Eucalyptus viminalis
manna gum

Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Tasmania, S. Australia, Victoria, New South Wales
Eucalyptus viminalis leaf and fruit. From An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees, Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino

From Lomita Mall, looking toward Varian physics, one could, until 2002, see the well-remembered centenarian manna gum, 7 feet in diameter, a residual of the avenue that ran magnetic southwest from the northwest corner of the Quad as part of Searsville Road. With its white trunk and vast spread it was a noteworthy giant. Other patriarchs can be seen at the southeast end of Nelson Mall; on Searsville Path where it meets Sand Hill Road; and at the Children’s Health Council. Younger trees are not uncommon, north and east of Terman Engineering Center and at the NE corner of the Haas Center (with two blue gums), for example.

The lengthy ribbons of sunburnt bark that peel to reveal the fresh white trunk, and the threefold cream flowers, or the fruit, suffice to identify it. Manna gum provides the fodder for koalas living in the zoos of San Francisco and San Diego.

E. viminalis is the type species of the seemingly heterogeneous series Viminales, Fl. Australia, 19:344 (1988), including other campus eucalypts E. bridgesiana, E. macarthurii, E. globulus, E. gunnii, E. cinera, and E. pulverulenta.

Illustrations: E. viminalis gallery (capsules in threes, exerted valves).

Update

Searsville Road used to run from math corner to Governors Avenue before turning half right and going on to Sandhill Road. It was an avenue with a few different species of Eucalyptus. The fine old white trunked viminalis where the new Physics bldg is now under construction was taken out about a year ago. Two others remained on the Varian Physics parking area (parking lot between Parking Structure 2 and Varian Physics with Gravity Probe B is at the edge); the last of these was taken downthis week. So this historical trio has now gone to its reward.

– RB, 8 March 2006

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 the note on the Series, and the update note from Ron Bracewell.