Eucalyptus punctata

Grey Gum

Family: Myrtaceae

A large tree, growing to a height of 35 m, with a lignotuber. It is a gum – meaning it has smooth-bark for all of its length. The bark can display vivid shades of grey, white and salmon-orange at different times of the year.

It occurs through the ranges and near coastal areas from near Gympie in Queensland, to near Nowra in New South Wales, most commonly on transition zone soil types between sandstone and shale, mainly on the coast and tablelands, extending into the western slopes.

Adult leaves are glossy dark green, paler on the lower surface, lance-shaped or curved to egg-shaped, to 180 mm long and to 37 mm wide, tapering to a petiole up to about 25 mm long.

The flower buds are arranged in leaf axils in groups of seven (umbellaster); the individual buds on pedicels 2 to 8 mm long. Mature buds are oval to about 1 cm long and wide with a conical to rounded operculum / calyptra.
Flowering occurs from December to March and the flowers are white.

Capsules are woody, cup-shaped or hemispherical, to 9 mm long and about 10 mm wide with exserted valves.
An easy to grow tree, not overly large but can reach 15 metres or more in a garden. Suited to large-open gardens and parks. Not suited to small residential gardens. Mature trees can display really nice shades of bark on the trunk including salmon-orange at times.

In the garden

A Koala food tree. This species is one of 27 more common Eucalypt and Corymbia plants eaten by them. The grey-headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) eats the flowers.

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.

Propagation

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. For further information refer to: http://anpsa.org.au/APOL2007/sep07-s1.html

Other information

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

Refer to these two links for more clarification:
http://anpsa.org.au/eucal1a.html
http://anpsa.org.au/APOL2/jun96-5.html

The timber is very hard and durable, and used in construction and for railway sleepers.

The grey gum regenerates by regrowing from the base and branches after bushfire, through epicormic shoots and buds.

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).
punctata – from the Latin adjective punctatus meaning “spotted” and refers to the oil glands, which give the leaves a dotted appearance.

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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_punctata
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus
https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Eucalyptus~punctata

By Jeff Howes