Myrtaceae (myrtle family) Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus parvula small-leaved gum

New South Wales
E. parvifolia (syn.)
Eucalyptus parvula on Serra Street. Matt Ritter, May 2006

Distinctive features of this tree are attractive, opposite, bluish juvenile leaves not much more than an inch long and ½ inch wide. This juvenile foliage is persistent, but the mature leaves, when they come, though longer (about 2½ inches), are even narrower. Consequently, this tree is recognizable instantly. The bark is smooth leaden-gray and peels in long strips.

An untended specimen at 3185 Alpine Road (site of the author’s radio astronomy research mapping temperatures of the Sun and studying extragalactic nebulae) developed enormously long and heavy branches descending to ground level, once referred to in a Stanford publication as resembling a wave rolling over the parking lot.

Another specimen is just east of the Recycling Center on Serra Street, below the two Angophoras and above the drain.

In its native habitat it endures frost every night in winter and is one of the eucalypts that doesn’t mind living in Britain, though this may be due to ability to survive lack of sunshine as much as to frost tolerance.

Identifying the tree on Serra Street, Matt Ritter wrote:

After seeing the pictures of the buds I was able to identify the tree. Here are the traits that are important for its identification:

small tree or mallee
sessile buds and fruit
operculum scar present
conical operculum
small fruit (0.5 cm)
fruit disc and valves sunken inside hypanthium
leaf oil glands mostly isolated from the veinlets

It is E. parvula L.A.S. Johnson & K.D. Hill (syn. E. parvifolia Cambage).

Illustrations: illus. 1 | illus. 2 |

Related material: Eucalyptus checklist

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings added tthe Serra St location and the Ritter note ca. 2006.