Eucalyptus saligna Seeds
Eucalyptus saligna is a tall tree, 30-50 m in height, with a diameter at breast height of up to 2 m. Exceptional specimens grow 65 m tall and attain a diameter of 2.5 m. The trunk is generally of excellent form, straight and clear of branches for 1/2 to 2/3 of the total tree height. The bark is rough and persistent, brownish or greyish. A somewhat flaky bark is retained at the base for 1-4 m, decorticating in long strips to leave a smooth, bluish-grey to white surface. Plant is heterophyllous, i.e., it has juvenile and adult phases; juvenile leaves are 1st opposite and then alternate, ovate to broadly lanceolate, green, strongly discolorous; adult leaves are alternate, simple pendulous, lanceolate, 9-17 x 2-3 cm; petiole 15-25 mm long, pinnately veined or with parallel veins, aromatic when crushed, glabrous. Inflorescence simple, axillary, with 7-11 flowers; peduncles flattened, 4-18 mm long; pedicels are present, up to 3 mm long, or absent, angular; the angles often continuing as ribs on the hypanthia; buds more or less ovoid, 6-9 x 3-4 mm; opercula conical. Fruits are sessile or very shortly pedicillate, campanulate, cylindrical or pyriform, 5-8 x 4-7 mm; disk narrow, descending; valves 3 or 4, usually with thin, pointed tips, erect, protruding just above the rim level or strongly exserted, usually conspicuously out-curved. The genus Eucalyptus was described and named in 1788 by the French botanist l’Héritier. The flowers of Eucalyptus species are protected by an operculum, hence the generic name, which comes from the Greek words ‘eu’ (well), and ‘calyptos (covered)’. The Latin word ‘salignus’ means ‘willowy’, ‘willow-like’; the allusion is rather obscure. The common name ‘Sydney bluegum’ refers to the occurrence of the tree in the Sydney area of Australia and to the sometimes bluish appearance of the smooth bark.