Eucalyptus parramattensis

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Central coast of New South Wales extending inland to about Putty. Relatively common in poorly drained clayey soils that characterise the Cumberland Plain in western Sydney
Common Name: Calgaroo; Parramatta red gum
Derivation of Name: Eucalyptus...from Greek, eu, well and calyptos, covered referring to the cap which covers the developing flowers.
parramattensis...from Greek, - ensis, belonging to; ie. occurring in the Parramatta district
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild at the species level although subspecies decadens is regarded as vulnerable under the EPBC Act* (ie. facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future, as determined in accordance with prescribed criteria).

General Description:

Eucalyptus parramattensis, the Parramatta red gum, is a small to medium (10 - 20 metres) usually spreading, shady tree that has either a single trunk or multiple ones. Its bark is deciduous, dark to light grey, although it is sometimes persistent near the base. Its leaves are 8 - 15 cm x 2 cm, lance-shaped (lanceolate), stalked, and light to dull green on both surfaces. The inflorescences are 7 - flowered auxiliary umbels on terete peduncles that are about 1 cm long. The flowers which appear in November to January, are white and attract nectar-eating birds. The capsules grow to 0.5 cm x 0.7 cm, being hemispherical with exserted valves.

Eucalyptus parramattensis
Eucalyptus parramattensis
Photo: Brian Walters

Two botanical subspecies and one variety are recognised. E.parramattensis subsp.parramattensis differs from subsp. decadens in having shorter bud caps (opercula). E.parramattensis var. sphaerocalyx has short, rounded bud caps in contrast to the usual conical caps.

Although not often cultivated, E.parramattensis is an attractive tree of moderate size that is hardy in heavy soils with plenty of sun and moisture. Calgaroo flowers profusely and is attractive to birds.

Propagation is from seed which germinates readily.

* EPBC Act = Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

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