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Trees of San Diego — Angophora costata

Articles: Trees of San Diego — Angophora costata

Bark of smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata). Photographs by Don Walker

When is a eucalypt not a Eucalyptus? When it's an Angophora-at least according to most people. This eastern Australian genus of up to fifteen species of trees and large shrubs was first published as a separate group in 1797 (just nine years after Eucalyptus), because its members have flowers with small sepals and petals but lacking the distinctive operculum (bud cap) of other eucalypts. Another distinction is that angophoras usually have opposite, not alternate, leaves. Although the genus Angophora is still accepted by most botanists as being separate from Eucalyptus, eucalypt taxonomy in general has been the subject of much debate in recent times (see box to right).

Known as "apples" in their native Australia (because of the resemblance of some species to apple trees), there are several species of Angophora that make attractive landscape plants. Of these, the most noteworthy is smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata). Also known as Sydney red gum, this majestic tree is native from Southern Queensland to Sydney in New South Wales a...


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