Eucalyptus viminalis

Manna Gum, Ribbon Gum

Family: Myrtaceae

A gum-eucalypt potentially reaching 40+ metres, though usually much shorter.

It is widespread and abundant, in grassy woodland or forest on fertile loamy soils in higher rainfall areas, from South Australia around the east coast to Queensland.

It is found on the slopes, tablelands and coastal areas of NSW. In Sydney, it may be found on the outskirts in the western suburbs on alluvial and clay soils. It is a common tree in the Southern Highlands and western rural creeklines.

The trunk has brown fibrous bark at the base and smooth white limbs up above. Trees typically shed long ribbons of bark which get caught in the forks.

Juvenile leaves are opposite, lanceolate and dull green. The shape is a useful identification feature.

Adult leaves are lanceolate to 20 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, green and glossy.

Eucalypts produce flowers in an umbellaster, an umbel-like cluster which can have 3, 7, 11-15 or more flowers. They are typically 3-flowered in this species (which helps identification enormously). Umbellasters will be produced in the leaf axils.

Flowers are white to cream.

Capsules (gum nuts) are typically rounded to about 9 mm diameter.

In the garden

A hardy, large shade tree suitable for parks or very large gardens. It can look untidy. Needs moist fertile soil to perform best, though is relatively hardy once established.

No reported pests or problems.


Propagation is from seed which germinates readily but cannot be guaranteed to come true to type.

Other information

Manna refers to the sweet crumbly white gum (a sugary material) exuded from the bark which can be eaten raw and is available in summer. It is a very pleasant, sweet taste and eaten by Indigenous peoples.

It regenerates from seed, epicormic shoots and lignotuber after fire.

This eucalyptus is the primary diet of koalas and will attract a large range of animals, with a sweet honey, and a good sugar content within its leaves.

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.

viminalis – is a Latin for “vimen” a word meaning “bearing shoots or ribbons (osiers/pliant twigs) for wicker work”

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

Australian National Herbarium – Eucalyptus viminalis profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/apu/plants/eucavimi.html

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Eucalyptus viminalis profile page

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

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Jeff Howes