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Snow Gums... blooming

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Snow Gums: cold hardy Eucalyptus from Alpine Australia
Additional notes on taxonomy and cultivation in cold temperate climates

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

Eucalyptus pauciflora have started blooming in Galicia this year. A bit of delayed this time, as we have observed them blooming since December in previous years, they remain eye catching in any season none the less.

Eucalyptus pauciflora subspecies pauciflora about to bloom in the tablelands of Galicia / Eucalipto de las Nieves a punto de florecer en las llanuras montanas de Galicia / Gustavo Iglesias Trabado / GIT Forestry Consulting, Consultoría y Servicios de Ingeniería Agroforestal, Lugo, Galicia, España, Spain / Eucalyptologics: Information Resources on Eucalyptus Cultivation Worldwide / Eucaliptologics: Recursos de Informacion sobre el Cultivo del Eucalipto en el MundoFig 1: Adult leaves and blooms of a Snow Gum (E. pauciflora ssp. pauciflora) flowering in the Tablelands of Galicia (NW Spain). (Click image to enlarge)

Eucalyptus pauciflora subspecies pauciflora about to bloom in the tablelands of Galicia / Eucalipto de las Nieves a punto de florecer en las llanuras montanas de Galicia / Gustavo Iglesias Trabado / GIT Forestry Consulting, Consultoría y Servicios de Ingeniería Agroforestal, Lugo, Galicia, España, Spain / Eucalyptologics: Information Resources on Eucalyptus Cultivation Worldwide / Eucaliptologics: Recursos de Informacion sobre el Cultivo del Eucalipto en el MundoFig 2: Adult leaves and swollen flower buds in a soon blooming Snow Gum (E. pauciflora ssp. pauciflora) in the Tablelands of Galicia (NW Spain). (Click image to enlarge)

Highly variable for almost every visual parameter, the E. pauciflora complex spreads over different montane and subalpine habitats in South Eastern Australia and Tasmania, and is formed by 6 subspecies and 3 associated taxa, some of them old introductions overseas since the 1850's and other quite new in cultivation due to recent discovery.

Wolgan Snow Gum Eucalyptus gregsoniana ex Eucalyptus pauciflora variety nana blooming at John Purse Eucalyptus collection in Kent, UK / Eucalipto de las Nieves de Wolgan floreciendo en la coleccion del Dr. John G. Purse, Primabio, http://www.primabio.co.uk / Gustavo Iglesias Trabado / GIT Forestry Consulting, Consultoría y Servicios de Ingeniería Agroforestal, Lugo, Galicia, España, Spain / Eucalyptologics: Information Resources on Eucalyptus Cultivation Worldwide / Eucaliptologics: Recursos de Informacion sobre el Cultivo del Eucalipto en el MundoFig. 3: Eucalyptus gregsoniana (ex E. pauciflora var. nana) blooming at Dr. John G. Purse eucalypt collection (Primabio, Kent, United Kingdom). (Click image to enlarge)

Besides these 9 taxa, as our good friend and impenitent Eucalyptus silviculturalist Des Stackpole reminds us, there is yet a 10th Snow Gum, an endemism from Tasmania.

Eucalyptus coccifera, Tasmanian Snow Gum, Alpine Peppermint growing in a garden in Galicia / Eucalipto de las Nieves de Tasmania en un jardin de Galicia / Gustavo Iglesias Trabado / GIT Forestry Consulting, Consultoría y Servicios de Ingeniería Agroforestal, Lugo, Galicia, España, Spain / Eucalyptologics: Information Resources on Eucalyptus Cultivation Worldwide / Eucaliptologics: Recursos de Informacion sobre el Cultivo del Eucalipto en el MundoFig. 4: Juvenile leaves of Eucalyptus coccifera (Tasmanian Snow Gum) in a Galician garden. (Click image to enlarge)

As Dean Nicolle well says, the Alpine Peppermint or Tasmanian Snow Gum (E. coccifera) thrives in moderate and high altitudes of the island, commonly forming the tree-line in areas subject to snow fall at any time of the year. A bit distant from the E. pauciflora complex taxonomically (for instance, leaf venation is not parallel), it is however a species bearing reasonable cold hardiness, able to tolerate snow, and cultivated from early times in Europe, especially in the UK. Hence it can also be reasonably known as Snow Gum.


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© 2007-2008 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 :::

georgeinbandon,oregon said...

Posted by georgeinbandon,oregon on 6/2/2008, 4:08 pm, in reply to "Snow Gums: Eucalyptus pauciflora & Eucalyptus gregsoniana in bloom"


Gus, thanks for the pictures ----My E. gregsoniana is blooming heavily now. is what you call E. pauciflora nana also known as E. gregsoniana???

gus-eucalyptologics said...

Posted by Gus on 6/2/2008, 8:40 pm, in reply to "Re: Snow Gums: Eucalyptus pauciflora & Eucalyptus gregsoniana in bloom"

There it goes another old botanical story George :) Much of it is speculation, but not unreasonable :)

William Blakely named it E. pauciflora var. nana in 1934, apparently after reviewing samples collected by Joseph Maiden in 1906 which that author had classified as E. coriacea (a then old invalid name for part of the E. pauciflora). So, Blakely was possibly "updating" it to E. pauciflora, but pointing to its small size (var. nana).

Some of the samples that Maiden used by 1906 were possibly sent to him by Jesse Gregson some 30 years before Blakely.

By 1973 Lawrie Johnson and Don Blaxell reviewed this eucalypt and possibly prefferred to acknowledge Jesse Gregson (E. gregsoniana) for discovering or his son Edward J. Gregson for rediscovering this nice eucalypt in the Wolgan than just "updating" a variety to a subspecies (E. pauciflora ssp. nana).

After 1973 it started to get known by that name, seed started to flow overseas and some 100 years after its discovery it has spread around the world as the Dwarf Snow Gum or Gregson's eucalypt :)

If you find the time to photograph your blooming euc and email me some photos, that would be great! The more different specimens to compare, the better :)

Dental Vallejo said...

Very interesting.

Dental San Antonio said...

I have never seen the blooms of a snow gum before...it looks so pretty.


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