Corymbia and Eucalyptus
Corymbia and Eucalypts are closely related evergreen trees, many of which are native to Australia. Corymbia were previously categorized as Eucalypts but ongoing research has found that they should be in a genus of their own.
Australia’s most famous plant export is the gum tree, and the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne wide collection of eucalypts allows visitors to fully appreciate the beauty and variety of these native trees.
Gum trees are indelibly linked to Australian history. These Gardens were established in 1846, but some of our Eucalypts were here long before then. From the early days of colonization, these trees have played an important role in the economy of this country.
Today the Gardens have over 200 Corymbia or Eucalypts, ranging from remnant vegetation, mature specimens or newly planted species.
The River Red Gum is a common and widespread tree along watercourses over much of mainland Australia. It reaches a height of 30 meters and flowers from late spring to mid-summer.
This slender tree grows to 15 metres with pendulous branches. It has deep brown bark which peals in narrow strips. The flowers are large pink to red and occurring in winter to spring. Flowers are followed by large, urn-shaped gumnuts.
This small Eucalypt grows to 30 meters with twisted branches. It has beautiful smooth green, grey and cream bark and creamy white flowers from October to January. It is found in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales through to Victoria and Tasmania. It is used for windbreaks, shade, fence posts, fuel, honey and medicinal purposes.
This tree grows 10 meters tall with smooth grey or bronze bark that sheds in ribbons.
In the Doryanthes Bed we have used this Eucalypt as an edging plant. Once every two years we cut it down to ground level then let it grow back up again. This is a good way of displaying the plants attractive grey juvenile foliage.
This is a grafted Red Flowering Gum Tree growing 9 meters tall and 4 meters wide. This tree has spectacular red flowers in summer. It has dense green foliage with a smooth slender trunk. It is a feature tree and likes well drained soils in full sun.
- Eucalyptus camaldulensis timber has been used for construction, railway sleepers, flooring, framing, fencing, plywood and veneer manufacture, wood turning, firewood and charcoal production.
- There are a great number of Eucalypts and Corymbia that are suitable for a range of aspects across Australia. They are adaptive and will usually grow well in dry conditions provided they are given adequate water during establishment.
- Eucalyptus ceasia develops lignotubers. Lignotubers are starchy underground swelling that these plants use as a life support system in case of fire or animal damage in the wild. Plants respond to hard pruning to near ground level if rejuvenation is required.
- The Eucalypt Lawn was established in 1875.
- The Eucalyptus camaldulensis or River Red Gum in the Separation Tree was the location where the citizens of Victoria gathered on 15 November 1850 to celebrate the news of the separation of Victoria from New South Wales.
Corymbia and Eucalyptus generally flower from spring through summer and are best viewed during these seasons.
Eucalypt Lawn (GIF - 367 kb) In the south-west corner of the garden; access from C Gate and D Gate
There are many new Eucalyptus cultivars that have been bred that are relatively small and are suited to home gardens. Consult a nursery or garden centre for the right specimen for you situation.
Find out what plants grow at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
Last updated 07 Jul 2010