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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Eucalyptus pulverulenta - Silver Mountain Gum

The Silver Mountain Gum is a large shrub or small tree. The ones I have seen do not really fit the typical description, the branching is sparse, very open, and irregular. This is I think because most of what is sold is 'Baby Blue', a commonly grown shrubby cultivar for the florist industry. Has a very interesting and architecturally interesting  habit.

Mature leaves are evergreen, alternate or sub opposite 3-5" long, lanceolate, silver on both surfaces. These leaves are from a tree on the Stanford campus.

Juvenile leaves are evergreen, opposite, about an inch long and wide, lacking a petiole, often slightly pointed at the tips, and very silver blue due to a dense waxy layer.

Flowers are an ivory white to yellowish color, borne in the axils of the leaves in groups of threes.

Fruit are capsules, clustered in threes, cup shaped, about 3/8" diameter.

Bark falls from stems, even older ones, in long sheets, reddish - brownish.

The bark is not persistent like E. cinerea.

Misidentification: Only E. cinerea, and the only way I can tell them apart is the bark.

Capitola. Cortez St on the corner of Saint Francis Ave.

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