Blue gum earned a bad reputation for all species of the genus decades ago. It really is as massive, messy, combustible, unstable and structurally deficient as reputed. Some find its foliar aroma to be objectionable. Fortunately, it is not as invasive as formerly alleged. It is common only because it was planted so extensively a long time ago, and is somewhat naturalized in some regions.

Other eucalypti are more appropriate to landscape situations than blue gum, which is #6 below. #3 and many others are now classified as Corymbia, rather than Eucalyptus. Genus is omitted for these Six.

1. pulverulenta or cinerea is the only eucalyptus that was here when I arrived. I learned this species as ‘cinerea’. However, the correct designation seems to be ‘pulverulenta’. #2 should match.

2. cinerea or pulverulenta, as mentioned above, was supposed to match #1. It was labeled as cinerea. I thought that #1 is cinerea. I still do not know which is cinerea and which is pulverulenta.

3. sideroxylon is the first tree I planted in 2021. For such a dinky tree, it already has quite a history. I gave it to my colleague who appreciates the distinctively dark and coarsely textured bark.

4. citriodora is as goofy as it looks. It is about fifteen feet tall, with just a few leaves at the very top. Its smooth white bark contrasts with that of #3, which it will be planted close to this winter.

5. globulus ‘Compacta’ gets coppiced to produce aromatic juvenile foliage, but is less aromatic than the straight species, #6. It might be my least favorite eucalyptus, although I am fond of #6.

6. globulus gets pollarded to produce aromatic juvenile foliage, like #5, but on a trunk. It is the eucalyptus that gives all other eucalyptus a bad reputation. Nonetheless, I like its grand stature.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

8 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Eucalyptus

    1. They are right at home here because so many are native to similar climates. They got a bad reputation decades ago, and remain unpopular. My colleague down south plants many as street trees in Western Los Angeles. People appreciate them more if they do not know what species they are. I certainly do not recommend all eucalypti, since some really do exhibit the same problems that blue gum exhibit, on smaller scales.


  1. I do like eucalyptus. The smell is wonderful as the colors of the leaves. In our region we don’t have much choice … I bought the E. gunnii “Azura” 2 years ago, which has well grown (3m today). I don’t know to what height it will climb … The salesman said 6 or 7 m. We’ll see… thanks for sharing your varieties .

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    1. The common Eucalyptus gunnii gets about that high. There is an old specimen in town that is taller, but only because it was pruned up on a tall trunk over a roadway. It was one of the species that was grown for cut foliage. I can remember many acres of it and similar species on the hills around San Bruno and South San Francisco in the 1970s. (It is impossible to imagine that horticultural commodities used to grow in that region.) I suspect that the cultivars develop more compact branch structure. It is one of the few species that can get pollarded (by someone who knows how to pollard properly, and can maintain the pollard after the first procedure.) The trees that produced cut foliage were commonly pollarded or partly coppiced to stimulate juvenile growth rather than adult growth. If not pollarded, the adult growth is very appealing also.

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      1. YES! That is how I remember Eucalyptus cinerea. What I got, which I remember as Eucalyptus pulverulenta, has shaggy tan bark. I happen to prefer what I got, but it is not so appropriate for where I put it, and the intended purpose of providing that distinctive firm foliage down low where it is within reach from the ground.


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