Common: Blue Gum, Tasmanian Blue Gum
California, Arizona, and Hawaii
- NW California southward to S California
- Southern Arizona
- Islands of Hawaii and Maui
This eucalyptus, also known as Tasmanian blue gum, is one of the hardier species that develop into large trees; thus, it has found California to be a suitable home after its introduction. Other species of eucalyptus are also cultivated in the US, mostly in California but a few are grown in Florida and other relatively warm states. The long, blue-green, sickle-like leaves and distinct scent are characteristic of this tree. The bark differs considerably among species; in blue gum it comes off in long, light brown straps or ribbons. The leaves on young trees or new shoots may be shaped rather differently—arranged oppositely without petioles. The flowers are rather unusual in structure—the sepals and petals form a protective covering over the bud and fall off when the flower blooms, leaving the numerous stamens to lend color to the flower. The single pistil leads to the ovary that ripens as a distinct capsule that eventually releases tiny seeds. There are some eight hundred species of eucalyptus, and all except one are native to Australia.