Eucalyptus globulus Tasmanian blue gum
Eucalyptus globulus, Garron Tower

Family: Myrtaceae

Origin: Tasmania

In the wild, Eucalyptus globulus can reach up to 90 m. In mild areas in these islands, such as the coastal regions of Northern Ireland, it can make a stately tree up to 30 m tall. In general, all the largest specimens in cultivation are in Ireland.

A specimen of this species was planted in 1857 at Garron Tower, near Carnlough, Co Antrim, by Lady Londonderry, and still flourishes. In 1987 it measured 31.8 m tall, with a girth of 8.1 m at 1.2 m.

Eucalyptus globulus, Garron Tower 2006

Like many eucalypts, E. globulus has juvenile leaves which differ from the adult ones. They are opposite, often clasping the stem, and long-oval, 6-15 cm long, with a bright silver bloom. The adult leaves are alternate, narrow and straight, or sickle-shaped, 10-30 cm long and 2.5-4 cm wide; they are leathery and glossy green. The flowers are usually singly borne, occasionally in twos or threes, and the bud tapers above and below an expanded mid-line, and is ridged and wrinkled. The petal-less flowers consist only of bundles of stamens, and the fruit is usually hemispherical, with a thick disk on its upper surface. The seeds, as with all of this genus, are minute, and numerous. The bark is shed in long thin strips, exposing the new smooth, bluish-grey undersurface.

Eucalyptus globulus leaves, Garron Tower 2006

Discovered in 1792 and introduced to Europe soon afterwards.

Eucalyptus is from the Greek eu- meaning well and kalypto, to cover, ie well-covered, referring to the structure of the flower which has a 'lid' which is shed on opening.

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