Angophora costata costata. SMOOTH-BARKED APPLE. New South Wales, Queensland

MYRTACEAE (Myrtle family)

A striking and relatively common tree in Australia, often reaching impressive girth on almost soil-free sandstone, and generally regarded as a gum tree (or eucalypt) by the inhabitants, as witnessed by the common names red gum and rusty gum that refer to the bark color at peeling. The bark is often streaked with reddish kino. The relationship with E. ficifolia, the red-flowering gum, is closer than that existing between some species placed within Eucalyptus; however, the crushed leaves are devoid of aroma. The seed capsules have five ribs terminating in teeth. A sizable Angophora 13 yards south of Palm Drive’s east entry gate at El Camino Real and 25 yards in from the bike path may be compared with adjacent eucalypts. As a fine specimen in a fine location, it would seem to deserve occasional pruning. [This fine tree was removed Fall 2009, diseased.] It has opposite leaves, tiny white petals and a sharply ribbed seed capsule. A 1962 specimen on Serra Street between the Recycling Center and Pampas Lane, which by 2003 had become an area of neglect, is conspicuous as the tallest tree thereabouts. The tallest rusty gum in the United States, at Honaunau Forest Reserve, Hawaii, had reached 132 feet in 1969.

Illustrations (links open new windows): habit | distinctive smooth, pinkish bark | opposite leaves and capsules

Additions/Revisions:

Name derivation, genus | species Gk. aggeion (a vessel) and phoreo (to carry in, in reference to the shape of the fruit) | ribbed

Related material:

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family
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