Eucalyptus crenulata, Buxton Gum or Silver Gum, is a medium-sized tree that will reach a height of 12 metres, with a spread to 10 metres.
It is endemic to Victoria, growing around the regions of Buxton, Yarra Glen and Narbethong to the north-east of Melbourne.
It forms part of dry sclerophyll woodland in swampy sites.
Eucalyptus spp. have simple and usually alternate adult leaves with juvenile leaves starting off opposite to alternate (disjunct). In this species, the juvenile leaves can persist as the main crown leaves as the tree reaches maturity; sessile and opposite, ovate to cordate, to about 6 cm long and wide; conspicuously glacous at first but then aging to dark green and with crenulate (wavy or with curved-segments) margins. Adult leaves are rarely produced.
The primary inflorescence of “eucalypts” (Angophora / Corymbia / Eucalyptus) is an umbellaster (an umbel-like cluster of flowers). In the flowers of Corymbia and Eucalyptus, the petals and sepals are fused into the distinctive calyptra / operculum (bud cap) which is shed when the flower opens (in some species, 2 bud caps (opercula) are shed). The flowers are conspicuously staminate – where many stamens are basically taking over the role of the petals, all surrounding one central carpel. In this species, profuse flowers are white to cream and emerge from buds produced in clusters of 7-11, with buds covered in a glaucous waxy hue, to about 8 mm long and with a beaked operculum. Flowers appear in spring.
The fruit of eucalypts are a woody capsule (commonly called ‘gum nuts’) which come in a wide variety of shapes with the top part having a sunken, flat or raised disc and with the valves inserted, disc-level, exserted to strongly exserted. In this species, the small fruit is cup shaped, about 6 mm long and wide, and carried in tight clusters.
Eucalyptus crenulata is a versatile species that will survive and thrive in both moist and well-drained situations. It is known to be cultivated and reported to be moderately easy to grow. There are probably more plants in cultivation than occur in the wild. This species has been used as a street tree. The foliage is also popular in floral arrangements.
The species is probably too large for suburban gardens but would be at home on rural properties.
The foliage provides a contrast with other foliage in the garden. Leaf-eating insects such as scarabs seem to leave the foliage of the Buxton Gum alone.
A nice addition to any garden to add contrasting height, foliage texture and ecological values.
Propagate from seed.
This species can likely regenerate from the lignotuber after fire as well as any seed bank.
It is well-known that Eucalyptus is a large and diverse genus. Between 700 and 950 known species are reported, occurring as far north as The Philippines, as well as Indonesia, New Guinea, Timor and Australia. Only 16 species reportedly occur outside Australia. They occur in all Australian states. NSW currently has about 250 species. (See this website for some detailed information: https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/intro/learn.htm).
Eucalyptus – from Greek, eu, “well” or “true” and calyptus, referring to the calyptra (καλύπτρo) or operculum, which is a bud cap or covering which covers the developing flowers. The calyptra is a fusion of petals and/or sepals and is shed when the flower opens, leaving a flower with many stamens (staminate) surrounding one female part (carpel).
crenulata – Latin meaning ‘crenulate’ – a condition where the leaf edges (margins) have continuous fine and small wavy or curved and even segments of teeth. The species was named from material collected in the Acheron Valley, near Buxton in 1938.
This species is listed as being threatened with extinction in the wild at both Victorian and Commonwealth level with the category of Endangered.
VICFlora – Flora of Victoria Online – Eucalyptus crenulata profile page https://vicflora.rbg.vic.gov.au/flora/taxon/339f6258-d970-462f-94f9-c3a253caf4e2
EUCLID – Eucalypts of Australia – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research – Eucalyptus crenulata profile page https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/entities/eucalyptus_crenulata.htm
Yarra Ranges Council – Plant Directory – Eucalyptus crenulata profile page https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/PlantDirectory/Trees/Trees-5m/Eucalyptus-crenulata
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.