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Eucalyptus camaldulensis

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

blue gum, murray red gum, flooded gum, forest gum, yarrah, biall, creek gum.

Medium tree 25-40m tall with dark bark, rough on the lower trunk, elsewhere smooth and deciduous, peeling in sheets, dull-white or ash coloured. It is widespread in the Murray Darling Basin. Red gum is so named for its brilliant red wood, which can range from a light pink through to almost black, depending on the age and weathering. Branches have the habit of falling without notice and hence the name ‘widow makers’.

Leaves - alternate, lanceolate, with pointed tip 12-22cm long, 8-25mm wide, thin, drooping, green or blue-green, stalked, the new growth often pinkish.

Flowers - cream, in clusters of 5-10 borne on a cylindrical common stalk 10-15mm long arising in the leaf axils. Buds 6-10mm long, 4-5mm wide, the cap conical or beaked.

Flowering most years from late spring to mid-summer, but is variable and unpredictable from year to year. About 45% of flowers fail to mature. The pollen is valued by bee keepers.

Indigenous uses - kino used for sore throats, diarrhoea, sores; colds and fever; river red gums offer a powerful antiseptic; the dark inner bark is boiled until the red gum comes out, when cool it is used as a rubbing medicine for sores such as scabies; for children with diarrhoea the heartwood is boiled in water, then drunk; the seeds are edible and can be ground to make damper; used for the treatment of burns; the bark from the river red gum was commonly used to make canoes. On some old ‘canoe trees’ the scares are still present to this day.


Can be found along the banks of watercourses, as well as the floodplains of those watercourses. Due to the proximity to these watercourses, river red gum is subject to regular flooding in its natural habitat. River red gum prefers soils with clay content. The trees not only rely on rainfall but also on regular flooding, since flooding recharges the sub-soil with water.


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