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Corymbia maculata, Spotted Gum


Corymbia maculata, the Spotted Gum, is a medium to tall tree usually with a solitary trunk. 

The bark is smooth, cream to dark grey or bluish and has a spotted or blotched appearance. Leaves are lance-like, dark green and rather shiny on both surfaces with prominent venation.

The flowers are two centimetres in diameter, white, fragrant and carried in clusters of three to five. Prolific flowering occurs between May and September. The gum nuts are large and barrel shaped.

Corymbia maculata is widely distributed in a narrow coastal belt that extends from south-east Queensland to southern New South Wales. There is also an isolated population in eastern Victoria. The species is naturalized in Western Australia and South Australia and in areas of New South Wales and Victoria outside its natural range.

Spotted Gum timber has many uses. It is hard, very tough and used for construction, fibreboard and plywood. The flowers produce good quality pollen for bees and honeyeaters are attracted to the blooms. The leaves are eaten by koalas.

Corymbia maculata is a very ornamental tree but be warned. This species is too large for suburban gardens. The Spotted Gum could be grown on rural properties or in parks. 

Corymbia is a genus of about 113 species of tree that were classified as Eucalyptus species until the mid-1990's. It includes the bloodwoods, ghost gums and spotted gums.

The species was described by W. J. Hooker (as Eucalyptus maculata) in 1844 from material collected in the Hunter Valley of NSW. The thumbnail image is the drawing that accompanied the 1844 description.

The specimen, in our cold climate garden, is over 15 years old and has reached a height of ten metres. Even in our frosty climate C. maculata has survived and thrived. The tree flowers prolifically every year.

The species name means spotted.

Propagate from seed.

Warren and Gloria Sheather

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