Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. | Plants of the World Online

Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. | Plants of the World Online

River purple gum is a wonderful tree discovered alongside river banks and in valleys in Australia.

Though river purple gum is native, and restricted, to Australia it was first described from a cultivated plant rising within the backyard of the Camaldoli spiritual order in Naples, Italy. This enormous tree has a thick trunk and multicoloured bark, mixing gray, off-white and brown. The wooden is sensible purple (therefore the identify purple gum), however can vary from pale pink to virtually black in color. There may be a lot variation within the form of the buds, which come into flower from December to February. This variation is seen all through its huge distribution.

The fantastic thing about river purple gum caught the eye of Hans Heysen, a well-known German painter who lived in Adelaide, Australia, portray eucalypts between the late 19th and early 20th century. Stan Kelly, a Victorian Railway driver, additionally devoted a big a part of his life to portray the eucalypts he ‘admired probably the most’, together with river purple gum. 

Geography and distribution

River purple gum is widespread in south-eastern Australia and southern Queensland. It’s also broadly cultivated, primarily in Europe and Asia, but in addition in California (USA), British Guiana, Venezuela, Bolivia and Africa. 


A medium-sized tree, typically rising as much as 30 metres tall (however can generally grow to be a big tree of as much as 45 m), with a thick trunk lined with peeling bark. The graceful bark may be gray, pinkish gray, white or brown. The leaves are principally alternate (one at every node), lance-shaped to narrowly so, 18-25 × 2 cm. The leaves are inexperienced or bluish inexperienced, often the identical color on either side of the leaf, boring or shiny, with oil glands seen clearly. The inflorescence is axillary, with 7-11 white flowers with pedicels (flower stalks) of about 2.5 cm lengthy. The buds have a scar, and the bud caps are strongly beaked or conical. The stamens (male components of the flower) are inflexed (bent inward or downward) or erect. The fruit is hemispherical, 0.6 × 1 cm, and accommodates yellow to yellow-brown seeds with a terminal hilum (scar indicating the purpose of attachment).

Dried herbarium specimen of
Eucalyptus camaldulensis collected in Australia. Makes use of

The timber of Eucalyptus camaldulensis is utilized in building, parquet flooring and for railway sleepers. The dried wooden makes a wonderful supply of fuelwood and charcoal, and due to the quick progress of the tree it has been launched for this function to many arid and semi-arid components of the world. The flowers are a great supply of nectar for honey manufacturing. The important oil from the leaves has been used medicinally for treating coughs and as a vermifuge. It has been discovered to have antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant actions, and has additionally been discovered to repel some species of mosquito.

E. camaldulensis has been planted with some success to reclaim sand dunes and as a windbreak in components of the Center East. River purple gum grows on a wide range of soils, and sometimes alongside the borders of salt lakes. Because of this, some provenances can develop on saline waterlogged soils of degraded irrigation schemes. Nonetheless, due to water and nutrient competitors it isn’t beneficial to plan it alongside crops.

The fantastic thing about Eucalyptus camaldulensis , with its multicoloured bark, has impressed gardeners around the globe to domesticate it, therefore it’s now a broadly cultivated species, and reported as probably the most widespread of all eucalypts. Though appropriate for parks and huge gardens in tropical and heat temperate drylands, it’s much less appropriate as a road tree in city areas on account of the litter ensuing from its peeling bark and dried, fallen leaves.

Injury to Landscapes in South Africa

Eucalyptus camaldulensis is one in every of a number of Eucalyptus species which is invasive in South Africa. Australia and South Africa share related environmental situations, and therefore species that develop properly in a single are doubtless to take action within the different. River purple gum, though in steadiness with different organisms in its native atmosphere has induced a lot harm to South African landscapes the place it has been launched and grow to be invasive. Lengthy stretches of rivers and dam shores have been remodeled by river purple gum. It attracts up a considerable amount of water from the bottom, contributes to soil erosion and adversely impacts nutrient biking and soil properties.

Millennium Seed Financial institution: Seed storage

Kew’s Millennium Seed Financial institution Partnership goals to save lots of vegetation world huge, specializing in crops below menace and people of most use sooner or later. Seeds are dried, packaged and saved at a sub-zero temperature within the seed financial institution vault.

Description of seeds: Common 1,000 seed weight = 2.four g

Variety of seed collections saved within the Millennium Seed Financial institution: Six

Seed storage behaviour: Orthodox (the seeds of this plant survive being dried with out considerably lowering their viability, and are due to this fact amenable to long-term frozen storage resembling on the MSB)

Germination testing: 98% germination was achieved with: germination medium = 1% agar; germination situations = 20°C, 8/16. 98% germination was achieved with: germination medium = 1% agar; germination situations = 10°C, 8/16. 91% germination was achieved with: germination medium = 1% agar; germination situations = 15°C, 8/16.

River purple gum at Kew

Pressed and dried specimens of river purple gum are held within the Herbarium, one of many behind-the-scenes areas of Kew. Thedetails, together with photos, of a few of these may be seen within the on-line Herbarium Catalogue.

Specimens of river purple gum bark, oil, fruits, resin and wooden are held within the behind-the-scenes Financial Botany Assortment.

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