Eucalyptus cypellocarpa

Monkey Gum / Mountain Gum / Mountain Grey Gum

Family: Myrtaceae

This species grows to potentially a very tall tree, reaching 50, to even 65 metres, in some habitats, and forming a lignotuber.

It has a sturdy straight trunk with mostly smooth bark with shades of white, grey and yellow, which sheds in long ribbons.

It grows mainly in NSW tablelands, close to the boundaries with the coastal and western slopes, south from about Tamworth, along the ranges into Victoria, where it spreads through the southern and eastern areas, and to as far west as Horsham.

It grows mainly in wet or dry sclerophyll forest with high rainfall on soils of higher fertility. It forms a dominant component of many vegetation types in some areas, some of which can be quite scenic – such as on tall wet sclerophyll forest on moist ground with basalt rocks and a moist fern, grass and forb groundlayer.

Eucalyptus spp. have simple and usually alternate adult leaves with juvenile leaves starting off opposite to alternate (disjunct). In this species, the juvenile foliage / coppicing growth has opposite leaves, which is broad-lanceolate, to ovate or elliptic, and glossy green. The adult leaves are disjunct, lanceolate to 20 cm long and to 2.5 cm wide, dull dark-green and concolorous. The leaves usually have a pendulous appearance.

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, the flower buds are arranged in leaf axils in umbellasters of 7. Mature buds are ovoid to 12 mm long and 5 mm wide with a conical and slightly-beaked operculum / calyptra. The buds also have conspicuous ribs running along their length – a very useful identification feature. Flowers are white and occur between October and June.

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 capsules are cylindrical to ovoid, resembling a barrel-like cup with 3 valves, usually rim-level to enclosed, to 10 mm long and 9 mm wide.

In the garden

This species is not overly common in gardens and cultivation but they can be observed growing in lawns and gardens, as well as paddocks, surrounding houses in areas such as the southern highlands of NSW. They can grow to be very large so not suited to small gardens. Very useful and attractive in large gully landscapes on higher fertility soils, as well as along creeklines. They can be very grandiose when large. Excellent specimen and shade tree in a larger landscape. The smooth bark can display attractive patterns through the year. Road verge trees of this species can be observed around areas such as Avoca, Fitzroy Falls and Meryla as well as Mt Gibraltar (Mittagong) in the southern highlands of NSW. 

Eucalypts can suffer problems from, caterpillars, leaf eating beetles, psyllids and borers to name a few. In undisturbed conditions, the numbers of eucalypt-feeding insects and their predators and parasites are in balance, so that they rarely cause tree death and most trees quickly recover from attack. In a home situation nature can get out of balance.


Eucalyptus can be propagated by seeds which is most common method or grafting.
Cuttings are difficult to start, but can be used in some species.

Other information

Regenerates from seed after fire and growth from the lignotuber.

Eucalyptus is one of three similar genera that are commonly referred to as “eucalypts”, the others being Corymbia and Angophora. 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).

cypellocarpa – from the Greek “Kipello” (κυπελλο) meaning “cup” and “karpos” (καρπός) meaning “fruit”, referring to the cup-shaped fruits.

This species is not considered to be at at risk of extinction in the wild.

“Field Guide to Eucalypts Vol 1 South Eastern Australia’ M.I.H.Brooker and D.A.Kleinig. Blooming Books.

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Eucalyptus cypellocarpa profile page

Wikipedia – Eucalyptus cypellocarpa profile page

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.