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Spotted Gum

Corymbia maculata (syn. Eucalyptus maculata)


Spotted gum is a native Australian eucalyptus tree, and belongs to the family Myrtaceae. This is also an important food tree species for many animals - koalas eat the leaves, and the flowers attract possums, honeyeaters and fruit bats. It's a tall tree with a straight trunk, growing to a height of 45 metres, sometimes taller. There is even an old reference to a 91 metre tall tree. I particularly love the beautiful bark of spotted gums; it's a very distinctive feature. PS: I've taken the course of least resistance when nominating a scientific name for this spotting. Quite frankly, it's a mess. This is definitely a spotted gum. Corymbia maculata / Eucalyptus maculata also appears to be the same species as Corymbia citriodora ssp. variegata, but there's also C. variegata, E. variegata, E. maculata ssp. citriodora, and the list goes on. Even local references are confusing and can refer to any of the above, some indicating a different species, whilst others indicate it's the same. Give me a break!


Toohey Forest is a remnant eucalyptus woodland reserve of approximately 655 hectares. The forest is situated within an urban area on the south side of Brisbane, within the city limits. Corymbia maculata is a dominant species of open forest in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It occurs on infertile and dry sites and is associated with the presence of shales and slates.


One thing I find interesting is the koala diet in their various endemic regions, and their preference for certain food trees. In Toohey Forest there are several favourite food tree species, but their selection of trees will vary over time and season. Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) and grey gum (Eucalyptus punctata) are current favourites, but they are also known to eat leaves from the spotted gum (Corymbia maculata), although spotted gum isn't being eaten at present, most likely due to conditions being so dry and perhaps less moisture in the leaves than in other species. It's a good backup supply though.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross a month ago

Thank you, ornithoptera80. It's an interesting species.

ornithoptera80 a month ago

Nice notes, and nice spotting Neil(:

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a month ago

Thanks, Brian. Australian natives have to deal with a variety of harsh climates, the current one being drought. They seem to manage, although many will go dormant. Non-natives suffer and drop leaves - leaf litter is everywhere in the streets. Many animal species are starving because there's no fresh grass, no flowers or fruits, leaves lack moisture, trees go dormant. That must surely affect insect populations as well. All sorts of grubs are associated with eucalypts, although I don't have a good reference to share to tell you which.

Brian38 a month ago

Awesome spotting and notes Neil! Interesting how it prefers dryer habits. I wonder what insects are associated if any?

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Queensland, Australia

Lat: -27.54, Long: 153.06

Spotted on Nov 29, 2019
Submitted on Dec 28, 2019

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