Eucalyptus camaldulensis

Distribution Map
Family: Myrtaceae
Distribution: Woodland and forests of all mainland states, particularly along watercourses.
Common Name: River red gum
Derivation of Name: Eucalyptus...from Greek, eu, well and calyptos, covered referring to the cap which covers the developing flowers.
camaldulensis... after Camalduli, a district in Italy.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

The river red gum is one of the best known of all eucalypts. It is common along the Murray-Darling river system and along watercourses in much of semi-arid Australia. It is a medium sized tree usually branching not far above the ground. It may reach 30 - 40 metres in height.

Eucalyptus camaldulensis Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Left: Typical habitat along a creek in central Australia
Right: The famous 'Cazneaux Tree' in the Flinders Ranges

Photos: Brian Walters

The bark is smooth and white or greyish in colour except near the base of the trunk where it is often rough. Leaves are "typical" of eucalypts being lance-shaped up to 250mm long and blue-grey. The white flowers are seen mainly in late spring and summer and these are followed by small seed capsules about 60 mm diameter with protruding valves.

The timber is termite resistant and is used in many applications where contact with the ground is needed.

An unusual form of E.camaldulensis occurs at Greenough on the Western Australian coast near Geraldton. The typical growth of this group of trees is for the trunk to grow more or less straight up for about two metres followed by a right-angled bend. It is apparently a response to the local environmental conditions but the habit appears to be genetically fixed.

Another famous specimen of E.camaldulensis is the famous 'Cazneaux Tree' in South Australia's Flinders ranges. This tree was made famous by photographer Harold Cazneaux in 1937. He titled it 'Spirit of Endurance'.

Eucalyptus camaldulensis 'Greenough'
The strange, wind-shaped form of Eucalyptus camaldulensis at Greenough, near Geraldton, in Western Australia
Photo: Brian Walters

E.camaldulensis is a hardy tree in cultivation but is probably too large for urban gardens. It adapts to a wide range of soils but growth is best in soils with an assured supply of water.

Propagation is from seed which germinates readily.

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