River Red Gum Elizabeth Donoghue/Flickr

River Red Gum

Did You Know?

  • Some trees can reach ages of 500 - 1000 years
  • Has the widest natural distribution of any eucalyptus species
  • An iconic and important species of the Murray-Darling catchment, both ecologically and economically
FactBox Image

A tall tree to 40 m with smooth bark, mottled, shedding at intervals throughout the year showing white, yellow and grey, becoming roughened at the base.

Frequently a straight tree but can develop more twisted habit in drier conditions.


The tree has a large, dense crown of long and narrow adult leaves, lanceolate in shape or infrequently sickle-shaped, 5 - 30 cm long by 0.7 - 3.2 cm wide, and grey to grey-green on both surfaces. Side veins are prominent and usually at 45° to the leaf midrib, and oil glands are numerous and located separate to the veins.


Its inflorescences (flower heads) are comprised of umbels of 7 to 11 flower buds located at the junction of the leaves and stem with the buds being of ovoid or globular shape and 0.6 - 1.1 cm long by 0.3 - 0.6 cm wide. Buds are green to yellow or cream, and have a prominent tip beak. Flowers are white to cream.


Fruit are without a stalk (pedicellate) to 0.6 cm long and 1 cm wide. Seed is yellow or yellow-brown, cuboid, smooth.

Field Guide

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Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)

  • No flowering

  • Fruits/seeds (record all days)

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Flowers in most years from late spring to summer
  • Flowering intensity is variable and unpredictable from year to year
  • Fruit development and maturation time can be as short as 4 months

Where To Look

  • Along watercourses over much of mainland Australia
  • Commonly found along waterways and riverine sites
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Similar Species

The species over its whole distribution is distinguished by the seeds which are cuboid and have two seed coats. All other red gums have seeds with a single dark brown to black seed coat.