We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Eucalyptus tereticornis - Sm.

Common Name Forest Red Gum
Family Myrtaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards Citronellal, an essential oil found in most Eucalyptus species is reported to be mutagenic when used in isolation[269 ]. In large doses, oil of eucalyptus, like so many essential oils has caused fatalities from intestinal irritation[269 ]. Death is reported from ingestion of 4 - 24 ml of essential oils, but recoveries are also reported for the same amount[269 ]. 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[269 ].
Habitats Found principally in open-forest formation with a number of other eucalypts and on river flats or hill slopes with alluvial or sandy to gravelly soils[303 ].
Range Australia - Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, north to Papua New Guinea.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full sun
Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest Red Gum

wikimedia.org Mark Marathon
Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest Red Gum
wikimedia.org Ethel Aardvark


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Eucalyptus tereticornis is an evergreen Tree growing to 35 m (114ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Eucalyptus coronata Tausch ex Maiden Eucalyptus insignis Naudin Eucalyptus populifolia Desf. Eucalyptus subulata A.Cunn. ex Schauer Eucalyptus umbellata (Gaertn.) Domin Leptospermum umbellatum Gaertn.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Manna  Root
Edible Uses:

The tree is said to produce a nutritious, sweet substance that falls from the leaves like manna[301 ]. The roots can be used by travellers in the desert to provide good drinking water[601 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The resin is astringent[601 ]. A decoction of the leaf serves to reduce fever and alleviates pulmonary problems[299 ]. The essential oil (from the leaves?) has shown antibacterial and antifungal activities, and in-vivo analgesic, muscle-relaxant and anti-inflammatory effects in rats and mice[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: Planted in shelter-belts as a windbreak and for shade[303 ]. It is a suitable species for reforestation programmes[299 , 303 ]. The trees are also used in the restoration and immobilization of dunes, to control erosion by wind, and as hedges[337 ]. They can be planted along the banks of rivers to stabilize the soil[404 ]. The tree is a major source of pollen and nectar, producing a caramel-flavoured honey[299 ]. Other Uses The wood contains 6 - 12% tannin, and the bark 3 - 15%[299 , 303 , 337 ]. The leaves are one of the sources of the essential oil 'eucalypt oil', and the principal component of the oil in the leaf is cineole (45%)[299 , 303 ]. The oil yield percentage by fresh weight is 0.9 - 1.4%[303 ]. The leaves yield 0.45 - 3.4% essential oil[299 ]. The essential oil has shown insecticidal activity[299 ]. The wood contains 0.5% essential oil[299 , 303 ]. Kino (a red substance resembling resin) is obtained from the tree[601 ]. The general colour is brown, and it can readily be reduced to a fairly fine powder between the fingers. It forms a light reddish-brown turbid liquid, leaving a muddy-looking residue of a salmon colour, evidently composed of finely divided particles of resin, wood, and a gelatinous substance[601 ]. Rich in tannins, it can be used medicinally and for tanning. The heartwood is pale to dark red,and fairly well demarcated from the grey to cream-coloured sapwood. The grain is wavy or interlocked, texture even and fairly fine. The wood has a density of 660?1060 kg/m_ at 12% moisture content, but wood from plantations often has a lower density than that from natural stands. The wood has a strong tendency to warp during drying. It is not stable in service. The wood is strong, tough and hard. The wood saws well and works well with hand and machine tools, but it splits easily and the presence of interlocked grain makes it somewhat difficult to finish. It holds nails well and glues well. The wood is durable and has good weathering and wearing properties. In Australia the wood is one of the most resistant to marine borerattack, but it failed after 2.5 - 10 years at the Pacific coast of the United States. The sapwood is susceptible to Lyctusborers. The heartwood is resistant to impregnation with preservatives, the sapwood is permeable[299 ] The wood is red, hard, heavy, strong, very durable, uniform in texture and has an interlocked grain, which makes it difficult to work[303 , 337 , 404 ]. It is resistant to marine borer and is widely used as a construction and mining timber[303 ]. It is also used for poles, stakes, boxwoods, bridge timber, railway sleepers and wharves. It is suitable for posts of all sizes, flooring, vehicle bodies, furniture, handles, ladders, sporting goods, agricultural implements, veneer, plywood, core stock, matches, joinery, vats, toys, novelties, turnery and wood-wool[299 , 303 ]. In India, the most important use of this species is for its good quality pulp and paper. The strength properties of the paper improve after the tree reaches 9 years of age, but the dark colour of the heartwood, in comparison with some other Eucalyptus species, is a disadvantage[303 ]. It is also used for hardboard, fibreboard and particleboard[303 ]. A popular and widely used firewood and charcoal[303 , 601 ]. The energy value of the wood is17,750?22,000 kJ/kg[299 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  Minor Global Crop  Other Systems: SRC

