades with time and is a more subdued greyish hue in winter. White flowers occur in summer.
This is a large plant generally unsuitable for any but the largest gardens.
Angophora Reserve in the Sydney suburb of Avalon was named after a huge individual, reportedly around 300 years of age. That tree died in the late 20th century. Also in Sydney, the upper Lane Cove River Valley has several large Sydney red gums, one near Conscript Pass was measured at 43 metres tall. The largest known living tree (241 cm diameter) is located at Hobsonville near Auckland, New Zealand.
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