Forest 85 - Morrisby’s Gum (Australian native)

Eucalyptus morrisbyi

Eucalyptus morrisbyi growing in Tasmania, its native habitat. Photo not from the Arboretum Flowers and leaves of Eucalyptus morrisbyi Photo not from the Arboretum

Origin of the species name

Eucalyptus: from Latin meaning well-covered and describes the cap on the flower bud; morrisbyi: to commemorate John Robert Morrisby on whose property the species was first collected.



Date planted

June 2011



Immature gumnuts of Eucalyptus morrisbyi. Photo not from the Arboretum

General description

This is a small to medium sized evergreen tree with the majority of the trunk having a smooth whitish-grey surface. The young leaves are distinctively opposite, round and waxy and the woody fruit capsules have sunken valves and are approximately 10 mm long. The species was first discovered in 1939 by Robert Brett, a Tasmanian school teacher with a strong interest in Tasmanian eucalypts. Height 15m Spread 8m.

Natural distribution and habitat

The species is restricted to a small area in the south-east of Tasmania where it grows in nearly pure stands on very gentle slopes with poor drainage, or on moderate hill slopes.

Conservation status

E. morrisbyi is classified as an endangered species, with only around 2000 trees existing in the wild. The two remaining populations are thought to be a remnant of a once larger range. The reduction can largely be put down to land clearing after the arrival of Europeans in Tasmania. Both the Commonwealth and Tasmanian State Governments are involved in plans for its conservation.

Planting pattern

Planted in a regular square grid pattern with an eight-armed cross-shaped clearing in the centre.


It is widely used in horticulture both in Australia and overseas.

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.