ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. River_red_gum_grey_faintail_flickrcc_paul_asman_and_jill_lenoble River Red Gum_Grey Faintail_FlickrCC Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble
  2. River_red_gum_tree_flickrcc_elizabeth_donoghue River Red Gum tree_FlickrCC_Elizabeth Donoghue

River Red Gum

Eucalyptus camaldulensis

Appearance

  • Tree; bark smooth, mottled, shedding at intervals throughout the year showing white, yellow and grey, becoming roughened at the base. Frequently a straight tree but can develop more twisted habit in drier conditions.
  • Size: to 40m tall
  • Leaves: The tree has a large, dense crown of long and narrow adult leaves, lanceolate in shape or infrequently sickle-shaped, 5 to 30 cm long by 0.7 to 3.2 cm wide, and grey to grey-green on both surfaces. Side veins are prominent and usually at 45° to the leaf mid-rib, and oil glands are numerous and located separate to the veins.
  • Flowers: Its inflorescences (flower heads) are comprised of umbels of 7 to 11 flower buds located at the junction of the leaves and stem with the buds being of ovoid or globular shape and 0.6 to 1.1 cm long by 0.3 to 0.6 cm wide. Buds are green to yellow or cream, and have a prominent tip beak. Flowers are white to cream.
  • Fruits/seeds: Fruit are without a stalk (pedicellate), to 0.6 cm long, 1 cm wide; seed is yellow or yellow-brown, cuboid, smooth. 

What to Observe

First fully open single flower, Full flowering (record all days), End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded), No flowering. Fruits/seeds (record all days.

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them.

When To Look

All year. Flowers in most years from late spring to summer. Flowering intensity is variable and unpredictable from year to year. Fruit development and maturation time can be as short as four months.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout from late February!

Where To Look

Commonly grows on riverine sites, whether of permanent or seasonal water.

Sightings

References

  • Experts Consulted: Dr Marie Keatley

Links

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  1. What Else?

    The species over its whole distribution is distinguished by the seeds which are cuboid, yellow to brownish yellow and have two seed coats (all other red gums have seeds with a single dark brown to black seed coat).

     

  1. Did You Know?

    • The River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, is a common and widespread tree along watercourses over much of mainland Australia, being the widest natural distribution of any eucalyptus species. It is frequently a dominant component of riparian communities, and is an iconic and important species of the Murray-Darling catchment, both ecologically and economically.
    • According to Jacobs (1955) river red gum could reach ages of 500 to 1000 years.