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Mystery tree

SpikleSpikle Posts: 6


Hello everyone I need some help please!

I have this tree growing in my modestly sized garden. It's less than 10 years old but is already quite tall. It started life as a tiny shoot growing from the trunk of an arctic fern which I potted up. It's been suggested that it might be a eucalyptus tree but there are so many varieties I haven't been able to confirm this. I would like to confirm as if it is a eucalyptus I might need to consider managing it in some way to stop it getting out of hand. It doesn't have any discernible scent or smell of any kind but the roots seem to resemble eucalyptus (very wide ranging and very shallow). The foliage sometimes has a slightly pinkish tint and in spring it has small spherical fluffy flowers (cream coloured). It keeps it leaves all year round but does constantly shed dead ones throughout the year.

Any advice or suggestions would be gratefully received!



  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116

    It's an olive, no?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,852

    Eucalyptus is the one with fluffy flowers and a huge speed of growth, olive flowers aren't like that and it's much slower.

    But it's not one I know

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391

    I thought it might be a willow at first but those stripes down the leaves aren't right so no idea what it is.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,999

    With the white flowers and those striped leaves , it bears a strong resemblance to Eucalyptus pauciflora , or Snow Gum ; I think it's one of the hardiest of its genus .

  • SpikleSpikle Posts: 6

    Thank you all for the replies so far. Many people have in the past suggested it's an olive but I remain unconvinced. I had a look at eucalyptus pauciflora and there are definite similarities but the bark is different. Pauciflora bark has distinctive mottling and is multi-coloured whereas my tree has rather plain dull grey bark. However the leaves are very similar so I think I'm definitely on the right track with the eucalyptus theory but just haven't yet pinned down the species...

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,999

    Search E.niphophila .

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,999

    PS. Trees growing 'in the wild' often have totally different characteristics (i.e.bark /leaves etc.) to plants cultivated in the relatively benign conditions in UK gardens .

  • SpikleSpikle Posts: 6

    Thanks Paul. E niphophila is definitely the closest in terms of foliage. My tree doesn't have red stems and doesn't give off any sort of fragrance even when the leaves are crushed. However this could be down to the growing environment as you say. It does appear that it would be safe to prune it which I will undertake at the end of the summer.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,181

    Maybe we should flag this up to Pat E ... she lives in Australia and is a botanical artist ... I'll send her a PM 


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Pat EPat E Posts: 11,612

    Hi all, just received Doves mail. My first look at the leaves looks like a wattle (Acacia).  I'll look again in a minute, but thought I should respond asap. 

    By the way, after the fluffy flowers, do they have a strange seed pod?  If so, that will be very important for identification of the species. The Acacia melanoxylon (Black Wattle) has a seed pod that curls and twists. I'll give more details after I've had a better look. image

    S. E. NSW
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