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Eucalyptus leucoxylon – Yellow Gum

Eucalyptus leucoxylon (Yellow Gum) is a Tree which grows to a height of 15m . It has a fast growth rate. It has a hardiness rating of 9. The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by bees







15 metres


Australia - South Australia, Victoria

Eucalyptus leucoxylon Growing Guide

Ideal Soil and Planting Locations

Yellow Gum will grow in light (sandy), medium (loamy), hard (clay) soil. It is important for the soil to be well drained. Yellow Gum prefers well-drained soil. Open woodland in areas with cool, often frosty winters and hot summers. Yellow Gum should not be planted in shady areas.

Eucalyptus leucoxylon Cultivation Details

Prefers a sunny position in a moderately fertile well-drained moisture retentive circum-neutral soil. Prefers heavy clay soils but succeeds in most soils, including limestone. Tolerates poor soils, especially those low in mineral elements.

Tolerates dry soils and also drought once it is established. Plants grow well in dry-summer climates. Another report says that it can tolerate temperatures down to about -8°C. It might be worthwhile trying it outdoors in the mildest areas of the country.

Eucalyptus species have not adopted a deciduous habit and continue to grow until it is too cold for them to do so. This makes them more susceptible to damage from sudden cold snaps. If temperature fluctuations are more gradual, as in a woodland for example, the plants have the opportunity to stop growing and become dormant, thus making them more cold resistant.

A deep mulch around the roots to prevent the soil from freezing also helps the trees to survive cold conditions. The members of this genus are remarkably adaptable; however, there can be a dramatic increase in the hardiness of subsequent generations from the seed of survivors growing in temperate zones.

Eucalyptus monocultures are an environmental disaster, they are voracious, allelopathic and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation. 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. T

hey strongly resent root disturbance and should be container grown before planting out into their permanent position. The flowers are rich in nectar and are a good bee crop.

Yellow Gum Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer

An essential oil from the leaves is used as a food flavouring in baked goods, ice cream and sweets.

Propagating Eucalyptus leucoxylon

Seed - surface sow February/March in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6-8 weeks cold stratification at 2°C. 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.

Plant out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from the cold in their first winter. The seed can also be sown in June, the young trees being planted in their final positions in late spring of the following year. The seed has a long viability.

Eucalyptus leucoxylon Known Hazards

Citronellal, an essential oil found in most Eucalyptus species, is reported to be mutagenic when used in isolation. In large doses, oil of eucalyptus, like so many essential oils, has caused fatalities from intestinal irritation. 

Death is reported from ingestion of 4-24 ml of essential oils, but recoveries are also reported for the same amount. Symptoms include gastroenteric burning and irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oxygen deficiency, weakness, dizziness, stupor, difficult respiration, delirium, paralysis, convulsions, and death, usually due to respiratory failure.

Other Uses

An orange dye is obtained from the leaves and green seed pods. It does not require a mordant. Wood - pale, tough, strong and durable.


  • The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. Author: Huxley. A.

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About the author 

Nathan Schwartz

Hey, I'm Nathan Schwartz, team member at Aussie Green Thumb since 2020. I have a passion for edible plants and Australian native plants, both in the garden and in the Aussie bush.

As an avid traveller and camper, I love seeing the different landscapes and flora that Australia has to offer, and try to incorporate this into my own daily living.

Whether I am living on the road, in an apartment or have a big backyard working with practical and usable gardens in small spaces is my specialty.

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