Forest 30 - Camden White Gum (Australian native)


Eucalyptus benthamii  

Flowers and leaves of Euc benthamii, Camden white gum in Forest 30. Photo by A. Burgess New growth on Camden white gum in Forest 30. Photo by L. Muldoon

Other common names

Indigenous:  Durrum-by-ang.

Origin of the species name

Eucalyptus from Latin meaning well-covered and describes the cap on the flower bud; benthamii is named in honour of Dr. George Bentham of the Kew Gardens who was the principal author of the first Flora of Australia (Flora Australiensis) published in London from 1864-1878.

Family

Myrtaceae

Date planted

July 2007 and October 2008

Lifespan

Lifespan unknown.

Camden white gum trees in Forest 30. Photo by L Muldoon

General description

This is a medium sized evergreen tree. It usually has a solitary white-barked trunk and a many-branched, spreading crown. The bark sheds in flakes or ribbons. Small white flowers appear in groups of seven in April and May. The lance-shaped leaves grow to about 12cm and the small hemispherical fruit are held in groups of up to seven. Height 25m Spread 15m.

Natural distribution and habitat

This species is native to the Nepean River and tributaries near Camden in New South Wales, Australia. It grows in usually good alluvial soils on river flats or on the gentle slopes of adjacent low-lying country.

Conservation status

Camden white gum is a threatened species. Vegetation clearing, increased nutrient levels, inappropriate fire regimes and weed invasion constitute the main threats. The construction of the Warragamba Dam in 1933 flooded a large area of itshabitat and probably killed many individuals. In addition, the resulting changes to river systems and flood mitigation works also have the potential to reduce the frequency of seed germination.

Planting pattern

Planted in arc shaped bands of trees, four to six deep, with spaces between the bands.

Uses

This species was well known to the Aboriginal people of the area and they called it durrum-by-ang.

Further reading

Boland DJ, MIH Brooker, GM Chippendale, N Hall, BPM Hyland, RD Johnston, DA Kleinig, MW McDonald and JD Turner (2006) Forest Trees of Australia (5th Edition) CSIRO Publishing.

Camden white gum Tree Story by Susan Parsons.