Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Eucalyptus globulus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2021-09-24.

Common Names

  • Tasmanian Blue Gum


Attached singly along the axis not in pairs or whorls.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
(of fruit) Vernacular English term for winged samaras (as in e.g. Acer Fraxinus Ulmus)
Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
(subsp.) Taxonomic rank for a group of organisms showing the principal characters of a species but with significant definable morphological differentiation. A subspecies occurs in populations that can occupy a distinct geographical range or habitat.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Article from New Trees, Ross Bayton & John Grimshaw

Recommended citation
'Eucalyptus globulus' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2021-09-24.

A tree to 180 ft in the wild state; bark, except near the base, shed in long, thin ribbons which expose a smooth, grey or bluish surface. Juvenile leaves opposite, stalkless and often stem-clasping, oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 212 to 6 in. long, vividly silver-glaucous. Adult leaves alternate, lanceolate or sickle-shaped, 4 to 12 in. long and 1 to 135 in. wide, green and glossy, leathery. Flowers usually solitary in the leaf-axils, more rarely in twos or threes; buds glaucous, up to 1 in. or more long, top-shaped, ridged and wrinkled. Fruit hemispherical to top-shaped, up to 34 in. long and 114 in. wide, with a wide, thick disk.

Native of Tasmania, also found in one small area on the mainland; discovered in 1792 and introduced to Europe soon after. The first large-scale plantings outside Australia were made in the fifties and sixties of the last century and since then the blue gum has become one of the most widely planted of all trees in warm temperate and subtropical climates. In our climate it is definitely tender, but thanks to its rapid growth it is able to attain a remarkable size before succumbing, as it usually does, to a severe winter. Elwes and Henry record that a tree in Jersey, planted in 1862, attained in thirty years the dimensions of 110 × 1034 ft, but was killed in the great frosts of 1894-5. A similar fate has more recently befallen many large trees, both here and in the Mediterranean region, after abnormally hard winters. The cost – and often the damage to other trees – entailed in removing such bulky corpses needs no emphasising.

At the present time the largest specimens on record are all in Eire. These are (all measured 1966): Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, 115 × 834 + 7 ft and 95 × 912 ft; Killiney Hill Road, Shankhill, Co. Dublin, 102 × 914 and 96 × 7 ft; Ashbourne House, Co. Cork, 100 × 12 ft; Derreen, Co. Kerry, three of about the same size, the largest 98 × 1412 ft.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Ventnor, Isle of Wight, 1969 seed, 65 × 5 ft (1978); Laxy Glen, Isle of Man, 118 × 1234 ft (1978); Mount Stewart, Co. Down, pl. 1896, 104 × 1214 ft and, pl. 1928, 98 × 912 ft (1976); Ballywalter, Co. Down, 115 × 1634 ft and 118 × 12 ft (1982); St Macnissi School, Garron Point, Co. Antrim, pl. 1856, a forking tree 102 × 25 ft (1982); Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 135 × 10 ft and 107 × 1014 ft (1980); Glencormac, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 144 × 16 ft (1980).

E. Bicostata – A more recent measurement for the Mount Usher tree is 48 × 312 ft (1975).

From New Trees

Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

Blue Gum

This species was described by Bean (B131, S228) and Krüssmann (K49). A key to the subspecies is provided below (adapted from Chippendale 1988).


Umbellasters one-flowered

subsp. globulus


Umbellasters three- or seven-flowered



Umbellasters seven-flowered

subsp. maidenii (F. Muell.) J.B. Kirkp.


Umbellasters three-flowered



Flower buds and fruits pedicellate

subsp. pseudoglobulus (Naudin ex Maiden) J.B. Kirkp.


Flower buds and fruits sessile

subsp. bicostata (Maiden et al.) J.B. Kirkp.


E bicostata Maiden & Simmonds

Common Names

A close ally of E. globulus from the mainland of S.E. Australia, where it ascends to 3,500 ft. It is likely to be hardier than the blue gum but is at present little known in cultivation. There is an example at Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, measuring 42 × 2{1/2} ft (1966).

subsp. bicostata (Maiden, Blakely & Simmonds) J.B. Kirkp.

Common Names
Southern Blue Gum

This subspecies differs from typical E. globulus in that the umbellasters are three-flowered. Chippendale 1988, Hill 2004. Distribution AUSTRALIA: New South Wales (Tablelands, Western Slopes), South Australia (Mt. Bryan), Tasmania (West Sister Is. only), Victoria. Habitat Wet forest on fertile soils in sheltered areas away from the coast. USDA Hardiness Zone 9. Conservation status Not evaluated. Cross-references B132, S229 (as E. bicostata).

A brief description of ‘Eucalyptus bicostata’ was given by Bean (1981a), who mentioned a specimen of 13 m at Mount Usher in 1966. Since then, however, that record has been far superseded, the largest measured for TROBI being 28 m (64 cm dbh) at Fota Arboretum, Co. Cork in 2002, and another young tree of 17 m having been noted at Sheffield Park, West Sussex in 2003 (Johnson 2007). Looking very similar to the relatively familiar Blue Gum subsp. globulus, subsp. bicostata is probably a little hardier though slightly slower growing. Despite this, vigorous young plants were killed at Lullingstone in the November 2005 frosts. The tree has huge, beautifully glaucous leaves when young and is extremely attractive, with a particularly good fragrance.