Eucalyptus flowers: E. nitens & E. globulus in bloom. Bees and Eucalyptus Hybrids.


Phenology of E. globulus and E. nitens in Galicia (Northwestern Spain)

Gustavo Iglesias Trabado Contact GIT Forestry Consulting
GIT Forestry Consulting - Consultoría y Servicios de Ingeniería Agroforestal - www.git-forestry.com - EUCALYPTOLOGICS

We have already seen some previous example of eucalypts blooming. Today we will see some more!

Shining Gum: Eucalyptus nitens flowers

Eucalyptus nitens flower buds bloom Shining Gum Eucalipto nitens flores Galicia España Spain GIT Forestry ConsultingFig. 1: Examples of flower buds, blooms and infrutescences in Eucalyptus nitens growing in Galicia (NW Spain)

Widely introduced into commercial scale plantings in Galicia as a frost hardy alternative to E. globulus of the inland tablelands and ranges, E. nitens most commonly appears at altitudes between 400 and 900 m, growing in a variety of soil types and site conditions.

Its fast growth, small flower size (clusters around 1 cm), relatively delayed maturation age compared to other species and loss of basal branches when planted in timber stands can make spotting its blooms a difficult task without using binoculars. We have observed it blooming from late April well into July, but some variation in these phenologic ranges can happen every year depending on climatic tendences and some variation does occur also at different altitudes.

Tasmanian Blue Gum: Eucalyptus globulus ssp. globulus flowers

Eucalyptus globulus flower buds bloom Tasmanian Blue Gum Eucalipto blanco flores Galicia GIT Forestry Consulting Spain EspañaFig. 2: Examples of flower buds and blooms of Eucalyptus globulus ssp. globulus growing in Galicia (NW Spain)

The classical species in the Atlantic coasts of Iberia (from Portugal to France), introduced in half the 19th century and widely planted in the milder coastal climates since mid 20th century, E. globulus ssp. globulus normally appears at altitudes between 0 and 500 m, also in a wide variety of soils and site conditions.

Spotting trees in bloom for this species is easy: it is one of the eucalypts with big flowers (3 to 7 cm diameter when blooming) and it does so profusely, covering the crowns with easily visible silvery white spots by the right time of the year and causing pollinator frenziness due to big amounts of nectar, which, keep me the secret, is also accessible to human beings and tastes certainly sweet. We have observed it blooming during winter and spring, from as early as late November to as late as the last weeks of May, with noticeable variation depending on tree age, microclimatic conditions and yearly climatic tendence making these extremes expand or contract depending on the year.

A jump ahead of seven steps: Eucalyptus "globens" or Eucalyptus "nitobulus"

For the sake of brevity (Bonum, si breve, bis bonum), after jumping from flower to flower "bee style", we jump ahead overcoming taxomomic, phisiologic, phenologic barriers, a bit more ahead overcoming seed collection, extraction and germination, a bit more ahead overcoming plant screening... et voilà!

Eucalyptus nitens x globulus Eucalyptus globulus x nitens Eucalyptus hybrid Eucalyptus nitobulus Eucalyptus globens Eucalipto hibrido Galicia GIT Forestry Consulting Spain EspañaFig. 3: Example of Eucalyptus forestry species hybridisation: hybrid of E. globulus and E. nitens (E. nitens x globulus)

One of these days we will describe each small previous jump, and proceed further to yet another complex process: mass vegetative propagation!

The main driver should always be "Eucalyptus Heterosis can be exploited".

or, in the funny way...

Honey bee foraging a blooming ornamental Eucalyptus in Galicia, Spain/ Abeja pastando eucalipto en flor en Galicia, España / GIT Forestry Consulting, Consultoría y Servicios de Ingeniería AgroforestalHeteroid Eucalyptus Yields: Breed Elite Eucalypts!

EUCALYPTOLOGICS: GIT Forestry Consulting Eucalyptus Blog / Information Resources on Eucalyptus Cultivation Worldwide / Forestry Engineering, Eucalyptus Seed, Eucalyptus Plants, Eucalyptus Wood, Eucalyptus Honey, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Forests, Eucalyptus Plantations, Eucalyptus Timber, Eucalyptus Lumber, Eucalyptus Furniture, Eucalyptus Veneer, Eucalyptus Plywood, Eucalyptus MDF Board, Eucalyptus Cellulose, Eucalyptus Paper, Eucalyptus Biomass, Eucalyptus Energy, Eucalyptus Floristry, Eucalyptus Foliage, Eucalyptus Garden / Ingenieria Forestal, Semilla de eucalipto, Plantas de eucalipto, Madera de eucalipto, Miel de eucalipto, Aceite Esencial de eucalipto, Bosque de eucalipto, Plantacion de eucalipto, Muebles de eucalipto, Tablero de eucalipto, MDF de eucalipto, Celulosa de eucalipto, Papel de eucalipto, Biomasa de eucalipto, Energia de eucalipto, Ramillo Verde Ornamental de Eucalipto, Jardin de EucaliptoGIT's Eucalyptology Topics

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© 2007 Gustavo Iglesias Trabado. Please contact us if you want to use all or part of this text and photography elsewhere. We like to share, but we do not like rudeness.

4 Comments by our readers :::

Anonymous said...


Your piece on hybrids of niten and globulus is interesting. I have intimate knowledge of this as I did my PhD in this area. My work on this hybrid commenced in 1986 and the thesis was completed in 2002. There is a paper, soon to be published in Tree Genomes and Genetics on this topic.

Peter Volker, Tasmania, Australia

Gus-GITForestry said...

Hello Peter!

Nice to see you around. I have an early paper on your work (Aus. Journ. Bot., 1990) in the library here, and I think I will enjoy reading the newer one you mention in due course! As all the literature on Eucalyptus genetics coming from Tasmania, world class!

The short piece above was just a small attempt to help those hobbyist growers who regularly ask if it is possible to hybridise eucalypts. Partially to show them visually and with a real example it is very possible to "create hybrids", but also to show them there are many factors to ponder for each considered cross. I just used examples common in our local eucalypt plantations, and in this case an hybrid line with interest for forestry.

An extra point, trying to help some people see "man made tree hybrids" are not evil creations, but just the natural result of a tree breeder playing the role of a conscious bee.

No matter what, it is very nice to get a comment from one of the pioneers in the making and study of this particular hybrid. Thank you and greetings to Tasmania!

PS: I take the chance to point you to another UTAS inspired recent visual resource on Eucalyptus cultivation added to EUCALYPTOLOGICS, with my thanks to the great team of researchers there and collaborators overseas!

Gus GIT-Forestry said...

Available for free download since March 2008, courtesy of UTAS.

Volker, PW (2002) Quantitative genetics of Eucalyptus globulus, E. nitens and their F1 'hybrid. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania. [PDF, 4 Mb]

Gus GIT-Forestry said...

And, since July 2008...

Volker, PW and Potts, BM and Borralho, NMG (2008) Genetic parameters of intra and inter-specific hybrids of Eucalyptus globulus and E. nitens. Tree Genetics & Genomes, 4 (3). pp. 445-460. ISSN 1614-2942

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