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Useful Tropical Plants

Corymbia gummifera

(Gaertn.) K.D.Hill & L.A.S.Johnson

Myrtaceae

+ Synonyms

Eucalyptus corymbosa Sm.

Eucalyptus gummifera (Gaertn.) Hochr.

Metrosideros gummifera Gaertn.

Common Name: Red Bloodwood

Corymbia gummifera
Tree
Photograph by: Brooker & Kleinig
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera Corymbia gummifera

General Information

Corymbia gummifera is an evergreen tree with a heavy crown; it can grow up to 35 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 120cm in diameter[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].
The tree yields an essential oil that is a commonly used traditional herbal remedy which has also become popular in modern herbalism. The tree is also a source of timber and is often planted, both for the timber and the essential oil. It grows well in Madagascar, especially at low altitudes near the coast, and it has been planted in Kenya and Tanzania[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. It is grown as an ornamental, and makes a useful shade tree[
1658
Title
Eucalypts for Planting
Publication
FAO Forestry Series No.11
Author
Jacobs M.R.
Website
http://www.fao.org
Publisher
FAO; Rome
Year
1981
ISBN
92-5-100570-2
Description
An excellent publication, rather dated now but with a wealth of information about the Eucalypts. It can be downloaded from the Internet as a PDF file.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1660
Title
EUCLID - Eucalypts of Australia
Publication
 
Author
Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Canber
Website
http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org:8080/euclid/data/02050e02-0108-490e-8900-0e0601070d00/media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to the genus Eucalyptus (sensu latu), with descriptions and nomencultural information on all the species.

Range

Australia - northeastern Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland.

Habitat

Sandy gravelly to loamy sandy soils by the coast, and at elevations up to 1,000 metres. Dry sclerophyll forests, mainly on sandstone soils but also sometimes on shales[
265
Title
Flora of the Sydney Region
Publication
 
Author
Carolin. R. & Tindale. M.
Publisher
Reed. Australia.
Year
1993
ISBN
0730104001
Description
Concise flora with little beyond an extensive key, species descriptions, very brief habitat description.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Corymbia gummifera is found mainly in the warm temperate to subtropical zones of eastern Australia, where it can be found at elevations up to 500 metres[
1658
Title
Eucalypts for Planting
Publication
FAO Forestry Series No.11
Author
Jacobs M.R.
Website
http://www.fao.org
Publisher
FAO; Rome
Year
1981
ISBN
92-5-100570-2
Description
An excellent publication, rather dated now but with a wealth of information about the Eucalypts. It can be downloaded from the Internet as a PDF file.
]. It has also been successfully cultivated in many tropical climates. It grows in a region where the summers are hot and moist and the winters are mild but can be dry or moist. There can be a dry season of up to 3 months. Mean annual rainfall is within the range 750 - 2,000mm; mean maximum temperature of the hottest month is 29 - 30°c; mean minimum temperature of the coldest month is 5°c, and there are generally up to 15 frosts a year[
1658
Title
Eucalypts for Planting
Publication
FAO Forestry Series No.11
Author
Jacobs M.R.
Website
http://www.fao.org
Publisher
FAO; Rome
Year
1981
ISBN
92-5-100570-2
Description
An excellent publication, rather dated now but with a wealth of information about the Eucalypts. It can be downloaded from the Internet as a PDF file.
].
Prefers a sunny position in a moderately fertile well-drained moisture retentive circum-neutral soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Tolerates poor and dry soils, especially those low in mineral elements[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. A drought resistant plant once established[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
], it also tolerates saline soils[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. One report suggests that it might be quite wind tolerant, even on the coast[
77
Title
Eucalypts. (2 volumes.)
Publication
 
Author
Kelly. S.
Publisher
Nelson, Melbourne
Year
1969
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable book (in two volumes) on the many species of Eucalyptus trees in Australia.
].
The plant develops a lignotuber - this is a woody tuber that starts to develop near the base of seedlings and can become massive in the mature plants of some species. It possesses embedded vegetative buds, allowing the plant to regenerate following crown destruction, for example by fire[
1660
Title
EUCLID - Eucalypts of Australia
Publication
 
Author
Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Canber
Website
http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org:8080/euclid/data/02050e02-0108-490e-8900-0e0601070d00/media/Html/index.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website dedicated to the genus Eucalyptus (sensu latu), with descriptions and nomencultural information on all the species.
].
Whilst most Corymbia species, grown in small numbers outside their native range, can be an attractive and useful addition to the landscape, certain species (including this one) are more problematic. When grown in monocultures, especially outside their native range, they can become an environmental disaster. They are voracious, especially in their use of water; they are allelopathic, inhibiting the growth of the native flora; they reduce habitats for native fauna; and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants are shallow-rooting and, especially in windy areas, should be planted out into their permanent positions when small to ensure that they do not suffer from wind-rock[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
]. They strongly resent root disturbance and should be container grown before planting out into their permanent position[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].

