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Eucalyptus cordata Labill.

Silver Gum

Modern name

Eucalyptus cordata Labill.

A tree to about 50 ft high; bark smooth, white or greenish white; young shoots warted. Juvenile and adult leaves similar; they are opposite, stalkless, vividly blue-white, orbicular to ovate or broader than long, rounded or short-pointed at the apex, heart-shaped at the base with the basal lobes of each leaf overlapping those of the opposite one; 112 to 312 in. long, 1 to 214 in. wide; margins with distant, rounded teeth. Flowers produced in November and December, usually three in a cluster in each leaf axil; common-stalk 15 to 25 in. long; buds ovate; operculum conical to hemispherical, shorter than the calyx-tube, and usually with a rounded knob at the top. Fruit glaucous, hemispherical to top-shaped, about 25 in. long; capsule deeply enclosed in the calyx-tube.

Native of Tasmania, confined to the south-eastern part of the island at 500 to 2,000 ft; introduced before 1850. It is a rather tender species, best suited to Cornwall, Ireland and the west coast of Scotland. There is a specimen some 60 ft high at Castlewellan, Co. Down, and smaller ones at Fota and Ashbourne House, Co. Cork, Eire. Near London it has lived long enough to flower in the open but this is owing to its reaching the flowering state very early. Its leaves do not change in colour or shape as the tree grows older, a character that well distinguishes it from the other eucalypts treated here, with the exception of those mentioned below. In the small state it is used in summer bedding for the sake of its brilliantly glaucous foliage.

E. pulverulenta Sims E. cordata Lodd., not Labill. – This species, found locally in New South Wales, is closely allied to the preceding but may be distinguished by the entire leaves, which are smaller than in E. cordata (usually less than 2 in. long); and by the top-shaped buds with a conical operculum about as long as the calyx-tube. E. pulverulenta was introduced in 1819. The following specimens were recorded in Eire in 1966: Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow, 90 × 734 ft; Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, 70 × 612 and 59 × 434 ft; Fota, Co. Cork, pl. 1935, 59 × 334 ft.

E. cinerea Benth. E. pulverulenta var. lanceolata Howitt – This species closely resembles E. pulverulenta in juvenile foliage and other characters but differs markedly in its bark, which on the trunk and main branches is rough, fibrous and red-brown. Also the adult leaves, though often similar to the juvenile ones, sometimes become lanceolate and up to 4 in. long. Native of New South Wales and Victoria and known as the Argyle apple. Of recent introduction.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Menabilly, Cornwall, 75 × 634 ft (1984); Tregothnan, Cornwall, (50) × 6 ft, sprouting (1985).

E. pulverulenta - specimens: Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 98 × 812 ft (1980); Mount Usher, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 72 × 612 ft and 62 × 512 ft (1975).



Other species in the genus