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Eucalyptus prava

Orange Gum

Family: Myrtaceae

Eucalyptus prava, the Orange Gum, develops into a small to medium tree with a trunk that is often rather twisted. The bark is smooth and comes in a range of colours. Patchy grey, grey-brown, orange and red-brown are all colours in the palette of Orange Gum bark colours. In spring the bark is shed in large plates or flakes. This is when the orange colour is most vivid (hence the common name). As the year progresses this colour fades.

Leaves are ovate-lanceolate, dark green above and paler beneath.

Large white flowers, in clusters of 5-7, appear in late spring and summer. A range of insects are attracted to the nectar-rich blooms. Centre stage, in the photo, is a pair of Spotted Flower Chafer Beetles that are feeding on the nectar and endeavouring to increase the Spotted Flower Chafer population. The capsules that follow the flowers are globular with prominent protruding valves.

Eucalyptus prava occurs on the Northern Tablelands of NSW and south-east Queensland. The Orange Gum was previously included with E. bancroftii, a coastal species but was given species status in 1990.

In the garden

This species is grown in cultivation but not often. However, it does grow well. Hardy once established. 

It has an attractive trunk with orange hues at times and rembles other species of red gum. It is usually found on sandy or granite-based soils in the wild. 

Propagation

Propagate from seed.

Other information

The species name is from the Latin; pravus meaning crooked and refers to the often twisted trunk.

This species can regenerate after fire from the lignotuber. May also regenerate from the seed bank.

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).

prava – Latin – pravus – meaning “crooked” or “perverse” – referring to the crooked habit of the species.

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

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Eucalyptus prava profile page                https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Eucalyptus~prava

National Trust – Statement of Significance – Eucalyptus prava  https://trusttrees.org.au/tree/VIC/South_Yarra/321_Walsh_Street

EUCLID – Eucalypts of Australia – Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research – Eucalyptus prava profile page                                        https://apps.lucidcentral.org/euclid/text/entities/eucalyptus_prava.htm

By Warren and Gloria Sheather