March the 23rd is National Eucalyptus DayA great day was had… A Taste of Tassie’s Eucalypts
Discover Tasmania’s Eucalyptus and their unique stories at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

March the 23rd, 2017 was National Eucalyptus Day and our experts, the RTBG’s Curator of Tasmanian Flora, Chris Lang and RTBG Team Leader, David Marrison led an engaging walk through the Gardens investigating the many special Tasmanian Eucalyptus species that are growing in our collections. It was a fabulous opportunity to enjoy a casual stroll through the Gardens and at the same time discover the diversity and significance of our states amazing Eucalypt flora.

Chris lang has provided some tour notes of the day for those that could not make it.

Eucalyptus Day tour notes 23/3/17

Tasmania floral emblem Eucalyptus globulus at the French Memorial Fountain

Tasmania floral emblem Eucalyptus globulus at the French Memorial Fountain

• 25 very interested participants were taken on a stroll through the Gardens to discover some of Tasmania’s wonderful Eucalyptus species growing in our collections. Those in attendance were surprised to hear that 18 of Tasmania’s Eucalyptus species are found nowhere else. And intrigued to hear that we have the world’s tallest flowering plant, Eucalyptus regnans (Mountain ash)…..a specimen called Centurion, located in the southern forests was last measured at 99.86m!

• Starting at the French Memorial Fountain participants were provided with a general overview of Tasmania’s Eucalyptus flora with an emphasis on Tasmania floral emblem Eucalyptus globulus and the interesting dwarf ecotype specimens from Wilsons Promontory featured in the collection.

The interesting Eucalyptus globulus planted here is the dwarf ecotype specimens from Wilsons Promontory

The interesting Eucalyptus globulus planted here is the dwarf ecotype specimens from Wilsons Promontory

•We then moved onto the Grey Garden to look at two of Tasmania’s 7 threatened Eucalypt species, Eucalyptus gunnii Subsp. divaricata (Miena cider gum) an incredibly cold tolerant plant featuring its beautiful juvenile foliage and E. perriniana (spinning gum).

• Moving through the Eardley- Wilmot wall we stopped at the site where a majestic Blue Gum specimen was removed due to poor condition and the threat it posed to visitors. It was significant as a valued specimen and as the first hardwood forest tree to have its chloroplast genome sequenced (DNA analysis) by UTAS.

Investigating the Eucalyptus gunnii Subsp divaricata (Miena cider gum)

Investigating the Eucalyptus gunnii Subsp. divaricata (Miena cider gum)

• Onto the rare endemic Eucalyptus risdonii (Risdon peppermint) located at the northern end of the Australian collection. A species naturally found growing on dry north-west mudstone hills, across the river from Hobart. A highly ornamental small (3-8m) tree unusual in that it maintains its juvenile condition throughout its life.

• Next stop the Tassie Section to look at one of Australia’s smallest and toughest Eucalypt species, Eucalyptus vernicosa, or varnished gum which naturally occurs on mountains in the west and south-west where, due to the harsh environmental conditions can be restricted to just 0.5m high.

• Then to the Greater Hobart section to learn about the diverse Eucalyptus flora on Hobart’s doorstep. Participants were able to see the endemic Eucalyptus cordata (Heart-leaved silver gum) in flower and learn about another endemic rare and threatened species E. morrisbyi (Morrisby’s gum) a species limited to just two populations in the Cremorne area. Snug Tiers near Margate was mentioned as a place of great Eucalypt diversity with 16 species occurring there.

The memorial sculpture to the old blue gum that used to be featured at the Gardens

The memorial sculpture to the old blue gum that used to be featured at the Gardens

• Moving through the Eucalyptus lawn where some of our larger specimens are on display folk were shown Eucalyptus pulchella (white peppermint) and others.

• The East Coast and hinterland is an area of great Eucalypt diversity with several species growing on the East Coast Collection such as E. barberi (Barber’s gum).

the rare endemic Eucalyptus risdonii (Risdon peppermint)

The rare endemic Eucalyptus risdonii (Risdon peppermint)

• Participants were then shown the dwarf ecotype Blue gums from Cape Tourville on Tasmania’s East Coast and specimens from Wilsons Promontory growing side by side where they could clearly compare and contrast growth habits.

• Finally a selection of Eucalypt samples of a range of species was shown to participants including Tasmania’s most recently discovered and described species, Eucalyptus nebulosa (Serpentine peppermint) from Serpentine Ridge on the west coast.

The endemic Eucalyptus cordata (Heart-leaved silver gum) with Dave Marrison

The endemic Eucalyptus cordata (Heart-leaved silver gum) with Dave Marrison

Why not come in and see the collections for yourself.

If you would like to know more information about the day and or the Eucalyptus species in the Gardens please contact Marcus.Ragus@rtbg.tas.gov.au

Dwarf ecotype Blue gums from Cape Tourville on Tasmania’s East Coast and specimens from Wilsons Promontory growing side by side

National information available through the Eucalypt Day Australia site