Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Gum trees

Eucalyptus and Corymbia and Angophora species, hybrids and cultivars

Family: Myrtaceae

Note that the majority of these trees are unsuitable for home gardens. There are, however a few suitable for the suburbs, including the grafted eucalypts selected for outstanding flowers.

There is a massive amount of information about eucalypts online already. This page will concentrate on species suitable for average gardens in the tropics and subtropics. plus some interesting news items concerning the group.

Eucalyptus curtisii

Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii
Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii
Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii
Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii
Eucalyptus curtisii Eucalyptus curtisii
Eucalyptus curtisii

Corymbia ptychocarpa

Corymbia ptychocarpa Corymbia ptychocarpa Corymbia ptychocarpa
Corymbia ptychocarpa Corymbia ptychocarpa Corymbia ptychocarpa
Corymbia ptychocarpa


Edited Eucalyptus

In many parts of the world, Australian eucalypts are useful species that have also become troublesome weeds. An international collaboration has recently introduced sterility into a timber variety of Eucalyptus using CRISPR gene editing technology, the first time it has been successfully used for commercial forestry. This removes the weed potential of the tree, although laws against GMO crops would prevent use of this new strain from being planted in some places. Source: Research suggests eucalyptus trees can be genetically modified not to invade native ecosystems (April, 2021)

Age of Logan Resident Revealed

A blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) already recognised as one of Logan's oldest trees has been scientifically dated to about 378 years old. Differences in resistance (indicating the rings) were measured by probing the trunk. The tree has now been officially named "Gandalf". It's located on private property at North Maclean. With the cooperation of other landholders, Logan City Council is hoping to expand its tree age testing program to catalogue historic trees throughout the city. Source: Logan’s Gandalf is a grand old tree (July 2019)

USC identifies backyard-appropriate koala tree for SEQ

A University of the Sunshine Coast team, led by Dr Stephen Trueman, have spent nine years researching which koala-friendly trees are most suitable for urban South-East Queensland, including backyards. They assessed around 20 species and variants, including grafting experiments. The only one that grew well and stayed sufficiently small was Eucalyptus kabiana ( Mt Beerwah mallee), reaching 6m in seven years. They can provide food and habitat for koalas and should be useful in creating corridors between existing habitats well away from dangerous roads. The first 350 seedlings to be planted across the Moreton Bay Region were given to the Moreton Bay Regional Council and the Pine Rivers Koala Care Association at the project launch. The next step is to assess them in various locations with different soil types. Source: Dwarf gum tree plantings to help safeguard koalas (July 2016)

Sports give trees a sporting chance

A study of Eucalyptus melliodora at the Australian National University shows that mutations that occur during vegetative growth over a tree's long life can lead to some branches being more pest-resistant than others. In this case, the variation was explained by changes in terpene production. These genetic "sports" might be deleterious if carried by the whole plant, but do give a chance of survival under heavy insect attack. Source: Genetic variation controls predation: Benefits of being a mosaic (February 2013)

More than one scribbler

Although a distinctive feature of some Eucalypts, the cause of the "scribbles" on their trunks has until recently been little studied. The Australian Scribbly Gum Moth was thought to be the only species responsible, but thanks to a team of "retired" CSIRO scientists, we now know that at least twelve species of moths can create the phenomenon. Source: 'Retired' scientists unmask bush graffiti artist (November 2012)

Eucalytpus genome holds potential for new, better forestry crops
The complete genetic sequence (about 640 million DNA base pairs) of Eucalyptus grandis has been published. It took more than 130 researchers four years to complete the project. It's hoped that the information will facilitate the breeding of forestry trees suited to production of wood, paper, biofuels or other bioproducts, or with other desirable characteristics. Source: Eucalyptus tree genome deciphered (May 2011)

Myrtle rust a threat to Eucalypts
This disease attacks a wide variety of plants in the family Myrtaceae. It was first detected in NSW in 2010, but has since been identified in Qld. The extent of the host range is still being investigated, but some eucalypts have been included in the list. For more information on the disease and up-to-date information concerning reporting obligations and quarantine restrictions, visit Biosecurity Queensland, the Myrtle Rust website (NSW Department of Primary Industries), or contact the relevant authority in your state or territory. (February 2011)

Gums should recover from caterpillar outbreak
Agri-Science Queensland has assured residents of the Boonah, Beaudesert, Lockyer Valley and Brisbane/Esk Valley regions that local gum trees attacked by a recent outbreak of caterpillars will recover. The gum leaf skeletoniser (Uraba lugens) can leave trees with a "bronzed" or "scorched" appearence. The large numbers have probably resulted from the weather conditions this winter and spring. Hotter temperatures should see numbers decrease. In the meantime, residents should avoid contact with the caterpillars, which can cause skin irritation. More from the DEEDI here: Caterpillar culprit of gum tree 'bronzing' (December, 2010)

New discoveries still being made after 250 years
New plants discovered or described by botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in its 250th year include Madagascan relatives of the coffee plant, a South African yam with a reputation as a cancer cure, and two eucalypts from Australia that have potential as ornamentals. Read more at the Kew website: Kew botanists discover over 250 new plant species in Kew's 250th year (December 2009)

Tree of Kowledge goes to university
One 25 plants propagated from Barcaldine's "Tree of Knowledge" after it's 2006 poisoning has been donated to the University of Queensland and has found a home at the St Lucia campus. Source: Knowledge planted at UQ (November 2009)

Eucalyptus pilularis in Redland Shire
Redland Shire Council has purchased 8.22 Ha of private land as part of an ongoing effort to protect forects of the the valued timber species Eucalyptus pilularis, the blackbutt. More from the council here (PDF): Council moves to protect endangered blackbutt (November, 2007)

Kosciuszko bursts into bloom
Rain and warm temperatures in Kosciuszko National Park, have produced one of the best displays of wildflowers of recent times, including the snow gums which are flowering for the first time in years. More at Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW: Sensational wildflower season in Kosciuszko (January 2008)

Warning: collection, destruction, propagation, movement, sale or purchase of any Australian native plant (including seeds or spores) may be subject to laws and regulations. Be sure to check with appropriate authorities before engaging in these activities, even on private property. Other laws may also apply to the treatment and movement of plant or soil material (for example, to control the spread of weeds, pests and diseases.)

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