Eucalyptus pauciflora

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Snow Gum
Scientific classification
Species:E. pauciflora

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) is a small tree or large shrub, one of the mallee group of the genus Eucalyptus. It is usually found in the subalpine habitats of eastern Australia. Snow Gums also grow in lowland habitats where they can reach heights of up to 20 metres. Lowland Snow Gum is sometimes known as White Sallee, Cabbage Gum or Cabbage Ash. Similar but less common species include the Wolgan Snow Gum (Eucalyptus gregsoniana) and the Weeping Snow Gum (Eucalyptus lacrimans).

The bark of Eucalyptus pauciflora is smooth and white to light grey or sometimes brown-red, shedding in patches or strips to give a mottled appearance. The adult leaves are usually lanceolate to broadly-lanceolate with distinct lateral veins, but may be narrowly ovate.

Three subspecies are recognised, treated as species by some botanists:

  • E. pauciflora subsp. pauciflora, the nominate subspecies, with non-glaucous buds. This is by far the most widespread form.
  • E. pauciflora subsp. debeuzevillei, syn. E. debeuzevillei, the Jounama Snow Gum, with glaucous angular buds. This is found only in the far south-east of New South Wales.
  • E. pauciflora subsp. niphophila, syn. E. niphophila, with glaucous non-angular buds. This is found in the highest parts of the Australian Alps, straddling the Victoria - New South Wales border.
Leaves of a young Snow Gum. Note the distinctive veining pattern.
Leaves of a young Snow Gum. Note the distinctive veining pattern.

Snow Gums occur as woodlands and open woodlands between 1300 m and 1800 m in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales, where they form the altitudinal limit of the tree-line. The distribution of the lowland form extends a short distance across the Queensland and South Australian borders. Because of land clearing, few stands of lowland Snow Gum remain, and considerable efforts are being put into preserving the remnants.

Snow Gums regenerate from seed, by epicormic shoots below the bark, and from lignotubers. It is the most cold-tolerant species of Eucalyptus, with subsp. niphophila surviving temperatures down to about -18C.

See also


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