Edible Uses

The flowers produce copious amounts of nectar which can be sucked from the flowers or mixed with water to make a sweet drink that is called 'bool' in Australia[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

Medicinal

Corymbia leaves are a traditional Aboriginal herbal remedy. The essential oil found in the leaves is a powerful antiseptic and is used all over the world for relieving coughs and colds, sore throats and other infections[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
]. The essential oil is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter cold remedies[
254
Title
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Chevallier. A.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley. London
Year
1996
ISBN
9-780751-303148
Description
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
].

An essential oil obtained from the leaves is antiseptic, astringent and parasiticide[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
]. It is used in the treatment of various skin complaints[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
]. The essential oil obtained from various species of eucalyptus is a very powerful antiseptic, especially when it is old, because ozone is formed in it on exposure to air. It has a decided disinfectant action, destroying the lower forms of life[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. The oil can be used externally, applied to cuts, skin infections etc, it can also be inhaled for treating blocked nasal passages, it can be gargled for sore throat and can also be taken internally for a wide range of complaints[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. Some caution is advised, however, because like all essential oils, it can have a deleterious effect on the body in larger doses[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].

A kino resin is exuded from the tree[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
,
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
]. It can also be obtained from the tree by making incisions in the trunk[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
]. This resin contains tannin and is powerfully astringent, it is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and bladder inflammation[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
,
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
Applied externally, it is used to treat cuts and sores, including those associated with venereal diseases[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
,
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
,
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This tree might be suitable as a windbreak near the coast[
77
Title
Eucalypts. (2 volumes.)
Publication
 
Author
Kelly. S.
Publisher
Nelson, Melbourne
Year
1969
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable book (in two volumes) on the many species of Eucalyptus trees in Australia.
].
The flowers are rich in nectar and are a good bee crop[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Other Uses

An essential oil obtained from the leaves has medicinal uses[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
]. Total quantity of the oil, and its composition, can vary widely from plant to plant, but we have reports that the fresh leaves contain around 0.1 - 0.4% essential oil. The main components include pinene (up to 32% in some forms), bicyclogermacrene (up to 34%), globulol (up to 14%), caryophyllene (6%), torquatone (6%)[
1659
Title
Eucalyptus Leaf Oils: Use, Chemistry, Distillation and Marketing
Publication
Phytochemistry June 1992
Author
Southwell I.A.
Website
https://doi.org/10.1016/0031-9422(92)80403-2
Publisher
 
Year
1992
ISBN
 
Description
An extensive list of Eucalyptus species and their essential oil content.
].

A bright red kino resin exudes from the bark[1096. Kino resins are rich in tannins and are very astringent. Soluble in water, they can be used medicinally; in tanning; as well as for preserving and dyeing natural fibres. When boiled in an iron pot they produce a thick, dark liquid that can be used as an ink[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The resin oozes naturally from wounds in the trunk and can be tapped by making incisions in the bark. At first it is a thick liquid, but soon hardens upon exposure to the air and sun, typically drying to an amber-like material that consists of dark red angular fragments, rarely larger than a pea. Freshly exuded kino is more effective than kino that has been on the tree for a long while, since the soluble portion can be more or less washed out and the action of the sun can alter their chemical composition[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The red wood is strong, hard, very durable in the soil and resistant to termite attack. Frequent gum pockets and rings are a defect, resulting in the wood being used mainly for poles, piles, posts, railway sleepers, mining constructions and hardboard production[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
,
1097
Title
Australian Timber handbook
Publication
 
Author
Wallis N.K.
Publisher
Angus & Robertson; Sydney
Year
1970
ISBN
0-207-12053-6
Description
A comprehensive book about the uses of timber in Australia, it includes a section with information on the properties of the more commonly used woods in Australia
].
The wood is used for fuel and for charcoal making[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a seedtray in a sunny position and do not allow the compost to dry out[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
,
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 - 8 weeks cold stratification at 2°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Germination rates vary, but usually average 30 - 50%[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Rapid and complete germination is achieved under moist, warm conditions (25 - 30°c is optimal in the laboratory) in the presence of light[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The seeds of this species are relatively large for a eucalypt and can be sown directly without pre-treatment into containers filled with a sterilized freely draining mixture of loam and sand and covered with a light sprinkling of fine sand[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the second set of seed leaves has developed, if left longer than this they might not move well. Seedlings are planted out in the field when they reach a height of about 25 cm, 10 - 12 weeks after sowing. This should coincide with the onset of the rainy season in tropical countries[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The seed has a long viability[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-09-16. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Corymbia+gummifera>

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