Sugar gum

Sugar gum

Eucalyptus cladocalyx (Myrtaceae)

Common Name:

Sugar gum

Scientific Name:

Eucalyptus cladocalyx (Myrtaceae)

Alternative common names:

Suikerbloekom (Afrikaans)


A tall slender, evergreen tree growing 15-40m high with smooth, flaky, tan-coloured bark. The dark green leaves are glossy above and pale below and the foliage is concentrated at the end of the branches. Cream flowers appear from October to February and the tree produces brown fruit capsules. The leaves are poisonous producing prussic acid. This tree invades fynbos, forest clearings, plantations, water courses and roadsides.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

South Australia.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

CARA 2002 - Category 2 NEMBA - a. Category 1b within- (i) riparian areas; (ii) a Protected Area declared in terms of the Protected Areas act; or, (iii) within a Listed Ecosystem or an ecosystem identified for conservation in terms of a Bioregional Plan or Biodiversity Management Plans published under the Act. b. Not listed within Nama-Karoo, Succulent Karoo and Desert biomes, excluding within any area mentioned in (a) above. c. Category 1b in Fynbos, Grassland, Savanna, Albany Thicket, Forest and Indian Ocean Coastal Belt biomes, but- (i) Category 2 for plantations, woodlots, bee-forage areas, wind-rows and the lining of avenues. (ii) Not listed within cultivated land that is at least 50 metres away from untransformed land, but excluding within in any area in (a) above. (iii) Not listed within 50 metres of the main house on a farm, but excluding in (a) above. (iv) Not listed in urban areas for trees within a diameter of more than 400 mm at 1000 mm height at the time of publishing of this Notice, but excluding in (a) above.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Mostly confined to the Western Cape.

How does it spread?

Spreads by seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

It competes with and replaces indigenous species. Trees along watercourses are likely to reduce stream flow.

What does it look like?

General description: Slender, evergreen tree 15-40 m high with smooth, flaky, tan-coloured bark; foliage concentrated at the ends of branches.
Leaves: Dark green and glossy above, pale below; adult leaves pendulous, 80-140mm long, sweet-tasting; juvenile leaves elliptic or circular with reddish stalks.
Flowers: Cream with long-exerted stamens, buds ribbed with rounded caps. Flowers appear in October-May.
Fruit/Seeds: Brown capsules, ovoid, ribbed, valves deeply enclosed.

Does the plant have any uses?

Used for shelter, shade, timber, firewood and as a honey source and a valuable tree to the bee-keeping industry.

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