A tree to about 100 ft high (sometimes attaining 200 ft); bark deciduous, creamy, pinkish or bronze when first exposed, later grey, shed in long, thick ribbons; usually it is persistent and furrowed at the base of the trunk. Juvenile leaves ovate to orbicular, 13⁄5 to 3 in. long or even more, on short stalks. Adult leaves ovate to lanceolate, up to 5 in. or more long, acute at the apex, tapered at the base, leathery in texture and usually glossy. Umbels on slender common-stalks up to about 1⁄2 in. long, with four to seven flowers; buds elliptical to diamond-shaped, operculum conical and about as long as the calyx-tube. Fruits obconical or hemispherical; disk flat; valves level or slightly exserted.
Native of Tasmania and S.E. Australia from sea-level to 2,000 ft; commonly found in swampy ground and valley bottoms, but not invariably so; introduced before 1894. It has so far proved tender in the British Isles but Lord Talbot has a young tree at Malahide Castle near Dublin which came through the winter of 1962-3 unharmed.
E. aggregata Deane & Maiden Black Gum. – A tree to about 70 ft high, differing from E. ovata in its rough, flaking, dark-grey bark; in the smaller, more rounded juvenile leaves and smaller fruit. Native of New South Wales in swampy ground. It ascends higher in the mountains than E. ovata and is likely therefore to prove hardier. Of recent introduction.
E. camphora R. T. Baker Broad-leaved Sally. – A tree to about 65 ft high with a dark, deciduous bark shed in broad ribbons. A native of Victoria and New South Wales, introduced recently by R. C. Barnard. Growing as it does in damp frost-hollows, it is likely to be very hardy but is scarcely tried as yet. E. ovata var. aquatica Blakely, said to form thickets in shallow water, is now included in E. camphora.