This species has the widest latitudinal distribution of any species in the genus, occurring over a wide range of climatic conditions from temperate to tropical[303 ]. Found naturally at elevations from sea level to 1,800 metres[299 , 337 ]. It grows in areas where the mean annual precipitation ranges from 500 - 2,000mm and the dry season may extend for 7 months, and has been planted successfully in areas where there can be as much as 3,500mm of rain[303 , 337 ]. The mean annual temperature ranges from 16 - 25°c, with a mean maximum temperature of the warmest month of around 27°c and a mean minimum of the coolest month of 7°c[303 ]. Where it grows naturally, it may tolerate 0 - 15 frosts a year[303 ]. In some areas where it has been planted, the tree has survived occasional frosts to -7°c[299 , 337 ]. Grows wild in soils that are usually not acidic, are rather rich, moist, alluvial, sandy loams and gravels[303 ]. It prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5[303 ]. Established plants have considerable resistance to drought, and can also tolerate occasional waterlogging[299 , 303 ]. A fast-growing tree, when planted on favourable sites trees have attained a height of 35 metres in 10 years, even on poorer sites they have managed 15 - 18 metres[310 ]. Yields of wood depend primarily upon humidity. They are highest when trees are grown on the borders of canals and under conditions of irrigation. In irrigated plantations in Africa under good conditions, annual yields of 20 - 25 cubic metres per hectare during the first 15 years have been obtained; the yield then decreases to 10 - 15 cubic metres unless the trees are coppiced[404 ]. On poor sites in Uruguay annual yields of only 6 cubic metres per hectare were achieved in a 16 year rotation[404 ]. When grown in plantations, it begins to produce seed 3 - 6 years after establishment[303 ]. For a Eucalypt, this species is considered relatively fire resistant[303 ]. The species coppices vigorously: a 99% rate has been reported from Congo[303 ]. 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[200 ]. Eucalyptus monocultures are an environmental disaster, they are voracious, allelopathic and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation[200 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Coppice  Cut to the ground repeatedly - resprouting vigorously. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.
  • Other Systems: SRC  Short-rotation coppice.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - no pre-treatment is required[303 ]. Surface sow in a sunny position and make sure the compost is not allowed to dry out[11 , 78 , 134 ]. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 - 8 weeks cold stratification at 2?c[200 ]. Germination is good and uniform, with 30 - 70% within 14-30 days[303 ]. 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. The seedlings are ready for planting in the field when they are 25 - 30 cm tall, usually after 3 - 4 months. The seed has a long viability[200 ]. Vegetative propagation has been carried out successfully from ligno-tuberous tissue, from branch cuttings from 2 - 3 year-old saplings, and from epicormic shoots from older trees. In Congo, 60% rooting success has been obtained from cuttings[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Forest red gum, blue gum, flooded gum, grey gum, mountain gum, Queensland blue gum, red gum, bastard box, red ironbark, red irongum and slaty gum

Africa, Asia, Australia, East Africa, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea*, PNG, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Corymbia citriodoraLemon-Scented Gum, blue spotted gum, lemon eucalyptus, eucalyptus citriodora.Tree45.0 10-12 FLMHNM234
Eucalyptus brassianaCape York red gumTree20.0 9-11 FLMHNDM004
Eucalyptus caesiaGungurruTree10.0 8-11 FLMHNDMWe20 
Eucalyptus camaldulensisRed River Gum, Murray Red Gum, River Red EucalyptusTree30.0 8-12 FLMHNDMWe134
Eucalyptus citriodoraLemon-Scented Gum, Lemon Scented EucalyptusTree45.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe132
Eucalyptus cocciferaMt. Wellington PeppermintTree15.0 7-10 FLMHNDMWe002
Eucalyptus delegatensisAlpine ashTree40.0 7-11 FLMHNM033
Eucalyptus dumosaWater MalleeTree7.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe102
Eucalyptus globulusTasmanian Blue Gum, Eurabbie, Blue Gum, Blue EucalyptusTree55.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe143
Eucalyptus gomphocephalaTuart. Tuart GumTree40.0 9-11 FLMHNDM004
Eucalyptus grandisFlooded Gum, Gum, Rose EucalyptusTree50.0 9-11 FLMHSNDM024
Eucalyptus gummiferaRed BloodwoodTree15.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe132
Eucalyptus gunniiCider GumTree30.0 7-10 FLMHNDMWe333
Eucalyptus johnstoniiYellow Gum, Johnston's gumTree60.0 7-10 FLMHNDMWe003
Eucalyptus largiflorensBlack BoxTree18.0 9-11 SLMHNDMWe103
Eucalyptus leucoxylonYellow Gum, White ironbark, White EucalyptusTree15.0 10-11 FLMHNDMWe103
Eucalyptus macrorhynchaRed StringybarkTree45.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe133
Eucalyptus melliodoraYellow BoxTree30.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe003
Eucalyptus microcorysTallow Wood, Australian tallowwoodTree45.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe003
Eucalyptus microthecaCoolabah, Coolibah, Flooded Box, CoolibahTree15.0 9-12 FLMHNM202
Eucalyptus obliquaMessmateTree60.0 8-12 FLMHNDMWe004
Eucalyptus paucifloraCabbage Gum, Snow gumTree12.0 7-10 FLMHNDMWe003
Eucalyptus pauciflora niphophilaSnow GumTree6.0 6-9 FLMHNDMWe033
Eucalyptus perrinianaSpinning GumTree6.0 7-10 FLMHNDMWe002
Eucalyptus piperitaSydney PeppermintTree18.0 9-11 FLMHNDMWe023
Eucalyptus polybracteaBlue MalleeTree6.0 - FLMHNDMWe133
Eucalyptus punctataGrey GumTree30.0 8-11 FLMHNDMWe10 
Eucalyptus racemosaSnappy GumTree0.0 - FLMHNDMWe03 
Eucalyptus regnansMountain AshTree75.0 8-11 FLMHNDMWe003
Eucalyptus robustaSwamp Mahogany, Eucalyptus GumTree30.0 8-12 FLMHSNDM034

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment



Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Eucalyptus tereticornis  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.