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Spinning Gums... in bloom

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Spinning Gum: cold hardy Eucalyptus from Alpine Australia
Notes on phenology 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 perriniana have started blooming in Galicia this year. A bit of delayed this time, as we have observed them blooming since early June in previous years, they remain eye catching in any season none the less.

Spinning Gum, Eucalyptus perrininana flowering in Galicia, cold hardy ornamental eucalypt for cold temperate gardens / Eucalipto giratorio en floracion en Galicia, eucalipto resistente a las heladas para jardines atlanticos / 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: Intermediate leaves and blooms of a Spinning Gum (E. perriniana) flowering in the Tablelands of Galicia (NW Spain). (Click image to enlarge)

First discovered in Tasmania by 1893 and named after forester George S. Perrin, the Spinning Gum or Eucalyptus perriniana is one of the examples of frost tolerant Eucalyptus having unique ornamental features. Its vernacular name makes emphasis on dry juvenile leaves, which are connate, so fused at their base to surround branchlets completely, detaching and spinning freely around themselves when wind blows.

Spinning Gum, Eucalyptus perrininana flowering in Galicia, cold hardy ornamental eucalypt for cold temperate gardens / Eucalipto giratorio en floracion en Galicia, eucalipto resistente a las heladas para jardines atlanticos / 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: Intermediate leaves and early flower buds of a Spinning Gum (E. perriniana) during winter in the Tablelands of Galicia (NW Spain). (Click image to enlarge)


But this striking ornamental foliage is not the only source of interest from an horticultural standpoint. When cultivated in suitable climate, the Spinning Gum flowers freely and profusely yet in juvenile leaf stage, adding seasonal interest to its cultivation.

Spinning Gum, Eucalyptus perrininana flowering in Galicia, cold hardy ornamental eucalypt for cold temperate gardens / Eucalipto giratorio en floracion en Galicia, eucalipto resistente a las heladas para jardines atlanticos / 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: Juvenile leaves and blooms of a Spinning Gum (E. perriniana) during summer in the Tablelands of Galicia (NW Spain). Note the swollen flower buds approaching anthesis. (Click image to enlarge)

Native to high montane plateaux in the subalpine regions of Eastern Victoria and South-Eastern New South Wales, and also to limited areas in Central Tasmania, it is distributed in scattered and normally reproductively isolated populations, possibly meaning variation in its attributes depending on seed provenance or lineages in cultivation.

Spinning Gum, Eucalyptus perrininana flowering in Galicia, cold hardy ornamental eucalypt for cold temperate gardens / Eucalipto giratorio en floracion en Galicia, eucalipto resistente a las heladas para jardines atlanticos / 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: General outlook of a reproductively mature Spinning Gum (E. perriniana) during summer and winter prior to summer bloominmg in the Tablelands of Galicia (NW Spain). (Click image to enlarge)

Referenced as cold hardy to lowest minima in the range of -15ºC, this eucalypt can be safely cultivated in USDA Zone 8 and the mildest part of USDA Zone 7. The pictured specimen, first of its kind taken to blooming stage in Galicia, thrives in a frost prone area in USDA Zone 8b, and has survived unscathed lowest minima of -10ºC, not affecting its crown development or flowering process.


Phenologic notes on E. perriniana in Galicia

  • Flower bud initiation: May/June (late spring, early summer)
  • Flower bud maturity: +10 /+12 months (late spring, summer)
  • Flowering period: May/August (summer, peak in July)
  • Seed pod maturity: +20 /+25 months since flower bud initiation
  • Simultaneous reproductive cycles: 1 cycle of immature flower buds + 1 cycle of seed pods in maturation + 1 cycle of ripe or senescent seed pods can be present at once in the same specimen

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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 :::

Joe SSI said...

Posted by Joe, Salt Spring Island on 7/9/2008, 1:16 am, in reply to "Spinning Gums... in bloom "

One of my favourites is the E.perriniana, I have several in my garden I grew from seed years ago. They flower and seed yearly. The oldest gum trees on our island are also E.perriniana, planted nearly 40 years ago and still growing strong. They are huge specimens. Cheers, Joe

The Virginian 7a said...

Posted by The Virginian 7a on 7/9/2008, 2:09 am, in reply to "Re: Spinning Gums... in bloom "

I have several of them along with some E. neglecta in my garden and they both seem quite hardy in my Zone 7a. One of the E. Perriniana is 3 years old and is about 11 feet tall with robust growth, minor winter damage and as of yet no blooms. At what age do they start to bloom? A friend of mine had one that was 30+ feet tall, but hurricane Isabelle knocked it over like a house of cards. Both of these Eucs are prone to windthrow if not staked at the bottom for a couple of years and pruned in the Spring.

Gus-Eucalyptologics said...

Posted by Gus on 7/9/2008, 5:32 pm, in reply to "Re: Spinning Gums... in bloom "

Flowering age can be somewhat variable depending on latitude, climate and plant age when planted out (e.g. nursery period also counts). But I think you should start seeing flower bud initiation during this summer, or maybe the next one They are quite tiny at first, but easy to spot when available! Still, I am not in VA, so do not take the previous as absolute truth What could be useful is taking some notes on when it happens there I think we can estimate an eucalypt as "acclimatized" to a new area when it manages to bloom. It still does not mean it is full-proof (either for summer or winter or soil limitations), but on the right way!

The Virginian 7a said...

Posted by The Virginian 7a on 7/9/2008, 7:26 pm, in reply to "Re: Spinning Gums... in bloom "

Gus: Thanks for the information on flowering of the E. Perriniana, I will keep an eye out for flowering this summer and next. Does E. neglecta do the same thing as far as flowering goes?


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