An evergreen tree occasionally up to 100 ft high, but usually 20 to 50 ft, of slender habit, the trunk cylindrical, as much as 9 ft in girth; young shoots downy. Leaves opposite, simple, oblong, rounded at the apex, toothless; 11⁄2 to 3 in. long, 3⁄8 to 5⁄8 in. wide; deep glossy green above, glaucous beneath; stalk 1⁄8 in. long. Flowers pure white, 1 to 2 in. across, sweetly scented, solitary and pendulous on a stalk 1⁄2 in. long that is produced from the leaf-axils; petals four; stamens numerous, 3⁄8 in. long, with yellow anthers. Fruit dry, woody, 5⁄8 in. long, cylindrical, splitting longitudinally when ripe. Bot. Mag., t. 7200.
Native of Tasmania, where it flowers in February; with us it blooms in June or July. It is a very beautiful tree on its native island, growing usually on the banks of rivers. The leaves and young shoots are very resinous. It is a pleasing small tree of slender, columnar habit which makes an admirable specimen for mild, sheltered gardens, growing rapidly when young and ultimately attaining a height of about 20 ft. The flowers are more elegantly fashioned than in either of the Chilean species. Although less hardy than E. glutinosa it thrives in many gardens not so far distant from London. There are good specimens in the Savill Gardens; at Nymans in Sussex; and in the Chandlers Ford nursery of Messrs Hillier. Two fine examples on the Terrace Walls at Bodnant are about 25 ft high; they were badly damaged in the winter of 1962-3.
E. milliganii Hook. f. E. lucida var. milliganii (Hook, f.) Summerhayes – A close ally of E. lucida and also confined to Tasmania. It differs in its shrubby habit, shorter leaves, and smaller flowers. On some Tasmanian specimens preserved at Kew many of the leaves are only 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. long. It is treated as a distinct species by Bausch (Kew Bull., 1938) and by Dr Curtis (The Endemic Flora of Tasmania, Vol. 1 (1967), p. 62, where both species are beautifully figured). It does not normally exceed 12 ft in height.
E. (lucida × cordifolia). – This beautiful hybrid between the two simple-leaved species of Eucryphia arose at Trengwainton, Cornwall, before the second world war but is still uncommon in gardens. It inclines to the first parent and like it flowers at an early age, but the leaves are larger, wavy-edged, occasionally shallowly toothed above the middle, and recall E. cordifolia in their poise.