Eucalyptus gunnii

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Cider gum
Eucalyptus gunni flowers.jpg
Foliage and flowers
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Eucalyptus
E. gunnii
Binomial name
Eucalyptus gunnii
E. gunnii.JPG

Eucalyptus gunnii, commonly known as cider gum,[4] is a species of small to medium-sized tree endemic to the island of Tasmania, Australia. It has mostly smooth bark, lance-shaped to egg-shaped adult leaves, flower buds in groups of three, white flowers and cylindrical to barrel-shaped fruit.


Eucalyptus gunnii is a tree that typically grows to a height of 35 m (115 ft)[5]: 391  and forms a lignotuber. It has smooth, mottled, white or grey bark, sometimes with persistent rough bark on the lower trunk. Young plants and coppice regrowth have sessile leaves arranged in opposite pairs. Juvenile stems can be rounded or square in cross section.[6] The juvenile leaves are heart-shaped to more or less round, greyish green or glaucous, 13–45 mm (0.51–1.77 in) long and 17–40 mm (0.67–1.57 in) wide. Adult leaves are arranged alternately, lance-shaped to egg-shaped, the same dull greyish to bluish green on both sides, 40–90 mm (1.6–3.5 in) long and 12–35 mm (0.47–1.38 in) wide on a petiole 9–23 mm (0.35–0.91 in) long.

The flowers are arranged in leaf axils in groups of three on an unbranched peduncle 3–9 mm (0.12–0.35 in) long, the individual buds sessile or on a pedicels up to 4 mm (0.16 in) long. Mature buds are oval, 5–9 mm (0.20–0.35 in) long and 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) wide with a conical, rounded or flattened operculum. It flowers in most months and the flowers are white. The fruit is a woody cylindrical to barrel-shaped capsule 5–9 mm (0.20–0.35 in) long and 5–7 mm (0.20–0.28 in) wide with the valves near rim level or enclosed.[4][7]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

Eucalyptus gunnii was first formally described in 1844 by the British botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker in the London Journal of Botany. The type material was collected "on the elevated tablelands of the interior of Tasmania, especially in the neighborhood of the lakes" by Ronald Campbell Gunn.[8][9] The specific epithet honours the collector of the type material.[4]

Joseph Maiden's 1889 book The Useful Native Plants of Australia’ recorded that common names in Tasmania are "cider gum" and in southeastern Australia occasionally as the "sugar gum" and that in the same part it is known as "white gum", "swamp gum" or "white swamp gum". In the Noarlunga and Rapid Bay districts of South Australia it is known as "bastard white gum", occasionally as "yellow gum." Near Bombala, New South Wales two varieties go by the names of "flooded or bastard gum" and "red gum", although the species only occurs in Tasmania.[10]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Cider gum grows in woodland and occurs on the plains and slopes of the central plateaux and dolerite mountains at altitudes up to about 1,100 m (3,600 ft), with isolated occurrences south of Hobart.[7][11][12]

Use in horticulture[edit]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[13][14] 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.[15] Fast-growing, it will produce a tree up to 37 m (121 ft) tall when mature,[16] 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 in full sun on sandy/chalky soils, well supplied with water, but prefers a loamy soil; it does not tolerate very wet sites. It is one of the most rustic eucalyptus trees alongside Eucalyptus pauciflora and Eucalyptus parvula.[citation needed]


The fragrant leaves give off essential oils when they are creased or burned, which are used in different forms (floral composition, infusion, tincture, oil, etc) to treat many respiratory diseases, rheumatism, migraines, fatigue and as antiseptic.[17]

The indigenous people of Tasmania used the sap of the tree to produce a fermented beverage called way-a-linah.[18]



  1. ^ "Eucalyptus gunnii". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Eucalyptus gunnii subsp. divaricata". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Eucalyptus gunnii subsp. gunnii". Australian Plant Census. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Eucalyptus gunnii". Euclid: Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  5. ^ Stace, C. A. (2019). New Flora of the British Isles (Fourth ed.). Middlewood Green, Suffolk, U.K.: C & M Floristics. ISBN 978-1-5272-2630-2.
  6. ^ "Eucalyptus gunnii". Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Eucalyptus gunnii". Flora of Australia. Australian Biological Resources Study, Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Eucalyptus gunnii". APNI. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  9. ^ Hooker, Joseph Dalton; Hooker, William Jackson (ed.) (1844). "Note of the Cider Tree". London Journal of Botany. 3: 499–501. Retrieved 24 July 2019. {{cite journal}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  10. ^ Maiden, Joseph (1889). The useful native plants of Australia (including Tasmania). Sydney: Turner and Henderson. p. 27. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Brooker, K. (1996). Eucalyptus. An illustrated guide to identification. Reed Books, Melbourne
  13. ^ "Eucalyptus gunnii AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  14. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 37. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  15. ^ Brooker, M. (1983). A Key to Eucalypts in Britain and Ireland. Forestry Commission Booklet 50.
  16. ^ Tree Register of the British Isles
  17. ^ Trees: field guide ; Johnson, Owen and More, David; translator: Pijoan Rotger, Manuel, ed. Omega, 2006. ISBN 978-84-282-1400-1
  18. ^ Varela, Cristian; Sundstrom, Joanna; Cuijvers, Kathleen; Jiranek, Vladimir; Borneman, Anthony (December 2020). "Discovering the indigenous microbial communities associated with the natural fermentation of sap from the cider gum Eucalyptus gunnii". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 14716. Bibcode:2020NatSR..1014716V. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-71663-x. PMC 7477236. PMID 32895409. S2CID 221536063.