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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Eucalyptus conferruminata - Bushy Yate

The common utility and freeway Eucalyptus. Was one of the first Eucs I learned in ID class. We learned it as E. lehmanii. It was everywhere, but especially on the freeways. Usually called the Bushy Yate. Fast growing evergreen tree or large shrub, usually multi-stemmed forming a rounded crown, 15-25' feet. Sometimes wider than tall. 



Leaves evergreen, simple alternate when adult, oval to elliptical to oblong, thick, no upper or lower surface difference, entire margins, and a small little point at the tip. You can see in this image that they have a second vein running along the margins. Also, as typically seen here, there are always notches on the margins from insects and often small raised blisters from what I think are midges.



The name conferruminata means fused together, and you can see why. The flowers are fused into a cluster or 15 or more flowers. The buds are pretty cool looking all clustered up. The stalk of the inflorescence (peduncle) is flattened and bent and woody.



Flowers are light green, quite showy with male stamens making the show.



Fruit is a cluster of fused capsules, looking very much like an owl face. The spines are the remnants of the female stigma.



Recently pollenated and fertilized.



Bark is smooth, light gray, with some gray brown or orange brown shedding strips.




Misidentification:
look for the clusters of fruit, they are very persistent.

Location:
Santa Cruz
Maybe the easiest place to see them is the pedestrian walk way from the end of High St to Harvey West Park.

There are some at the highway 1 end of Morrissey as well.

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