Corymbia citriodora (MYRTACEA) Spotted Gum

Plants to Plant

Spotted gum is a large tree to 40 m on shallow stony soils. An important forest tree, in demand for structural timber and honey production. It features more or less obvious dimples (slight depressions) on the white, silver, grey to pink or coppery bark. Seedlings and juvenile leaves with stiff hairs. Irregular flowering July-September and November-December. The narrow-leaved crown is strongly lemon-scented in northern populations. Has become weedy in various locations where it has spread from plantings. 

Botanists may find the following short key from EUCLID Eucalypts of Australia useful:

1. Foliage with strong lemon-scent, bark mostly not mottled: C. citriodora subsp. citriodora

1a. Foliage not lemon-scented, bark mottled: C. maculata

2. Seedling or juvenile leaves still with peltate leaf-bases at node 10: C. citriodora subsp. variegata

2a. Seedling or juvenile leaves mostly lacking peltate leaf-bases by node 9: C. maculata

Photo: Robert Whyte


The characteristic bark of Corymbia citriodora can be more or less dimpled. Attracts Grey-headed Flying Fox, Yellow-bellied Glider, Squirrel Glider, Scaly Breasted and Little Lorikeets, Noisy Friarbird, Brown and White-cheeked Honeyeaters, Koalas, Brushtail Possums, Greater Gliders, Honey Bees, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos and Pale-Headed Rosellas. C. citriodora subsp. variegata is more or less the same, just lacking the lemon-scent in foliage.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Close-up of Bark

The dimples are mostly shallow (sometimes deep) depressions in the bark.

Photo: Robert Whyte