Eucalyptus cypellocarpa

Monkey Gum / Mountain Gum / Mountain Grey Gum

Family: Myrtaceae

Potentially a very tall tree, reaching 50, to even 65 metres, in some habitats, 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 NSW tablelands, close to the boundaries with the coastal and western slopes, south from about Tamworth, along the ranges into Victoria. 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 moist ground with basalt rocks and a moist fern, grass and forb groundlayer.

The juvenile foliage / coppicing growth has opposite leaves, which is broad-lanceolate, to ovate, to 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 long and wide and pendulous appearance.

The flower buds are arranged in leaf axils in groups (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 have conspicuous ribs running along their length – a very useful identification feature. Flowering occurs between October and June and the flowers are white.

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

In the garden

Not overly common in gardens and cultivation but they can be observed growing in lawns and gardens 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.

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

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

Regenerates from seed after fire and growth from the lignotuber.

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.

Not considered at risk in the wild.

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

By Jeff Howes, edited Dan Clarke